Written By: Lauren Steeves
Things to do outside this summer in YYC
Are you wanting to make the most of your summer in YYC, but don’t know what to do? Lucky for you, we compiled a list of fun and new outdoor activities that are sure to make 2015 your best summer yet.
1. Surfing The Bow
Surf’s up YYC— You no longer need to hit up Hawaii to crush some waves—our own Bow River has got you covered. Thanks to the 2013 flood, the Bow River contours have formed a permanent two-foot wave beneath the 10th Street Bridge becoming a hot spot for river surfers alike. If you’re feeling confident to test the waters, then head downstream from the 10th street crossing and ride it with your surfboard—just be sure to avoid wearing a leash as it can catch on rocks. But if you’re not ready to brave the waves on your own quite yet, you can take lessons at Rocky Mountain Surfing (rockymountainsurfing.com). Hang ten YYC!
2. White Water Rafting in Kananaskis
Looking to make a splash this summer? Well, look no further than Alberta’s own backyard and try white water rafting on the Kananaskis River—the perfect whitewater experience for beginners or experienced rafters alike. This trip starts at 1:45 p.m. and includes two hours on the river, the chance to view the picturesque Rocky Mountains and ends at 5:30 p.m. with an optional river swim. This experience also includes equipment, a professional guide, refreshments and plenty of time to practice before hitting the waves—all for under $100/person. So grab some friends, hit the highway and get ready for a wet and wild adventure. But be sure to book early— otherwise you’ll be left in the undertow.
To learn more about white water rafting or to book this adventure visit their site.
3. Via Ferrata
Are you looking for the climb of a lifetime? No, we aren’t talking about Everest and its chilling cold conditions. We’re talking all about Banff’s newest activity—Via Ferrata, a series of thrilling mountain-climbing routes. You don’t need any experience to take on these routes, as they are lead by a ACMG certified guide. Via Ferrata offers three routes—The Explorer, Ridgewalker and Mountaineer, each with its own benefits like 360-degree views and suspension bridges. Climbs are available every day, varying from two and a half to six hours and allow for groups of two to eight people. Each climb varies in cost from $139-$299, which includes everything you need to take on the mountain. Stop your excuses and get ready to take on new heights.
To learn more about Via Ferrata or book your climb, visit their site.
4. Skyline Luge
This time sun and speed go together with Skyline Luge, one of Calgary’s most adrenaline-rushing attractions. Skyline Luge gives you and your friends the chance to take an exhilarating ride on the world’s longest luge track spanning almost 6,000 feet and dropping nearly 350 feet throughout the ride. The best part is that you are in full control over your luge kart, navigating the twists, turns and drops yourself. You don’t need to go far to experience this thrill-seeking fun, as Skyline Luge is located at WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park—just 20 minutes from downtown on the TransCanada Hwy 1. If you are on a budget no need to fear, as one ride is only $13. That’s got us saying—yes, please!
To learn more about the Skyline Luge, visit their site
5. Raft/Float the Elbow or Bow River
Summer is all about R&R. So for those wanting to relax while still enjoying the outdoors, we suggest you consider taking a river raft float on YYC’s two beautiful rivers, the Elbow or Bow. If you want to take it slow, go for Elbow—this river is a shorter and shallower ride, providing many spots to stand and splash. However, if you want a longer and faster float, The Bow has got your back with entrance points at Baker, Shouldice and Edworthy park. The Bow’s exit points include an area near Crowchild Trail, Edworthy Park, Prince’s Island Park and the Zoo—giving you the power to choose how long you’d like to float.
All you need to float either river is a raft, life jackets and two vehicles (one for the entrance point and one for the exit) making this activity fairly inexpensive. So grab your sunnies, sunscreen and suits and float, float, float your boat.
6. Outdoor Driving Range
Tired of getting teed off when you’re golfing? Then it’s time to get your swing on this summer at some of YYC’s outdoor driving ranges. There are many courses throughout the city that allow you the chance to sip on some beers and soak up the sun at the same time— like the Golf Canada Calgary Centre. With buckets of balls ranging in price from $8-$13, this is definitely an affordable afternoon activity—Tiger better watch out.
7. Outdoor Batting Cages
If golf is not your sport, why not try out baseball? Shouldice Athletic Park’s The Cage has outdoor batting cages, allowing you the chance to test your baseball skills. The Cage is open everyday of the week (with the exception of wet weather) and is located one block south of the TransCanada Highway and 13th Ave NW. You can chose to pay by tokens or by time— ranging from as low as five dollars to as much as $70 for an entire hour (including equipment). The Cage takes reservations, so you can book in advance and knock it out of the park.
8. Beach Volleyball
Beach, please. Just because we don’t live by an ocean, doesn’t mean you can’t play in the sand—YYC’s got you covered with four beach volleyball courts. Each beach volleyball court is open to the public and is available on a first-come basis. Courts are located at the Shaw Millennium Park, Signal Hill, Rocky Ridge and Pumphouse Park. All you need is some friends, sunnies and a ball and you are ready to serve, set and spike.
9. Fly Fishing
If you are looking to slow things down and have some peace and quiet— fly fishing may be the activity for you. YYC’s Bow River is one of the top three trout streams in the world— home to over 2,500 fish per mile. Both the lower and upper parts of the Bow are prime areas to fly fish and if you are lucky you may just catch a rare brown trout. If you are interested in taking a lake trip, a walk and wade trip or fly fishing lessons, you should check out https://www.bowriverflyfishing.com. May the fish be with you.
It is time to dust off your wheels and get cycling outdoors, as YYC has some of the best bike paths. If you are looking for a leisurely spin, we suggest biking along the Glenmore Reservoir, the Elbow River, or down by Memorial. We also highly recommend taking a spin through Edworthy Park, that way you can hit up Angel’s café and ice cream shop. However, if you are looking to get away from the city’s core, we suggest taking a ride through Nose Hill or Fish Creek and get a chance to experience some gorgeous views.
Make Alberta your playground this summer and take on some hiking trails. You don’t have to go far to experience picturesque landscapes, as there are plenty of trails in the city and in areas like Kananaskis and Banff. Plus, you can choose a trail that best suits your time frame and level of experience. For city hikes, we suggest hitting up Edworthy Park and Baker Park. If you are looking to escape the city, we recommend Eau Claire Trail and Wedge Pond in Kananaskis and the Johnson Canyon Falls in Banff. Plus, hiking counts as cardio right? At least we think so, which means you can totally justify all the beer and wine after.
12. CANMORE CAVE TOURS
If you are looking to do something totally unusual this summer, we suggest taking a cave tour in Canmore (yes, this is a thing). Canmore Cave Tours offers three different tours (Discovery, Explorer and Adventure) each varying in time and cost. All tours give you the chance to experience life underground by trekking through Rat’s Nest Cave—a cave with over four kilometres of explored passages. Tour prices vary from $45-$155, and are guaranteed to provide an experience like no other. To learn more about Canmore Cave Tours, visit their site.
Whatever you choose to do this summer, make sure you make the most of it—after all, no good stories ever came from staying in.