Sue Higgins Park
Deerfoot Trail & Southland Dr SE
Sue Higgins is the mother of all dog parks. At 62 hectares, it’s the largest off-leash area in the city, and it’s fully fenced. Most anything a dog or guardian could want is provided: weave poles and moguls for playing and training, open fields for unlimited fetch, shady trees, open sun, quiet, seldom-used spots and busy populated areas for seeking animated play partners. For water babies, there are four different access points to the Bow River. For waders there are shallow calm water areas. For dock dogs there are two points accessing deep water with strong current.
The City of Calgary generously services ample waste bins sprinkled throughout the park, so you hardly need carry a poop bag for more than five minutes. If you forget bags, supplies donated by users are located at each of the five entrance gates. Human washrooms are available in the parking lot. Two big notice boards provide communication opportunities.
My favourite features of the park are a training ring and Nora Tuckey’s Grove. These are fenced, quiet areas perfect for training. Nora Tuckey’s Grove has picnic tables and can be used for activities for families or groups of dog lovers. I also love the path that parallels the river. The scenery is sublime through four seasons and the sound of the river is peaceful. Les Deux Chiens Assis, a pair of bronze sculptures crafted in the late 1800’s by Parisian artist Henri Alfred Jacquemart, are a beautiful recent addition to the park.
I adore the fact that this phenomenal public amenity is named for a civic legend who self-described as an “Alderbroad”.
Update December 2016: The pooches are LOVING the BP Forest, now that it's been opened to the public! Also the City has been busy upgrading pathways, levelling them with gravel and addressing water ponding areas. They've also added more waste bins to the east pathways (YAY!) and added recycling bins throughout the park. Sue Higgins just keeps getting better and better! :-) Now, if only my dream of installing solar lights could be realized . . . for the long winter days when it's dark in the mornings and way too early in the evening . . . just a few, sprinkled in the south loop, which is the most heavily used area . . . no electricity required . . . properly tented to avoid light pollution . . . hint, hint.