In the summer, when it gets hot and you want to break out to the beach, it means a road trip.
The lakes are locked up by community associations and members with “lake access priveleges.” It all started 40 years ago with Lake Bonavista, a man made lake with access restricted to members of the subdivision immediately surround it.
Then there was Midnapore, Lake Chapparal, Sundance Lake, Arbor Lake, McKenzie Lake, Auburn Bay … all beautiful gorgeous lakes with sandy beaches that have access for those who live in the area – or have friends that live in the area.
If you want to have a lake experience living in Calgary, you have very few choices. Sikome Lake (photo at top) is in Fish Creek Provincial Park – but it’s only up for a few months every year and even then it’s been closed some seasons. Why do 20 000 people flock there on weekends? Because it’s pretty much the only game in town when it comes to public access beaches.
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Even checking Google to spot the spots of water in Calgary trying to find other places for Z to build sandcastles didnt work. After trying out Edworthy Park, Bowness Park, Glenmore Landing and others we came out with nothing but very rocky public access to the water. Even Sandy Beach is nothing more than a few metres of pebbly shore alongside the Elbow River.
No wonder on weekends so many campers make road trips to Sylvan Lake, The Kootenays or The Shuswap. It’s pretty much the only way to get your beach on in Calgary without a favour from a friend.