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Do What the Locals Do – Episode 3 – River pathways

  • March 27, 2012
  • By Cody Battershill

Do What the Locals Do – Episode 3 – Calgary River Parkways

Calgary pathwaysAs a young kid I remember going down to the Eau Claire water park with my family to play in the heat of the summer sun. What usually followed after was a long and strenuous bike ride journey that seemed like it would never end along the Bow and Elbow river parkways.

Now that we are older, we have come to appreciate the amazing recreational opportunities the river parkways provide. I can organize a run with some friends, or blow up a raft at Stanley Park and float down the Elbow River for some rest and relaxation. If that’s not good enough, I can use the river parkway to get a cardio workout in then stop off at the Talisman Centre for some indoor fun.

Whatever the plan is, I am privileged to be born and raised in a city that has expansive networks of pathways and parks along the embankments of the Bow and Elbow rivers and beyond that provide everything an active outdoor junkie could hope for.

Did you know Calgary has more than 700 km of paved pathways plus an additional 290 km of on street bike lanes? This is one of the longest such pathway networks in North america!

Bow River

The Bow River parkway is the most developed between the two. Lined with tall, mature trees and various architectural designs, it is a considerable resource for a lunch-break walk or cardio exercise.

Downtown Calgary’s redevelopment of East Village will add more even more pathways to the already massive trail in an eastern direction.

Bring the family down to the river parkways during warmer temperature and check out the Eau Claire water park or various festivals that happen during summer months. Bring some bread to feed the Canadian Geese or pump up the raft and float down the river.

The Bow River has a variety of different activities fun for the whole family. Eau Claire Market is usually the best place to park, especially during warm months that attract tons of people.

the river in Calgary

Elbow River

The Elbow River parkway has some of the best running and biking trails for Calgary. The Elbow River pathway isn’t as extensive as the Bow’s, but it is less packed with people than the Bow and makes for a hassle free experience.

Stop off at Stanley Park with the wife and kids to hang out at the river. If the river isn’t your thing jump into the public pool to cool off. What I usually do is park at Stanley Park and jog to the Talisman Centre for a workout. After the workout I enjoy a short 15 minute walk back to my vehicle, which acts to prevent stiffness after exercise anyway.

Stanley Park’s riverfront is a good, safe place to pump up a raft as well as a good starting point for floating down the river on a warm summer’s day. There are also playgrounds and public barbecue areas with tables provided for picnics.

I recommend keeping your pet on a leash when using the pathways because of the illusive corners that can hide other pets effectively. Check out the Elbow River parkway and Stanley Park today!

Check out this Top 10 Inner City Parks article for more info on some Calgary parks.

I am proud to be a Calgarian. More on Calgary can be found at my Facebook page Calgaryism. Calgaryism is an ever expanding Facebook community with daily input from locals. Find out what’s fun and do what the locals do at Calgaryism!