Enjoying the water while the temperature is still warm! If you are new to the city, here are some of our favorite watersport spots for beginners.

Glenmore Reservoir Kayaking: A Great Place to Start Learning Water Sports

The Glenmore Reservoir is a great way to get out on the water for a morning or afternoon. There are three access points you can launch your kayak from: the Calgary Canoe Club, Heritage Park and Glenmore Sailing School. Bylaws include no pets allowed on boats, no inflatable boats permitted and no power motors permitted.


The majority of Calgary's drinking water comes from the Glenmore reservoir; and thus the Bylaws of the City of Calgary must be followed. Boating is only permitted between May 1 and October 31. There will be no drinking of alcoholic beverages or swimming in the reservoir. You should also consider the season; sometimes the park is closed for various reasons, so make sure you check this before embarking on your excursion. There could be an abundance of huge floating and semi-submerged debris in the reservoir, producing hazardous conditions.


Elbow River


While in past years Elbow River has been a popular destination for canoeing and kayaking, one common thing we are hearing this year is concerns of the water quality.


The Elbow River is a shallow and slow moving river that runs through, and is influenced by, a dense urban area. Water quality can be influenced by a variety of factors including heavy rainfall, agriculture, storm water discharges, groundwater and high river flows. AHS will continue working with the City of Calgary to monitor river quality.The Elbow River is a shallow and slow moving river that runs through, and is influenced by, a dense urban area. Water quality can be influenced by a variety of factors including heavy rainfall, agriculture, storm water discharges, groundwater and high river flows. AHS will continue working with the City of Calgary to monitor river quality.


For a more beginner friendly location check out some of the smaller lakes in and around the city: Lake Chestermere offers an easy accessible space that is only a few minutes outside the city to the East.


Boy River Kayaking

Bow River

A family-friendly rafting and tourism activity that is among Canada's most popular urban excursions is the Bow River. For a water craft, the most popular forms are rafts, tubes, kayaks, and stand-up paddle boards. The City of Calgary provides excellent river navigation information for kayakers, rafters, and tubers who are out on the Bow River in late summer and early fall. Rental businesses such as Sports Rent, AQ Outdoors, and Lazy Day Raft Rentals all provide inflatable rafts for kayakers. River users in Calgary must meet a series of criteria set by the Fire Department, and you this should definitely be an option considered for intermediate users with some experience and awareness of water safety.


Items required for full functionality are shown with an asterisk: A river-appropriate watercraft that can accommodate your group's weight capacity, with the necessary life jackets and personal flotation devices for everyone on board, a mobile phone, drinking water, and sunscreen; also, have a bailer on board to deal with water within the watercraft. One of Calgary's most famous tourist attractions, the Bow River offers a sprawling expanse of a playground for the water savvy (Did you know there is a surfing spot on the Bow?). The CN Railway that runs beside and over the river seems like a steady handrail for the walker along the beautiful path. Being able to enjoy this fun outdoor sport right on our doorstep is a blessing. One of the greatest hurdles to overcome during your event is the process of setting up and taking down your group's equipment.


One popular destination is Lazy Day Raft Rentals: They provide an affordable and easy raft delivery service with a vehicle that picks up the rafts at your launch site. You'll also see more skilled kayakers and whitewater river surfers perfect their craft on the man-made rapids. Feel the thrill of adventure with your family this summer and check out our blog about Skyline Luge for a unique family activity.


Man Kayaking in Calgary

Feeling a bit more confident in your Kayaking Skills? It may be time to check out the amazing spots in the Rocky Mountains

There's unbeatable canoeing and kayaking opportunities across the province. In Banff, visit the Banff Canoe Club for rentals, advice and some fantastic paddling on the Bow River. In Jasper, stop at the historic Maligne Lake Boat House, rent a canoe, kayak or rowboat and paddle across the famous lake. In Waterton Lakes National Park, visit Blakiston & Company to get sorted out with canoe and kayak rentals.


Lake Miniwanka offers both waterfront campsites and motorised boats. Make sure to check the weather beforehand, while this spot is fairly easy to access it’s known for strong winds.


Lake Louise and Moraine Lake are small but breathtakingly beautiful, and if you go on a weekend when the parking lot is full and vehicles are parked on the road, they will waive you through to the parking lot if you have a boat on the roof.


Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park is also worth a visit. There are two backcountry campsites, one 11 kilometres and the other 21 kilometres from the boat launch. Tour boats are restricted to the centre of the lake and may only be propelled by electric engines or paddle and oar. The campsites fill up quickly, although there are a lot of cancellations. Because to the possibility of strong winds, stay close to the coast. Awe-inspiring scenery.

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