Running in Lethbridge

April 15, 2021

With tons of elevation gains from the coulees, mild winters and over 200 kilometres of trails connecting all corners of the city, Lethbridge is a runner’s paradise. Whatever your skill level, there are plenty of routes to choose from, and there’s always a new running trail to explore just around the corner.

So lace up those shoes, grab your Camelback and bring your favourite running buddy (yes, your dog) along, because it’s time to check out what makes Lethbridge such a run-tastic prairie city!

Running Events in Lethbridge

Lost Soul Ultra

For the long-distance-lovers out there, the Lost Soul Ultra is one of the most gruelling summer races Lethbridge has to offer. The epitome of trail-running in Lethbridge, the route takes runners up and down golden, sun-baked coulees, through Cottonwood forests, and along the scenic Oldman River valley. Participants have 11 hours to finish 50K, 21 hours to finish 100K, and 33 hours to complete 100K.

Moonlight Run

Following a moon-bathed 6 – 10K route through Indian Battle Park, the Moonlight Run is a local favourite. It takes place at the end of March in the chilly late night evening. The race is hosted by Runners Soul, a local running hub offering club memberships, clinics, events and high-quality running gear.

–> View upcoming Runners Soul events here!

Lethbridge Running Trails

Lethbridge is historically built around the Coal Banks Trail, an asphalt pathway connecting neighbourhoods and facilities to major parks and nature reserves throughout the whole city. This continuous 30K route, linking north (Pavan Park), south (Henderson Lake) and west (through the Oldman River valley) is the perfect running ecosystem, no matter your location!

–> View a map of Lethbridge Pathways and Trails here!

However, this also makes it tough to choose a route that’s right for you. So, to help you find your ideal running route, we’ve gathered some of Lethbridge’s finest to make the decision a little easier.

Popular Running Routes in Lethbridge

Starting with breezy and ending with brutal, the list of trails below will give you plenty to chew on. Keep in mind that whatever trail you choose, you’ll see dozens of other trails along the way – so feel free to let your feet take you where they may! You can be confident that wherever you may go, you’ll always find an interesting trail to explore.

Easy

Nicolas Sheran Park

The west side’s largest greenspace, Nicolas Sheran offers a quiet paved loop wrapping around its glassy lake. It’s the perfect summertime evening running route – especially with a cotton-candy pink sunset above.

●       Distance: 3.2K

●       Type: Loop

●       Season: All-season

●       Dog-friendly: Yes, on a leash.

●       Parking: There’s plenty of parking at the northwest corner of the park.

Henderson Lake Park

Henderson is one of the city’s most popular parks and many (Lethbridge events)[ tourismlethbridge.com/events] are hosted here. A gentle paved loop circles the 24-hectare man-made lake, and it’s the ideal spot for a relaxed mid-summer (and okay, a frigid winter) day jog.

●       Distance: 2.5K

●       Type: Loop

●       Season: All-season

●       Dog-friendly: Yes, on a leash.

●       Parking: There’s tons of parking on most sides of the lake.

Pavan Park Loop

Connect with nature in this 125-hectare park on the outskirts of North Lethbridge. Be on the lookout for wildlife like deer, foxes and birds of prey as you cruise this scenic loop around the water – right next to Jeanne Sauve Picnic Area. For an extra challenge, start at the Pavan Park Car Park, then end the run with the coulee-climb back up to the top!

●       Distance: About 2K (around 4K if you begin at the upper parking lot)

●       Type: Loop

●       Season: All-season

●       Dog-friendly: Yes, on a leash.

●       Parking: Park at the picnic area or the John Martin Recreation Area.

Moderate

Scenic Drive Dog Run

One of the most scenic (literally) off-leash dog parks in the city, the Coulee Dog Run is a fun little loop along the coulees. There are tons of extra trails to extend your run if you wish, but the chance for a few errant puppy kisses make it worth sticking to the trail.

●       Distance: 2K (or much more, depending on the coulee trail you add)

●       Type: Loop

●       Season: All-season

●       Dog-friendly: Yes – no leash required at the dog run!

●       Bark– we mean Parking: Park at the lot above the dog run (or at Radiology Clinic outside its hours of operation), and have at ‘er.

Galt Museum –> Botterill Bottom Park

Featuring a little bit of everything, from coulee trails to paved pathways – and one killer hill – you’ll start at Galt, then dip down at your leisure into Indian Battle Park. Follow the paved trail (Coal Banks) south under Whoop-Up Drive Bridge and into Botterill Bottom Park. Catch your breath at the top of the stamina-busting hill (you’ll know it when you feel it), then do a 180, heading back the way you came. Lucky for you, there’s a Tim Hortons right next to Galt Museum for a well-deserved treat when you return.

●       Distance: 5K (give or take, depending on which coulee trails you add)

●       Type: Loop

●       Season: All-season

●       Dog-friendly: Yes, on a leash.

●       Parking: Park at the top of the coulees overlooking Indian Battle Park, south of Galt Museum & Archives.

Henderson Lake –> Indian Battle Park (via the Greenstrip)

A great longer run, you’ll begin at the quiet shores of Henderson Lake, then head south along the Coal Banks Trail for about 4.5K (which follows a stretch of green spaces). When you reach the Sugar Bowl, you can either dip down into the coulees, or you can follow Scenic Drive South north until you hit 4th Ave, where you’ll turn left and bomb down the hill to Indian Battle Park.

●       Distance: Around 10K (more or less depending on if you add coulees or not)

●       Type: One-way

●       Season: All-season

●       Dog-friendly: Yes, on a leash.

●       Parking: Leave one car at the Fort Whoop-Up parking lot, then head to Henderson Lake where you’ll begin.

Difficult

Helen Schuler Centre –> University of Lethbridge –> Bull Trail Park North

This cruisy loop cuts through Indian Battle Park then takes you across Whoop-Up Drive’s scenic pedestrian bridge going west. Before you struggle your way to the top, take your first left, through a tunnel under the roadway, then make your way through Bull Park Trail South. Muster up that stamina because this next hill is a tough one.

Once you've powered through to the top, turn right at the major set of lights just after the University. Head for Bull Trail Park North, then down toward Elizabeth Hall Wetlands. Cross over the Crowsnest Highway Pedestrian Bridge (it’s noisy and unpleasant, but that will set a fire under you to finish, right?) and turn right, rounding your way back to Helen Schuler.

●       Distance: About 10K

●       Type: Loop

●       Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

●       Dog-friendly: Yes, on a leash. However, no dogs are allowed inside the Elizabeth Halls Wetlands nature preserve, so you may need to adjust your route if your pup is with you.

●       Parking: On the south side, park at the Helen Schuler Nature Centre or anywhere else in Indian Battle Park. If you start from the west side, park at the Bull Trail Parking Lot.

Fort Whoop-Up –> Botterill Bottom Park –> Six Mile Coulee (via the coulees)

This challenging route will satisfy all your coulee cravings, as most of the trail traverses up and down (you guessed it!) coulees. Beginning at Fort Whoop-Up, there’s really no trail you ‘should’ take. Just head south from Indian Battle Park, through Botterill Bottom Park, then beyond, into the heart of those green and golden coulees. On your left, you’ll pass by a few overlooking neighbourhoods (Scenic Heights, Park Royal, Chinook Heights and Tudor Estates) before you reach your endpoint right next to Walmart South.

●       Distance: Just under 8K

●       Type: One-way

●       Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

●       Dog-friendly: Yes, on a leash.

●       Parking: Leave one vehicle at the south side Walmart parking lot, then head to the Fort Whoop-Up where you’ll begin.

Peenaquim Park –> Alexander Wilderness Park –> Pavan Park

This leg of the Lost Soul Ultra is a challenging yet gorgeous trail that winds its way through the north side coulees. Starting at Softball Valley and heading north, you’ll have a choice of two trails, one in the heart of the coulees (10K) and the other along the Oldman River (7K).

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