Edmonton...On a Student's Budget - Outdoor Activities

Take advantage of the warm outdoors during the summer in Alberta's Capital City. Trust us, these great activities will help you make the most of your summer!

1.     Canoe or Kayak on the North Saskatchewan River

Photo credit: City of Edmonton

Enjoy Edmonton from the views below the bridges by canoeing or kayaking along the North Saskatchewan River, which weaves through the centre of the city. Boat tour companies can rent out boats to you, but local stores also rent equipment out, sometimes for cheaper.

Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC)’s Edmonton location’s rentals start at $30/day.

Most tour companies rent boats out for $100/day, which also includes transport of both the boat and yourself.

Price: $30+

2.     Walk Along the River Valley and UAlberta Campus

Photo credit: City of Edmonton

At 7, 400 hectares, Edmonton’s “urban parkland” is 22 times larger than New York City’s Central Park! The University of Alberta’s main campus curves along the edge of the gorgeous River Valley, right across the water from the Alberta Legislature Building and Downtown. Covered in numerous biking and walking trails, it’s easy and fun to spend an afternoon outdoors.

Tip: After your walk, you can get on the Street Car and take it across the river, right to the Legislature Building.

Price: Free; Street Car: $6.00

3.     Hawrelak Park

Photo credit: City of Edmonton

Hawrelak Park is a classic Edmonton attraction. A large nature park in the River Valley, Hawrelak is fantastic for relaxing in the outdoors. Bike trails along the river connect the park to multiple landmarks and other parks. The large lake in the middle of the park rents out paddle boats for on-the-water fun, with a mini golf course off to the side. Picnic sites and shelters are available for reservation for camp fire roasts and Frisbee games, or simply come to play a sport with friends or relax on the grass.

Price: Free; Paddleboat Rental: $6-10; Mini Golf Admission: $7.00

4.    Farmer's Market

Photo credit: City of Edmonton

Edmonton weekends often feature numerous Farmers’ Markets, the most popular being the City Market Downtown and the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market, both open all day Saturday until 3 pm, all year round. Even if you’re not there to buy anything, both Markets feature lots to see and do!

The Farmers’ Market in Old Strathcona occupies a large building just off Whyte Ave, near the River Valley. Containing over 130 vendors, the market sells everything from homemade crafts, local meats, and fresh baked goods to organic produce and fruit.

The City Market Downtown was named National Geographic’s Best Farmers’ Market in 2013, and it just keeps getting better. In addition to having more than 150 vendors, the market also features local buskers who provide entertainment while you explore.

Price: Free Entrance; Cost of products vary

5.     Elk Island National Park

Photo credit: City of Edmonton

35 kilometers east of Edmonton, Elk Island National Park is a beautiful protected Aspen parkland. A 40 minutes’ drive from campus, the Park is perfect for easy, low-terrain hikes, picturesque gatherings, nearby campgrounds, and wildlife sightings. Woods and Plains Bison reside in the park and will often graze close to trails and roads. Hikes take you across lakes and through forests, giving you prime conditions to spot local birds, beavers, muskrats, and maybe even a moose. In the nighttime, the stars shine brightly away from the City’s light pollution creating perfect conditions for seeing the Northern Lights.

Entrance into the Park requires admission for each person, or you can purchase and use an Annual Pass, which is transferable among all National Parks across the country.

Price: Adult Admission: $7.80; Annual Adult Pass: $39.20; Annual Group Pass: $98.10



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Article by Maryn Sommerfeldt

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