Get outside this summer (even if you hate exercise like me)

Last summer, I was the laziest couch potato that there ever was. Between two jobs, working on starting a website, and generally wanting to have a calm summer, I did not go outside as much as I wanted to. It’s not really about exercising, although getting outside and walking does have it’s benefits, but rather to not feel so lethargic and tired all the time. Really, I like the idea of going outside and exploring, checking out my city in places I’ve never been before, and spending time with people I care about (mainly my girlfriend, who likes walking and hiking more than me).

This summer, I’ve started making a list of easy hikes and walks in and around Calgary that I want to check out, because it’s something I’ve never done regularly before. I’m a beginner, and the first thing I searched when looking for spots was “very easy beginner children hikes for slow easy beginners”. If you’re like me, you should check out some of the spots I look forward to visiting this summer, or have already been to. The summer in Calgary is short, so it’s fun to spend some time outside while you can.

Fish Creek Park - South Calgary

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia. 

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia. 

Here’s a spot that I’ve already visited twice this spring. I went to two different entrances of the park, and walked along rivers, pathways, small trails that park-goers have made through the trees, and up some small hills. If you want to get away from the city in the city, this is a great place to do it. I feel like my definition of nature is much less nuanced than some, and as long as I can’t see the suburbs, I think it’s a cool walk.

Bowmont Park - Northwest Calgary

Photo courtesy of Michael Gil on Flickr. 

Photo courtesy of Michael Gil on Flickr. 

Here’s another within-city-limits hiking/walking area. I haven’t been here yet, but one of the things that attracted me is the designated walking paths. Yes, they’ve built wood stairs and pathways for us - rejoice! It’s what some people call an “urban hike” and it’s very accessible. You’re able to have an easy walk through some sparse trees and grassy fields and even hike to Waterfall Valley, which is just a few small waterfalls that feed into the Bow River.

Grassi Lakes - Canmore

Photo courtesy of davebloggs007 on Flickr. 

Photo courtesy of davebloggs007 on Flickr. 

You’ll have to drive about 1 hour and 15 minutes outside of Calgary for this one, but you won’t be disappointed. There’s a reason this hike is so popular - it’s easy, and it’s beautiful. The tourism sight describes it as “the perfect family hike” which means that children can do it, so I can too. It has two trails, the easy one described as a gradual incline to the lake, with an awesome view that will make you happy you did it.

Mount Lorette Ponds - Kananaskis Country

Photo courtesy of davebloggs007 on Flickr. 

Photo courtesy of davebloggs007 on Flickr. 

Kananaskis Country is filled with hikes, and from what I’ve researched, some beautiful and most importantly easy hikes and walks. This trail is super easy and mainly flat, heading around the two ponds and giving walkers a spectacular view of Mount Lorette. This one is about an hour outside of Calgary, and worth the drive. Don’t forget to pack a picnic lunch!

Emerald Lake - Yoho National Park

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia. 

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia. 

This hike is about 2 hours and 30 minutes outside of Calgary, so it’s best to make this a day trip deep in the summer. The view is beautiful, and you can definitely find more to do in the summer, like canoeing or floating in a raft. It’s best to go when the weather is hottest so that you can go for a dip in the usually very cold water. The hike itself was described on Hiking with Barry as a “relatively flat and easy hike”, which as you know by now, is what I’m about.

I hope you can get some joy out of these walks and hikes, and if you do any of them, let us know if they were good. If you’re a seasoned hiker, comment some of the easy (and I mean EASY) trails that you think I would like to do this season.