Paddy's Flat Trail - Snowshoe

Paddy's Flat Interpretive Trail

Snowshoe beside the beautiful scenery of the Elbow River, hear the cold water rushing, see the ice formations, and enjoy the brisk winter air!

Difficulty: Light
Round trip: 4-5 km
Hiking Time: 1-2 hours
Elevation Gain: 50 m
FitBit: approx 7,000 steps and 12 flights of stairs
Location: Elbow Valley, Bragg Creek


Marked: No
Facilities: No (but there are some just slightly farther up the road at the Elbow Falls parking lot)
How to get there: From Calgary drive SW on Cowboy Trail (HWY 22). Once you reach Bragg Creek's four-way stop, continue south on HWY 22 for a little ways. At the end at a T-intersection turn right onto HWY 66. You'll drive west for 13.1 km and the Paddy's Flat Campground will be on your left. You can park near the locked gate.
Paddy's Flat Interpretive Trail
Click map to link to Google Map's directions from Calgary
Paddy's Flat trail Map


Right off the bat I'll warn you that the trail appeared to have more forks than the map indicates, it's nothing to fear, all the paths are within the campground, it will only add to your distance and time if you choose to veer off on another route.

To start out once you've parked outside the gate, follow the road straight ahead (ignore the road going left), immediately pass the second gate and curve right into the campground. Continue down the road and once you come to them follow the signs for Loop C.

Once in Loop C you will arrive at a playground on your left and directly across on the right is the trail. At this point a good thing to do would be to take a picture of the map on the post (as seen above) so you have a general idea of the paths within the campground and have a reference in case you need it.

The path will start by curving to the right. When you get to an apparent fork leading left down to the river, keep right instead and follow the orange sign you see on a tree. When you get to the next fork, leading right back up to the campground, make a hairpin turn to your left and descend towards the river. You'll quickly approach another fork and tree with an orange marker that says 'riverview', keep left again (ignore the orange sign in the distance on your right).

Very soon the path will take you left and east along the bank of the river. Continue a ways straight ahead crossing over a few bridges. Make sure to peer back over your right shoulder for a beautiful scene of the river in the valley!

Eventually the path will curve back up and left. There is another fork (not shown on the map), one way continuing on along beside the river, but if you want to get back to the campground and to your car, left and up is the way to go. Soon there are two more forks (as you can see on the map beside Loops C & B). So you have a few options, the quickest route being to keep right both times and head up to Loop A.

Once back on one of the campground roads all you need to do is follow the signs to the exit.
Paddy's Flat Interpretive Trail River View
Paddy's Flat Interpretive Trail River View
Paddy's Flat Interpretive Trail River View


-It's a great area to snowshoe because you can trek all around the campground and not really have to worry about which path your on if you aren't picky.
-After a fresh snowfall the snow on the campground roads was nice and deep compared to on the paths through the trees. Snowshoeing at it's best!
-We had a fun time because some hikers before us left a trail of Christmas ornaments in the trees, in addition to some neckties. Not sure what the occasion was, but interesting nonetheless.
-This trail isn't a long one so if you have extra energy tag it on with another easy one really close by: Beaver Flat Trail!
Have you ever seen anything out of place on a hike or snowshoe trail that you've been on?

Happy Snowshoeing!

Gotta love the little foot prints :)