As we emerge out of our quarantine routines like butterflies from our cocoons, the warm sun shines on our beautiful Bow River. At the Paddle Station, we offer rafts, kayaks, and stand-up paddle boards so that you can see our magnificent city of Calgary through a new perspective, with a hassle-free experience! This month, we want to take some time to acknowledge some hidden gems to spot while floating down the Bow this summer.
When you float with us, your raft, kayak or SUP and safety equipment will be waiting for you riverside, like a chariot, to whisk you off onto the river... and off you go, waving goodbye to our crew at our start location at Shouldice Park. The right side of the river offers an alluring view of the east side of Edworthy Park. At this point of the float, it’s hard to believe that you’re in a city! Edworthy Park is one of many of Calgary’s natural environments, filled with dense woods, picnic areas and the Douglas Fir Trail. The forest is filled with Douglas firs, a tree that stands fairly anomalously in Calgary since it is typically only found on the humid coasts.
As you keep floating down, the continuity of nature surrounds you until the gorgeous Calgary skyline suddenly peeks out at you as you pass under the Crowchild Trail bridge. You will capture views of some remarkable buildings that are integral parts of Calgary’s culture, including the Bow, a skyscraper well-known for its renowned architecture.
Soon you will reach Kensington, one of Calgary’s oldest communities which is home to many local businesses. One, being our good friends at Hotel Arts! The hotel is a comfortable, yet luxurious place to stay in the heart of Calgary. Whether you are visiting Calgary or planning your next stay-cation, Hotel Arts will have you feeling luxurious with their lush interior and delightful amenities!
Just as you pass Kensington, stay left and keep your eyes open for the 10th Street rapids on the far right, under the bridge! On a sunny day, you may even catch a glimpse of some surfers enjoying the waves. Remember to give them a heads up before you pass by!
Immediately after 10th , grab your cameras from your dry-bags because you will be encountering one of our favourite and most photo-worthy areas of the river: the Peace Bridge! The beautiful red walking bridge has been a site treasured by Calgarians since it’s opening in 2012.
Your ride with us will end on St. Patrick’s Island, walking distance to three of Calgary’s prominent communities: East Village, Inglewood, and Bridgeland. These communities are filled with brilliant art, good eats, and some incredible Calgarians! When you finish your float, we recommend crossing the George C. King bridge to grab a bite at Sidewalk Citizen located in the Simmons building. The bakery is sure to satisfy your post-river-exploring cravings whether they’re sweet or savoury!
When you float with the Paddle Station, we do all the hard work so that you can fully experience the lively river that runs through the city. Book your river experience now to make this summer one to remember. We hope to see you soon!