August signals the end of summer. The Gauntlet came up with seven cost-effective ways to get outside and soak up the last of the sun.
Rafting down the Bow
The University of Calgary Outdoor Centre rents an eight-person raft for $75 and life jackets for $3, chalking up a day of rafting to $13 per person, tax included — not bad for a day on the Bow. Additionally, U of C students get a 10 per cent discount every time, as well as $25 off your first rental. In other words, get three newbies together and the raft is free.
Douglas Fir Trail
One of the lesser-known gems of the city, this trail is one of Calgary’s best urban hikes. Located in Edworthy Park, the path offers dense trees and a well-maintained trail, including sections of boardwalk and stairs. It’s an ideal path for joggers and novice hikers.
Canmore to Banff bike ride
An accessible and cost-free trip, the trail offers gorgeous views of the Rockies. There is an 18-kilometre loop for a shorter trip, and a 26-kilometre route for more ambitious riders. Despite the national park’s mountainous terrain, the path itself offers a level and steady ride, making it a great excursion for cyclists of varying abilities.
Calgary is full of outdoor courts, but short on summer weather. Get out to the U of C courts (behind the Oval and in the tennis courts), Dalhousie courts (across the bridge from the train) or at your nearest community centre while you still can. Our favourite is Shaw Millennium Park, which attracts athletes of varying skill levels.
Yoga in the park
Align your chakras for free every Sunday at 1 p.m. in Stanley Park. Bring your own yoga mat and optional donation to kiva.org, a non-profit organization that works to alleviate world poverty.
Take advantage of the expansive space and summer weather at Bowness Park. All you need is a frisbee, football, bocce set or any other equipment for your activity of choice. After working up a sweat in the summer sun, cool off with a quick dip in the Bow and refuel with a barbecue.
Create your own adventure
Finally, if you are feeling adventurous, you can plan your own trip. The Outdoor Centre is one of the university’s greatest resources, providing cheap gear rentals or tours for dozens of outdoor expeditions, including hang-gliding, caving, scuba diving, river kayaking, backpacking and mountain biking. Whether you just need to get the gear and get out or whether you need a little guidance on your first trip, check them out for cheap adventures.