Floating down the Bow and Elbow Rivers is one of the most iconic summertime activities you can do in Calgary. But for so many of us, it can be annoying. Not the floating or rafting part, but the coordinating part. You need multiple cars, you need to buy or rent the rafts, then fill them with air, then after you have to deflate the rafts, then make your way back to the car. By the time you’re done, you’ve forgotten and how fun and relaxing the actual river part was.
So I was thrilled when I saw a new business was opening up on the Bow River called The Paddle Station. Basically, they do all the work for you. You can pick up a raft or kayak at Shouldice Park (for a longer ride) or Prince’s Island Park for a shorter ride, and float down the river with ease. Then, when you’re done, you get out at St. Patrick’s Island in the East Village and they take care of the rest for you! They even have shuttles that will take you back to your car.
There’s also the tourist element. There’s perhaps no better way to showcase the beauty of Calgary’s downtown skyline then from the Bow River, and figuring out the rafting situation would basically be impossible. So I’m super excited to hopefully see some tourists taking advantage of The Paddle Station this summer.
If you want to try it out, I definitely recommend the short trip from Prince’s Island Park to St. Patrick’s Island. It’s only thirty minutes, and the views from the Peace Bridge to the East Village are spectacular. My friend Alex and I made the trip and it was so easy and fun. I definitely recommend it!