Planet-Friendly Fun: 10 Best Eco-Friendly Activities in Calgary

11 Min Read

Welcome to Calgary, where sustainability meets adventure in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. In this article, we're delving into Calgary's eco-friendly offerings, uncovering the best activities that allow you to connect with nature while respecting the environment.

You can explore Calgary's natural wonders responsibly, there's something for everyone. From hiking in pristine wilderness areas and biking along scenic pathways to supporting local eco-conscious businesses and participating in community clean-up events, Calgary offers a wealth of eco-friendly experiences.

Join us as we embark on a journey to discover the city's hidden eco-gems, where every activity is not just about having fun but also about preserving the beauty of our planet for future generations. So, grab your reusable water bottle and your sense of adventure, and let's explore the best eco-friendly activities that Calgary has to offer, one sustainable step at a time.

1. Go for a Bike Ride

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Exploring Calgary on a bike is one of the best eco-friendly activities you can enjoy. The city boasts over 1,000 kilometers of pathways and bikeways, making it incredibly bike-friendly.

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Start your journey at the scenic Bow River Pathway, which offers stunning views of the river and the city skyline. This route is perfect for a relaxed ride, allowing you to soak in Calgary's natural beauty while staying active.

For a more adventurous experience, head over to Fish Creek Provincial Park. It's one of the largest urban parks in Canada and offers a mix of paved and gravel trails that weave through forests and along streams.

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If you're interested in discovering local culture and markets, pedal your way to Inglewood.

This historic neighborhood is full of charm and offers unique shops, cafes, and the bustling Crossroads Market. It's a great way to combine exercise with a bit of local flavor.

Or explore Calgary on guided Food Bike Tours. This unique two-wheeled adventure lets you sightsee the city's natural landscapes, discover authentic stories from local businesses, and enjoy delicious food along the way!

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2. Go for a Hike

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Hiking in Calgary is a fantastic way to enjoy nature while staying eco-friendly. The city is surrounded by beautiful parks and trails that cater to all levels of hikers. One of the top spots to explore is Nose Hill Park, located in the northwest part of Calgary.

This natural environment park is surrounded by 12 residential communities, making it easily accessible. With its expansive grassy areas and panoramic views of the city and the Rocky Mountains, Nose Hill Park is perfect for a refreshing walk or a vigorous hike.

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For those looking for a scenic, longer hike, the Glenmore Reservoir Loop is a great choice. This trail offers beautiful views of the water and surrounding greenery.

It's ideal for a half-day adventure, but if you're short on time, you can easily enjoy a portion of the path for an hour or two. The trail is well-maintained and provides a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

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Another excellent option is the Douglas Fir Trail at Edworthy Park. This trail offers a more rugged hiking experience with its forested paths and stunning views of the Bow River.

It's perfect for an afternoon adventure without needing to leave the city limits.

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3. Visit Calgary Zoo

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A trip to the Calgary Zoo is a must for anyone seeking eco-friendly activities in the city. The zoo is dedicated to wildlife conservation and education, making it a fantastic destination for families and nature enthusiasts alike.

One of the highlights is the "Wild Canada" exhibit, where you can explore seven of Canada’s ecological zones. This immersive experience showcases the diversity and interconnectedness of people, animals, and the land.

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From the massive habitats to the impressive 12-inch-wide paw prints of the polar bears, the "Wild Canada" exhibit is all about making a BIG impression.

Even the smallest creatures have significant roles to play, emphasizing the importance of every species in our ecosystem. It's a perfect way to learn about wildlife while feeling a deep connection to the natural world.

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The zoo also focuses on sustainable practices, such as using renewable energy and supporting global conservation efforts. This commitment ensures that your visit contributes positively to the planet.

As you wander through the zoo, you'll encounter a variety of animals, from majestic tigers to playful penguins, all in environments designed to mimic their natural habitats.

Location: Calgary Zoo - Google Maps

4. Visit the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary

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The Inglewood Bird Sanctuary is a delightful urban oasis in Calgary, perfect for anyone interested in eco-friendly activities. This wetland park offers a serene escape right in the heart of the city, providing a haven for wildlife and a peaceful retreat for visitors.

Bird-watching is a popular activity here, with over 270 bird species spotted throughout the year.

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The sanctuary features well-maintained trails that wind through diverse landscapes, including wetlands, forests, and grasslands. These trails are ideal for a leisurely stroll as you take in the sights and sounds of nature.

Along the way, you'll find plenty of picnic tables, making it a great spot for a relaxing lunch surrounded by the tranquility of the sanctuary.

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For those looking to combine their visit with a bit of cycling, there's a biking path that connects the sanctuary to downtown Calgary.

This offers a unique way to explore different parts of the city while staying active and eco-conscious.

Location: Inglewood Bird Sanctuary - Google Maps

5. Participate in Outdoor Yoga Classes in City Parks

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Calgary's city parks offer an ideal setting for outdoor yoga classes, allowing you to connect with nature while enhancing your well-being. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced yogi, practicing yoga in the fresh air brings a unique sense of tranquility and grounding.

Many parks throughout the city host yoga sessions, providing a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

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One of the most exciting variations of outdoor yoga in Calgary is Goat Yoga. Yes, you read that right! Goat Yoga combines traditional yoga practice with the playful presence of goats.

These friendly animals roam around as you move through your poses, adding an element of fun and surprise to your practice. It's a fantastic way to experience yoga with a twist, bringing joy and laughter to your routine.

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Regular outdoor yoga classes are also available in various city parks. These sessions often take place in scenic locations like Prince's Island Park and Riley Park, offering beautiful backdrops as you stretch and breathe.

Practicing yoga outside not only enhances your physical health but also helps clear your mind and rejuvenate your spirit.

Location: Calgary Outdoor Yoga - Google Maps

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6. Go Kayaking, Paddleboarding or Rafting

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For water enthusiasts, Calgary offers fantastic options for kayaking, paddleboarding, and rafting. The Glenmore Reservoir is a prime spot for these activities, providing a scenic and serene environment.

At the Paddle Station, you can easily rent equipment and get started with minimal hassle. The staff is known for being friendly and helpful, ensuring a smooth experience from start to finish.

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Kayaking and paddleboarding on the reservoir are perfect for both beginners and seasoned adventurers. The calm waters and beautiful surroundings make it an ideal place to relax and enjoy nature.

For those seeking a bit more excitement, rafting down the Bow River offers a thrilling way to explore the city from a unique perspective.

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These activities are not only fun but also environmentally friendly, promoting outdoor recreation and appreciation for Calgary's natural beauty.

7. Go on a Walking Tour

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Exploring Calgary on foot is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the city's vibrant culture and history while enjoying some eco-friendly fun.

Walking tours offer a personal and engaging way to discover Calgary's hidden gems, architecture, and historical landmarks.

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One highly recommended option is the Toonie Tours walking tour. Guides like Joshua bring the city to life with their extensive knowledge and fascinating stories about Calgary's hot spots.

From architectural marvels to intriguing historical facts, these tours provide a comprehensive overview of what makes Calgary unique.

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For a more interactive adventure, consider joining a walking tour with Outside Adventures. This experience combines exploration with a scavenger hunt, leading you through Calgary's streets as you solve clues and uncover the city's hidden art, historical sites, and local eateries.

It's a fantastic way to see the city from a different perspective and engage in some friendly competition.

Location: Toonie Tours - Google Maps

8. Try Axe Throwing

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For a unique and exhilarating eco-friendly activity in Calgary, give axe throwing a try. It's a fun and engaging way to spend time with friends or family while embracing your adventurous side.

Venues like The Shooting Edge offer a welcoming and well-maintained space for this exciting pastime.

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Axe throwing is surprisingly accessible, even for beginners. Expert coaches, like Josh at The Shooting Edge, ensure you have a safe and enjoyable experience.

They provide thorough safety instructions and offer tips and tricks to help you improve your aim. The friendly staff and clean facilities create a comfortable environment, making it easy to focus on perfecting your throw.

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This activity isn't just about throwing axes; it's also about the camaraderie and friendly competition that come with it.

The Shooting Edge even offers a variety of axes to try, adding a fun twist to your experience. Plus, they have a good selection of beers, making it a perfect spot for a relaxed and entertaining outing.

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9. Enjoy a Meal at Farm-To-Table Restaurants

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For a truly eco-friendly dining experience in Calgary, visit one of the city's renowned farm-to-table restaurants.

Chefs N Farmers and NOtaBLE are two standout options that offer delicious, locally-sourced meals in a welcoming atmosphere.

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At Chefs N Farmers, the emphasis is on fresh, seasonal ingredients sourced directly from local farms. The owners are known for their friendly demeanor, and the menu features a variety of mouth-watering dishes. Start with their flavorful tacos, which are juicy and packed with taste, making them a perfect light snack.

For the main course, the steak au poivre is a must-try, cooked to perfection and complemented by a rich pan pepper sauce. The blackened salmon is another highlight, expertly prepared and paired with a fantastic pan sauce. Don't forget to save room for dessert—the lavender blackberry crème brûlée comes highly recommended and is a delightful end to your meal.

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NOtaBLE offers a similarly impressive farm-to-table dining experience. Known for its warm, inviting atmosphere, this restaurant takes pride in its sustainably sourced ingredients.

The menu features a variety of delicious options, with the patio being an added bonus for those who enjoy dining al fresco. It's also dog-friendly, with staff providing water bowls for your furry friends.

10. Check Some Art Galleries

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Exploring art galleries in Calgary is a delightful way to immerse yourself in the city's vibrant cultural scene while supporting eco-friendly initiatives.

Many of these galleries focus on contemporary and modern art, offering a diverse range of installations, paintings, sculptures, and interactive pieces.

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One highly recommended gallery for modern art enthusiasts showcases an impressive variety of art forms. Despite its modest size, it features an eclectic collection that captivates visitors.

The best part? Admission is free, making it an accessible and budget-friendly option for everyone. This gallery is perfect for those who appreciate thought-provoking art in an intimate setting.

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Another notable venue is a combined art gallery and furniture store that doubles as an event space. On weekends, you might catch special events like intimate evenings with local artists and musicians, adding a unique touch to your visit.

The venue itself is stunning, with beautifully curated art and furnishings that are both visually appealing and functional. It’s a fantastic place not only to view and purchase art but also to find exquisite pieces for your home.

To Sum It All Up

Calgary is full of eco-friendly activities that make exploring the city both fun and sustainable.

 From biking through scenic pathways and hiking in expansive parks to visiting the Calgary Zoo and enjoying farm-to-table dining, there's something for everyone. Whether you're paddling on the Glenmore Reservoir, practicing yoga in the park, or throwing axes, each activity offers a unique way to connect with nature and support green initiatives.

Checking out art galleries, participating in walking tours, and visiting the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary add even more variety to your eco-conscious adventures. By choosing these planet-friendly activities, you're not only having a great time but also contributing to a more sustainable future.

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