Sunday Reflection: Walking the Red Willow Trail


“There comes . . . a longing never to travel again except on foot.”

Wendell Berry, Remembering

Red Willow Trail, St. Albert, Alberta

I live in Vancouver.  It has been my home for many years, and it is highly likely that I will grow old in a city that has always been kind to me.

And yet, St. Albert, Alberta, the city that is known as The Botanical Arts City is an enticing possibility.

Founding in 1861, St. Albert is the oldest non-fortified community in Alberta and is now the sixth largest city in Alberta.  It is home to the International Children’s Festival, the Arden Theatre that hosts over 150 performances a year,  and The St. Albert Botanic Park, dedicated to the collection, cultivation and display of a wide range of plants labelled with their scientific names.  And have I mentioned that the Outdoor Farmers’ Market, held in downtown St. Albert, is Western Canada’s largest outdoor farmers’ market.

Now you see why I am tempted.

Red Willow Trail, St. Albert, Alberta

The Red Willow Trail system stretches down the river valley connecting to the City’s major parks and neighbourhoods. Join me as I walk the Red Willow Trail System heading down to the farmer’s market

Walking the Red Willow Trail from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

27 thoughts on “Sunday Reflection: Walking the Red Willow Trail

    • Alberta is a beautiful place, with so many different landscapes from mountains, foothills, plains and rivers. I attended University of Alberta in Edmonton. It is a beautiful campus situated along the North Saskatchewan River. Great memories.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I can certainly see the attraction! We discuss our options. No big agreements, yet.
    I adore Ottawa (the old part of the city), and that is my first choice, at this point.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, the mystery of our journey is that it unfolds and transforms as we move along our timeline. What was one day, becomes something new the next. Even though we seek certainty in life, we do our best work in ambiguity. Thank you for joining me on the Red Willow Trail. Many hugs coming your way…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I look forward to joining you on this walk. My maternal grandfather’s family came to America from Quebec, settled originally in North Dakota, then moved up into Alberta when it was still the Northwest Territories! It was near Gleichen where they farmed and raised cattle! When I was a little girl my grandfather told me that he ‘broke’ horses in Canada where he actually both broke his ankles and both wrists! It was until just a few years ago that this story came to life when I read a genealogical book written by his cousins’ grandchildren which a distant cousin and fellow genealogist graciously sent me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I found Gleichen on the map. This is a beautiful area, famous for ranches and horses. How wonderful for you to have this story come to life. We think that we are global travelers, but our ancestors had more difficult journeys to make. They were both resourceful and courageous. Looking back inspires me to have more courage and more gratitude.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I have a feeling your would find Alberta home, although it is very cold in the winter. I remember when I lived in Edmonton, temperatures reaching in the below 35 – 40 degrees F.

      You many know this song composed by Ian Tyson, who lives in Alberta (performed by Ian & Sylvia)

      “Four strong winds that blow lonely
      Seven seas that run high
      All those things that don’t change come what may
      But our good times are all gone
      And I’m bound for moving on
      I’ll look for you if I’m ever back this way

      Think I’ll go out to Alberta
      Weather’s good there in the fall
      I got some friends that I can go to working for
      Still I wish you’d change your mind
      If I asked you one more time
      But we’ve been through that a hundred times or more”

      Liked by 2 people

    • One day, I must walk this trail in mid-winter. I was on Facetime with Stephanie in Alberta this morning. BRRRR It’s a cold day there, but I know the walk would show a pristine whiteness from their latest snowfall. Thank you for your feedback on the videos. Very much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

    • You would love this walk. There are 99 .5 kilometers of recreational trails within the Red Willow Trail system. It stretches dow the river valley connecting to the City’s major parks and neighborhoods. There are clearly marked areas for on-leash and off-leash for dogs, which allows for everyone to have fun. Thanks for joining me on the pathway!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Such a beautiful walk, St. Albert is growing and growing with more and more people loving it. I look forward to our trips there. I read that you would enjoy walking the path in mid-winter. That would really be lovely. Too bad we are not there today, because it is winter time and I am positive it is gorgeous! Thank you for posting this lovely trail.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The winter walk would be so much fun, but we would need to bundle up. I just read that there are in the minus 20 – 25 Celsius range. Brrrr…. They have lots of snow so I know that the trail would be pristine.


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