Cottonwood Park is a City Preservation Area named for its extensive and beautiful cottonwood forest. The park includes over 2 km of granular trails for hiking and exploring the grasslands, coulees, and forests. It is also a natural habitat for many prairie wildlife species including mountain bluebirds, mule deer and even the protected Prairie Rattlesnake. Park users are asked to keep a watchful eye out for these park residents, especially in summer and spring months when they are most active.
The park is open from 7 am - 8:30 pm year round and there is a gated parking lot on the upper bench with a shale trail that leads down to the lower river valley. The trail heading down to the river bottom is fairly steep so be prepared for a hike.
There are a few rules associated with visiting a Lethbridge nature reserve:
- Bikes or dogs are not allowed
- Picking or removing vegetation is not allowed
- Fires and camping are not permitted
- Come prepared to pack out your own garbage as there are no garbage containers past the entrance of the park
Cottonwood Park recently underwent some improvements including the following:
- Existing varying-width shale path was replaced with a 1.5m-wide limestone path. Stairs were added in multiple locations, along with handrails
- A new 1.5m-wide limestone path was added along the access road alignment. The existing access alignment can still be used by maintenance vehicles and can be accessed from the parking lot as it was before
- The parking lot was expanded and the capacity was doubled from 9 to 18 stalls. The original 9 concrete stops were re-used and 9 new recycled plastic stops were added to the west side of the lot
- The old barbed-wire fence along 60 Avenue W was replaced with a new recycled plastic post & cable fence, including around the parking lot
- A new gate was installed at the parking lot access from 60 Avenue W
- The existing signs & bench remained in place and were not disturbed
2020 - 60th Avenue West