If you’re a sucker for a beautiful view, why not get a bit of a thrill while you’re at it? Nothing elevates a short and sweet hike like a bouncy bridge suspended in the middle of the forest. There are so many awe-inspiring hikes to choose from around Alberta, no matter what level or length you’re looking for. While this is a great problem to have, it’s still a problem because it makes it pretty hard to choose! We don’t want you to land in a state of decision paralysis, so we’ve done the choosing for you. So, what’s next? Blackshale Suspension Brdige in Kananaskis Country.
Located in the heart of Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, this gorgeous destination can be reached via a super-short 1 km loop, or a slightly longer 7 km loop. Depending on your route, this hike can take anywhere from half an hour to about two hours. Regardless, you’ll find yourself at the beautiful suspension bridge, walking over a steep valley with a glistening creek flowing through it. As you reach the center of the bridge, the valley will open up to offer you a brand new vantage point to take in all of the stunning Rocky Mountain views.
You can also opt to add a stop at the Peninsula Day Use area, which has picnic tables and views of the stunning Lower Kanaskis Lake. It’s the ideal place to eat your lunch and bask in the area's serenity.
This is the perfect hike for less experienced hikers and families, as it can be as long as you want to make it and is relatively easy. If you choose to take the shorter route, expect a bit more of an incline, but it’s short enough to be totally doable.
Now, let’s talk specifics. The parking for their trail is the Black Prince Day Use Area, which is about two hours away from Calgary. Once parked, you’ll follow the High Rockies Trail north, carefully crossing the road, then heading east to the trail. These trails are well-established, well-marked, and highly trafficked, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding your way, and you’re sure to encounter other hikers along the way.
You will need to wear good, sturdy footwear with good ankle support. While the hike is shorter, there’s always a risk of roots and loose ground, so it’s better to be safe. This area is known for getting pretty muddy on damper days, so boots are a good choice. Pack layers, as we all know, Alberta weather can shift at any moment. Some other things to bring are bear spray, lots of water and slacks, a first aid kit, and anything else that might help you prepare for an emergency.
Always be sure to check for closures, advisories, or warnings before setting out. There are dead zones throughout the drive and hike, so you’ll want to ensure your road and trail maps are downloaded or printed.
We hope you have the most incredible adventure and get some amazing photos as you cross that iconic bridge.
Britanny Burr is a freelance writer and a contributor to Great West Media. This story was written for the 2023 Hot Summer Guide advertising feature. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff.