I love Calgary’s summers – warm days, cool evenings, no humidity, no bugs and big blue skies.
What’s not to love?
46 Minutes Took 4 Hours
Last Saturday, I took a bike ride to enjoy Calgary’s great urban outdoors along the south shore of the beautiful Bow River, to check out the reopened Harvie Passage.
It was a lovely ride - along the way I encountered the Nat Christie sculpture park, Shaw Millennium Park, Eau Claire Promenade, Prince’s Island Park, Eau Claire Plaza, Sien Lok Park, Riverwalk, East Village Plaza, St. Patrick’s Island, Fort Calgary Park, Calgary Zoo on St. George’s Island, Harvie Passage, Bow Habitat Station and Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. I am sure I missed something.
It is a 7-km ride that Google Maps says should take 23 minutes each way - it took me four hours round trip.
Shaw Millennium Park
Harvie Passage Fun
Harvie Passage has both a Class 2 and Class 3 rapids for public use.
- Eastern (river left) passage: This is considered a Class 3 passage. This passage should not be used by inexperienced or less-experienced boaters as the risk is significant. Experienced boaters should still exercise caution while navigating this passage.
- Western (river right) passage: This is a Class 2 passage. The waters are slower moving; however, caution is still required when navigating through this passage.
There are also opportunities for less-experiences boaters to exit the river before the passage and portage the major water features.
Additional benefits of the project include the new shoreline spaces along the passage that have been developed for people wishing to enjoy the beauty of the Bow River from land. There are tree-lined walkways and pebble beach areas for the public.
The passage recently opened up after being destroyed by the 2013 flood.
Bow River Living
Since the mid '90s new condos have been completed every few years along the Bow River from West Downtown to East Village. It is hard to believe that in the mid 20th century the Bow River's shoreline was almost completely ignored as a place to live and play - both Eau Claire and East Village were best known for their prostitute strolls.
This ride confirmed my view that Calgary has ONE of the best and most unique urban river edges in the world. I love the fact that it has three outdoor concert venues, while at the same time has numerous lovely places to be alone and just sit and relax. I love that it is a place where locals of all ages and means can bike, skate, board, fish, surf, float and paddle. It is an urban recreational paradise.
Yes some cities might have more touristy restaurants, bars and hotels, including floating ones along their river, but I love the fact our river isn’t “tarted-up” for tourists.
And it is getting better every year!