Alberta’s mountain parks are well known recreational destinations, but a wide variety of warm-weather outdoor fun can be had in and around Calgary.
Devil of a Course
The city’s newest golf course is the 18-hole Blue Devil Golf Club. Hidden in scenic Chaparral Valley along the Bow River, its devilishness is in details such as deep bunkers. However, the course accommodates novice and pro with generous, lively fairways and lots of tee boxes. Features clubhouse with food kiosk. Sister nine-hole Lil Devil course opens this summer. $69 – $89. 2300 – 194 Ave SE, access from Chaparal Blvd, Macleod Trail or Hwy 22X, 403-452-7892. Visit www.bluedevilgolf.com to book a tee time.
Great to Skate
Let your kids do their own thing at Shaw Millennium Park, North America’s largest outdoor skate facility. Its extensive concrete terrain, which includes cloverleaf bowl and street course as well as a full-pipe, is open 24 hours a day and is suitable for beginner and expert skate boarders, inline skaters and bike riders. Visitors must bring their own helmets and gear. Park admission is free. 1220 – 9 Ave SW. For information, visit www.calgary.ca and search “Shaw Millennium.”
Huge New Luge
It’s all down hill from here. Winsport Canada Olympic Park (COP) launched its family-friendly Skyline Luge last summer. Rocket down a 1.8 km paved, hillside course in a three-wheeled, go-kart-toboggan hybrid. Access COP at 16 Ave NW (Trans Canada Hwy) and Bowfort Rd NW, www.skylineluge.com
Urban Trail Rides
You know you’re in ranch country when trail rides are an inner-city pastime. Horsin Around offers easygoing horseback adventure on rolling pastureland and wild ravines in Calgary’s southwest. Trail rides are suitable for age 10 and up and all skill levels. Group riding lessons, kids’ camps and parties are also available. 3729 – 146 Ave SW. For rates and information, call 403-263-7433 or visit www.horsinaround.ca.
The Path More Travelled
Calgary has one of the most extensive urban pathway systems on the continent. It links many parks and natural areas and can be easily accessed from the downtown where two of its most picturesque stretches run along either side of the Bow River. The City of Calgary pathways and bikeways app for iPhone or iPod can be downloaded via iTunes. Bike rentals are available at Eau Claire Rapid Rent (Eau Claire Market, 200 Barclay Parade SW) or Sports Rent (4424 – 16 Ave NW).
One of Canada’s largest paintball fields, Capture the Flag Outdoor Cochrane is located northwest of Calgary near the town of Cochrane off Highway 1A. Its treed setting features wooden structures, bunkers and tire obstacles plus abandoned school buses and “Medieval castles.” Purchase paintballs and daily pass ($7). All other equipment is supplied, and entry gets you a free pass. Enjoy free, all-you-can-eat hotdogs and non-alcoholic drinks between rounds. The facility’s 21 playing courses are open year round, seven days a week. Pre-booking is a must, even if it’s same-day. For more information and directions, call 403-932-9510 or visit capturetheflag.com