Explore Waskasoo Park
Red Deer’s urban park system is home to a variety of activities, from the equestrian focus of Heritage Ranch to the recreation opportunities of Bower Ponds, the tranquil setting of the Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary and the bustling off leash dog park at Three Miles Bend.
Where some cities preserved section of land by luck or by design, the story of Red Deer’s park system is one of reclamation. What now appears as a vast stretch of natural areas in the core of the city once was used for a variety of industrial purposes or even as one of the many garbage dumps in the area. Places like Bower Ponds owe their origin to a sawmill and log ponds, Heritage Ranch’s fishing pond is the remnant of a quarry and McKenzie Trails saw a multitude of use from sawmills, the site of a ferry across the river, shooting range, quarry and at one point as a dump.
Red Deer River
Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary
In the 1970’s local residents and groups like the Red Deer River Naturalists started a push for a park system and in the mid-eighties the Waskasoo Park System was born. Today it’s become a great place to visit along the river valley, the perfect spot to stretch your legs after a day of meeting and a place to learn about the areas natural history without leaving the city.
Plan Your Adventure
Many of Central Alberta’s protected areas have limited services during parts of the year. Make sure to check with each of the locations to find out their hours of operations before you head out.