We begin our tour by parking here in the parking lot of McNally High School. It's just ahead of you. Don’t worry, though, we won’t be sending you back to your calculus class! Once you’ve found a spot to park, head west towards the river to get to Rowland Park Lookout! Offering an incredible view of downtown Edmonton from the east, the best time for pictures here is at dawn, just before Edmonton’s majestic sunrise! Looking down upon the North Saskatchewan River, we can see the stoic Dawson Bridge straddling it. The bridge connects Rowland Road to the forest beyond, and, eventually, to the massive city center sprouting up from the trees! Take a seat at one of the public benches here and breathe in the sweet northern air that brought millions to Edmonton! Despite the obvious beauty of this lookout, there’s still more incredible spots for us to get to. So, when you’re ready, head back to your car and we’ll head to our next view!
On the way to our next viewpoint we pass by the lovely Forest Heights Park. Dog-friendly and beautiful to boot, Forest Heights is actually one of the largest parks in the North Saskatchewan River valley parks system! Enjoy the beautiful scenery on this bend of the riverside as we make our way to the next stop! When you get to the roundabout, please continue heading south and then turn right on Strathearn Drive.
As we head to our next stop, we travel through the Strathearn neighborhood. Containing an active arts community that hosts the Annual Strathearn Art Walk, this neighborhood is just another example of Edmonton’s amazing culture!
As we continue heading south down Strathearn Drive towards our next viewpoint we pass by Forest Heights Park on our right, a great indicator of the natural views to come! As we head farther into the neighborhood of Strathearn, you will notice on the left the large dream homes that take in this view daily, and to the right a pair of humble public benches, which mark this picturesque Downtown View. Find a spot along the side of the road here, and stroll over here to take it all in! Offering possibly the most complete view of downtown, this is the perfect spot for those looking to take some incredible photos of the glass pyramids known as the Muttart Conservatory botanical gardens, and the recently completed 100 Street Funicular. Off in the distance, we have an unimpeded view of Edmonton’s majestic downtown skyline. The stately Fairmont Hotel Macdonald with its European-inspired architecture sits squarely at the front of an envelope of skyscrapers, a shining example of Edmonton’s old and new. Stay here for a bit, and we’ll follow the North Saskatchewan River as it wraps around downtown towards the south. Just follow your navigation.
As we pass by the lush riverfront Henrietta Muir Edwards Park on our right, we can see the skyscrapers of downtown Edmonton stretch up behind it. Soon we’ll be crossing the North Saskatchewan River, which separates the two, as we traverse James Macdonald Bridge and get an up close look at the heart of downtown.
As we cruise along the Low Level Bridge, you might be confused why we’re crossing the North Saskatchewan again, but don’t worry, our next lookout will be more than worth it! For now, enjoy the sights of this critical Canadian river bend.
As we approach our next viewpoint, look for a spot along the road to park. You’ll see a paved bike path peeking out from behind the 95A Ave NW street sign, just follow that for a few feet and you’ll be right at Yurinatus Lookout! If you want an even better view of the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald (or “The Mac” as it’s known locally), this is the perfect spot for you! In the foreground of the downtown skyline we see the James Macdonald bridge, and the Low Level Bridge behind it. If we look to the west we can see the popular Rossdale neighborhood and the Walterdale Bridge connecting these two sides of Edmonton. Savor this view and stay for as long as you like, because once we leave we’ll only have one more opportunity to enjoy Edmonton’s glorious skyline. Not to worry though, we saved one of the best ones for last!
As we make our way to our final destination, we pass by yet another of Edmonton’s impressive parks, Nellie McClung Park! Serving as an important natural connection between Queen Elizabeth Park and Henrietta Louise Edwards Park, Nellie McClung Park is a beautiful gem itself! While a paved path runs through the park for bikers and other visitors, the hidden dirt paths that wind throughout the park allow you to feel like you’re truly out in the wild!
Here along Saskatchewan Drive NW we come to one of our favorite photo-worthy views in all of Edmonton! Seemingly placed right on top of the River Valley before you, the famous arch of the Walterdale Bridge invites your eyes to the full scope of Edmonton in all its glory just beyond. Not only does this spot provide the best views of the Walterdale Bridge, this comfortably developed lookout point sits right on one of Edmonton’s most wonderful walking paths that traverses the hill we are atop now, and down to the bridge so you can get an even closer view! The trendy shops and pubs of White Avenue are also just to the south, so if you’re a little spent or overstimulated by the onslaught of natural beauty we’ve seen on this tour, head there to rest and recharge! For now, though, sit back and enjoy this last, immaculate view, and think about how you’re going to spend the rest of your day in this amazing city!
And that’s that! I hope you enjoyed the views and took a lot of pictures! Make sure to contact Jenn McPhillamey of RE/MAX River City! She would love to answer all of your questions about this beautiful area. Thanks for joining me on this tour! Have a fantastic day!