6 quirky urban adventures in Alberta
By Laura Gelder – July 2018 – 2 minute read
Canada is famous for is rugged wilderness and adrenaline-pumping outdoor activities but its biggest cities, Calgary and Edmonton, offer excitement and adventure too. Here are six quirky urban activities you can offer clients travelling to Alberta.
Calagary’s Olympic Park is still going strong since 1988. Visitors to WinSport can see where Eddie the Eagle took off and the Jamaican bobsled team slid to fame. Of course there’s skiing and other snow sports in winter but head there in summer and you can take the summer bobsled ride (on wheels) which takes rider through 10 turns hitting speeds of more than 80km an hour and a force of over two Gs. There’s also North America’s fastest zipline, a bungee jump and the Skyline Luge.
Surf in the city
River surfing is an emerging sport and the Calgary area has some of the best waves to conquer. Outlier Surf offers private and group surfing lessons. The best spot for beginners is 10th Street Wave, where surfers can ride a wave right by a city bridge. Forty minutes out of town in beautiful Kananaskis Country is The Mountain Wave, purpose-built by surfers looking for bigger peaks to ride. If your clients are balance-challenged you can sell them a riverrafting trip instead – they can paddle their way right through the city!
Public art safari
Cowboy city Calgary isn’t all about steak and boot-tapping, it was named the cultural capital of Canada in 2012 and since then the number of outdoor art installations has exploded. In Stephen Avenue Walk there are 10 white metal tree sculptures up to six metres high, which are lit up at night and serve as public art as well as a way to reduce wind gusts. The East Village River Walk has lots of murals, Luke’s Drug Mart on Fourth Street is a famous instagram spot thanks to the painted walls behind it and ContainR Park on Second Avenue is a pop up arts and culture hub with sculptures.
City by segway
Edmonton's River Valley is North America's largest urban park so what better way to explore it than on a Segway which lets visitors cover more ground in less time. Good thing too, because this park is huge, it’s part of the TransCanada Trail – the longest continuous trail in the world. The tour navigates the Chinese Gardens, crosses the mighty Saskatchewan river and wheels through the forest with stops to learn about Edmonton’s history and how the river was an important highway for the early fur traders and explorers.
Black Gold River Tours
This jet boat experience operates on the Saskatchewan River and is dedicated to raising environmental awareness as well as providing a hair raising ride. Guests can join a tour from Edmonton's Sir Wilfrid Laurier Park and it goes in all weathers - with a canopy and heater for comfort on colder days. The tour passes unique islands and invites guests to look for petrified wood, gold or driftwood along the unexplored rocky shoreline or relax on the sandy beaches as well as floating through the heart of Alberta's capital city.
Snow Valley Aerial Park is a free-standing high ropes course towering above Edmonton. The park features more than 100 routes, suspended at three different heights and of varying degrees of difficulty - categorized with either a green, blue or black marker like a ski hill. There’s everything from children’s challenges just off the ground to high-wire balancing acts for fearless adults. Of course it’s completely safe – you’re clipped in a harness.