Nature Adventure – Mactaggart Sanctuary
We’ve visited the gorgeous Mactaggart Sanctuary and Larch Sanctuary many times, in all seasons of the year, but the Fall 2023 opening of the new Smith Crossing Pedestrian Bridge prompted us to revisit this favourite spot for nature exploration!
Mactaggart Sanctuary is the southernmost part of Blackmud Creek Ravine. At Smith Crossing, the creek extends to the east and to the south and there are trails to explore in both directions.
We’ve often accessed the trail system by parking in the Mactaggart Sanctuary Parking lot. It can only be entered from the eastbound lanes of 23 Avenue between Rabbit Hill Road to the West and 119 Street to the east. The parking lot is small, so we’ve also parked along May Common NW in the Magrath Heights neighbourhood and entered the trail system via Larch Sanctuary.
There are spots where the trails run parallel to the creek, and times when the paths veer away. There are places where the trail is very low and close to the water and spots where it’s much higher. In winter, you can even stroll down the frozen creek!
We’ve loved exploring Mactaggart Sanctuary in all seasons of the year, but fall is a little extra special! Despite its name, Larch Sanctuary didn’t appear to us to be home to larch trees, but it does offer exceptional views of Edmonton’s fall foliage!
Smith Crossing Pedestrian Bridge Replacement
In Fall 2023 the City of Edmonton opened the brand new Smith Crossing Pedestrian Bridge. It’s a gorgeous new spot that’s sure to be a favourite among photographers!
We were excited to see a piece of the old bridge has been preserved along with commemorative signage about Robert and Elizabeth Smith, for whom the crossing is named. (Find out more about the bridge replacement project HERE.)
Mactaggart Sanctuary & Larch Sanctuary
- Where: Find the parking lot for Mactaggard Sanctuary off 23 Avenue West of 119 Street NW. To start from Larch Sanctuary, park along May Common NW in the Magrath Heights neighbourhood.
- What: Gorgeous walking trails, perfect for year-round exploration!
- Pair it with a playground: Extend the adventure with a stop at the fabulous Magrath Heights Playground.
- More info: HERE