For those of you who may not know yet, I am a proud Calgary resident. Calgary is a beautiful city with amazing people and fun activities to do! In this post, I want to share with you all the many ways we can explore Calgary’s Bow River as locals or as tourists.
I think this is the perfect time as Calgary locals to fall in love with our city, support local businesses and make the most of summer 2020!
1.) Segway Tour with River Valley Adventure Co.
Our experience with the Segways was new and intimidating at first, but with the help of our lovely tour guide from River Valley Adventure, we managed to find our balance and ride the Segways with no problem!
I went on the Segway tour with Jason and my friend Arie. For the first 30 minutes of the tour, the guide will show you how to turn, stop and ride the Segway – which made it perfect for first timers like ourselves. The tour begins once everyone is all set and fully equipped with a helmet and basic understanding on how to use the Segway.
The tour starts from East Village around the Simmons Building where the River Valley Adventure’s ship container is located. Then, we crossed the George C. King bridge to St. Patrick’s Island. On St. Patrick’s Island, we stopped to take some pictures around the zoo and the tour continued around towards 12th Street SE bridge. While on 12th Street SE bridge, we were able to see the beautiful Bow River and downtown Calgary. This spot was also another perfect spot for taking pictures!
Eventually, we circled back to East Village from the pathways of Inglewood. These pathways are so special and nice because they wrap around the Bow River, giving you great river views.
Overall, the Segway tour lasted an hour and 30 minutes – including all the time we stopped to take pictures. I also recommend taking your time on St. Patrick’s Island to enjoy all the art installations, developments and seating areas that the city has set up to make the island more lively and community focused. This island will amaze you! Ask your tour guide all about it when you get there!
Book your Segway Tour: LINK TO SEGWAY TOUR
INSTAGRAM PAGE: @yycsegwaytours
2.) River Float with the Paddle Station
The River Float with Paddle Station is the perfect summer activity to do with your family or friends. I was lucky enough to share this experience with Jason. The float was a romantic day activity that can be enhanced with good food and good music.
While on our raft, we were indulging ourselves with a picnic packed by River Cafe and had our fave songs on repeat through our portable bluetooth speaker. The experience was definitely a unique one! (SIDE NOTE: you can totally bring food on the raft, as long as you clean up after the float. Please DO NOT leave any garbage on the raft)
The Paddle Station offers everything you need to go floating down the Bow River – from vessels, to life jackets, paddles, and they have lots of water equipment to rent (small rafts, medium rafts, big rafts, kayaks, and stand up paddle board). Best part is the convenience – all you have to do is show up, check in, and get going!! The Paddle Station will pick up the raft at a designated end point along the river (don’t miss it like Jason and I did or else you will have to jump out into the water and swim it to shore, then carry the raft back to the end point) and they will inflate your raft at the beginning too!
Overall, our float trip lasted roughly around 2 hours with the river’s current at the time. The float started from The Shouldice Paddle Station, directly below the 16th Avenue bridge (Address:5227 13 Ave NW, Calgary, AB T3B 1J1). The end point was at St. Patrick’s Island at Zoo Road (Address:1300 12 St NE, Calgary, AB T2E 7V6).
TIP: Ensure you have a ride back from the end point back to your starting point at Shouldice Paddle Station, you can either take 2 cars and park one at each location OR call an Uber/Taxi to drop you off at your vehicle at Shouldice Paddle Station.
Book your River Float: LINK TO RIVER FLOAT
INSTAGRAM PAGE: @paddlestation
Order your picnic food: LINK TO RIVER CAFE MENU
INSTAGRAM PAGE: @rivercafeyyc
3.) Surf the River with Outlier Surf
Did you know – you can surf on the Bow River????
There is a specific section of the Bow River wherein surfing is allowed and it is right next to 10th Street Bridge. On this spot, water level is high and waves form continuously, making it perfect for surfing! This section of the Bow River has created a welcoming close knit community of surfers in Calgary and you can even stop by and say hi when you see them.
If you ever dreamed or wanted to try surfing, you can now take the time to learn it!!!!
Outlier Surf is definitely for the adventure seeking individual with dreams of surfing like a pro. With Outlier Surf, you can take lessons and learn how to unlock your surfing abilities and learn how to do it safely. The instructors are more than just instructors, they’re passionate about surfing and will introduce you to a welcoming surfing group here in Calgary. In addition, Outlier Surf will also provide the gears you will need for your surfing lesson.
In their website, you can also shop for surfboards, wetsuits and accessories you’ll need to start your best surfing life!
Book your Surfing Lesson: LINK TO SURFING LESSON
INSTAGRAM PAGE: @outlier.surf
You see, Calgary is truly a beautiful city worth exploring! SO much adventure and fun awaits you!
Before summer ends, I hope you can experience at least one of these fun activities 🙂
Mary Dezleigh Teodosio