Go visit Nose Hill Park

By: Mark Lukwinski

Go visit Nose Hill Park

Tags: Nose Hill Park, YYC, Calgary

We’re all looking for ways to adapt and do things under these new ‘normal’ circumstances. With the weather warming up a bit, continue to isolate but, still get out and see something in the city.
 
Cue, Nose Hill!
 
Calgary’s municipal park offers amazing views of the city-talk about location, location, location!
 
Measuring almost 5km north to south and 4km east to west, Nose Hill park was an early bison herding ground which attracted many to its slopes, still seen with left over tipi rings still seen on the hill. Throughout the park you can also find evidence of bison kills done long ago. It is hard to determine which tribes hunted and herded on Nose Hill, but it is believed to be most likely Peigan.
 
In the early 1900s, the area in and around had a different reputation and was known to be Calgary’s red light district. Diamond Dolly was a woman known to run a few brothels and bordellos that serviced men from all over the community. At the time, Calgary was known to be the boozing, brothel and gambling capital of the western plains.
 
During the world wars, there was an airport on the hill near the current 14th street lookout. The buildings were left abandoned after the war and have mostly now disappeared, including most of the air strip as well.
 
Up until the early 1970s, you could drive onto the hill but that ended in 1971. You can see the left over marks from many cars just west of the Calgary Winter Club Parking lot. Futhermore in the 1970s, there was interest in developing the land into a residential community and a battle back and forth between the City and Hartel Holdings ensued. By 1973, the City of Calgary restricted land development in the area and began looking into acquiring the land and by the 1980s, it was declared a protected area by the city and today it is used by hikers, walkers, and cyclists who enjoy over 300km of informal trails to explore on.
 
As for naming the hill, there is no concrete answer so people have resorted to local legend which speaks of an European exporer asking an aboriginal translator about the hill seen in the distance. He is alleged to have told him it was called Nose Hill because from a distance, it resembled the nose of their chief.
 
That’s a scoop on Nose Hill Park. We’ll be updating more info as we explore YYC.
 
Stay safe,
Mark
 
 (Photo: City of Calgary)