Best Calgary Outdoor Activities for Sport Lovers
Are you looking for a good time outside? Calgary has an array of water and dry land activities waiting for you to try.
You won’t get a chance to become bored regardless of when you visit Calgary. And if you prefer doing things rather than sightseeing, the vast parkland and nearby waters can keep you busy.
You can challenge yourself or take it easy. But make no mistake – there’s always something for the sports lover to do.
1. Things to do in Calgary the Winter
It’s no secret that visiting Calgary in the winter is one of the best things you can do. As a sports lover or simply an enthusiast, there are so many activities to try in the cold season.
It’s worth noting that Nakiska is Calgary’s closest and perhaps best skiing destination. It gets excellent snowfall every year and has fantastic slopes for skiing and snowboarding.
You can also take a run at cross-country skiing. It’s one of the favorite things to do in Calgary for locals and tourists.
But if you want a different kind of challenge, give snowshoeing a try. Again, you can do this in or near Calgary. For better views and a more difficult time, head higher towards the Canadian Rockies on one of the many snowshoeing trails.
But these are not all that you can do in the wintertime.
1.1 Go Sledding
If you’re a sports lover and prefer outdoor activities, why not also bring out your inner child? Sledding is one of the best Calgary activities come winter.
The staggering number of hills around the city makes sledding a no-brainer, and it’s particularly challenging in some areas. You can also try some advanced trails if you go to the Canadian Olympic Park, WinSport.
Give it your best to master tubing on the snow. It may not seem too easy, but it’s a lot of fun for adults and kids.
1.2 Ice Skating
From artificial to natural outdoor rinks, there’s room for ice skating. Calgary has no shortage of places where you can lace up to test your balance and grace.
It shouldn’t be hard to join the locals in a friendly outdoor hockey game, either. The choice is yours.
2. Things to do in the Warmer Seasons
While the winter may limit you to a select number of outdoor activities, come summer, spring, or autumn, things are different.
2.1 River Surfing and Windsurfing
Calgary’s Bow River is as gorgeous as it is challenging. Experienced paddlers love to try their best to beat the whitewater rapids.
You can take some lessons or just rent the necessary gear and head out yourself if you already know your stuff.
But for something slightly less challenging, there’s always windsurfing. It’s among the preferred outdoor activities in Calgary during the summer.
2.2 Luge Cart Racing
Do you have a need for speed? Calgary is famous for its Luge cart races.
Allow gravity to pull you down the bottom of the hill while you try to outmaneuver other speedsters. You can reach impressive speeds even on a one-mile track.
Be sure to wear your helmet as it’s a bit more dangerous than it looks.
2.3 Ride a Bike
Calgary’s 20,000 acres of parkland provide plenty of opportunities for outdoor workouts. To start with, the city has around 186 miles of quality cycling paths. It also has plenty of jogging paths, many of which take you through very scenic routes.
Biking is among the best Calgary activities when it isn’t snowing. That’s why you’ll find many rental places within the city or near park entrances.
You can even ride a bike near the top of Nose Hill Park. It will challenge your body but reward you with a fantastic view of Calgary’s skyline.
2.4 Go for a Swim
If you don’t mind slightly colder water, swimming is always an option during the summer. Calgary has its own man-made beach called Sandy Beach.
It’s a great place for a picnic, taking a dog for a walk with the leash off, and swimming. It’s also close to a biking and hiking trails network, so you can keep exploring after you dry.
Test Your Hiking Endurance
As previously mentioned, Calgary has no shortage of trails. You can explore many of them in any way you like.
But if you’re worried about rugged terrain and keeping control of your bike, then don’t hesitate to go on foot and take the easier trails.
Hiking and jogging are among the best Calgary activities for tourists. They allow you to see everything nature offers at your own pace. And it’s also easier to access more remote viewpoints or clearings by going on foot.
Don’t worry too much about the difficulty levels, either. You can find trails ranging from beginner to expert.
Calgary’s proximity to the Canadian Rockies makes it an ideal place to get a taste for climbing. And the Calgary Mountain Club and the Calgary Outdoor Center both offer lessons and outdoor climbing courses.
Another prevalent Calgary activity is golf. In fact, you’ll find plenty of courses in and around the city. But keep in mind that the best golfing season is between May and October.
You can take lessons, rent gear, and test your skills on the green against a wide range of competitors.
It’s worth noting that the Lakeview Golf Course is one of the best in the area.
Other Water Activities
With such an abundance of water, it’s no surprise that most locals spend the better part of the year away from dry land.
There are many places in Calgary where you can take up kayaking and canoeing. You can also try urban rafting during the summer, which is almost a rite of passage in the city.
No Reason to Stay Indoors
Unless you run into some nasty weather, there’s always something fun and even challenging to try while visiting Calgary.
The city may not have sports teams or stadiums that regular Americans will be familiar with, but it’s fully equipped to cater to outdoor sports lovers.