Over the past few years there has been a surge in low-impact travel as we search for ways to visit beautiful places but doing so in a sustainable manner. As an eco-conscious traveller, I try to spend my trips in the outdoors on foot or bike, but in the past year I’ve added in an electric vehicle to propel me to these active destinations.
Flow is the one word that best describes my recent trip to Lethbridge. Each of my activities was connected by it, from finding the calming flow of my thoughts at Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens to chasing the flow of the Oldman River during my mountain bike ride and trail run. The analogy seemed appropriate too, for the current of electricity that charged my car at new Peaks To Prairies high-speed charger.
The trail dips and dives through the coulee, along the heaving banks above the mighty Oldman River, and I've got to have my “A” game. One wrong turn, one tactical error, and I'll have a close encounter with thistle and sage. Or, worse, prickly pear cacti. Or, much worse, a deep ravine. The trail could be anywhere in southern Alberta, I suppose. But the backdrop – the longest and highest trestle bridge in the world – is a dead giveaway.
Halfway down Turtle Mountain both my legs and lungs started sending signals to my brain that something wasn't quite right. Call it fatigue. Lactic acid build-up. Over exertion. They’d all apply. And, given the fact this hike required 740 metres of elevation gain (and subsequent loss!), this “negativity” wasn’t all that surprising. But, just like my entire tour through the Crowsnest Pass, in the end, the “positivity” was off the charts.
My instructions were clear and concise. At 6:30 a.m. be at the front gate. “We've only got one chance at this,” said Brad Bustard, owner of Thanksgiving Lodge & Ranch, an idyllic Alberta ranch located approximately 20 minutes outside of Pincher Creek. “When I open the gate, 1,600 head of cattle are going to make their move. The entire herd will be on the move. You need to be there and have your camera gear ready.” I obeyed the instructions. And had one of the best mornings of photography I've ever had.
A ZenSeekers' road trip isn't complete unless you visit Crowsnest Pass. Check out this amazing itinerary to get you started.
Our itinerary has you using Pincher Creek as your hub for foraging for feasts at farmers markets and fishing holes..
A ZenSeekers' road trip to Lethbridge isn't complete unless you’ve stepped off the beaten path to experience fun new adventures. Our itinerary has you using Lethbridge as your hub for fun for cycling and exploring on foot.
A cool craft brewery specializing in awesome ales? Check. A list of thriving artisan coffee shops loaded with local treats? Check. Hot and tasty Latin cuisine? Check. Yes, for me, downtown Medicine Hat was well on its way to checking all the right boxes.
As the sun dipped below the western horizon, the cloud-streaked sky turned crimson red. And as I sat on a fire-red boulder, a concretion, to be exact – to soak it all in. The summer heat, the energy, at Red Rock Coulee was coming to a close. But, thankfully, my awesome adventure in and around Medicine Hat were far from over.
A ZenSeekers' road trip isn't complete unless the destinations include a slow day to explore the pulse of the city. We found that in a walkable route through downtown Medicine Hat.
A ZenSeekers' road trip isn't complete unless the destinations include outdoor adventures, and boy-oh-boy, did we find it in Medicine Hat.
Surrounded by prairies, historical sites, and the Rocky Mountains, Pincher Creek often gets left out of a traveller's itinerary. That can happen when there are so many beautiful sites nearby – like Alberta’s newest provincial park – Castle Wildland. You just have to walk around town, talk to the locals, look a little deeper, and you’ll be in the know.
Use your horseless carriage to visit the World's finest museum of horse-drawn carriages
It’s been a few years since I lived in “The Hat” as we used to call it. So, when the chance came along to go back and experience Medicine Hat on a brewery tour, I was pretty excited. It would be interesting to see how much the city has changed. One thing’s for sure, there weren’t any craft brewers like Hell’s Basement Brewery and Medicine Hat Brewing Co around when I lived there. Today, they’re putting the small southern Alberta city on the international craft beer map.
It’s often the little things that make the heart grow fonder in relationships, but that, I discovered, can also apply to your old home city. I recently made a return visit to Medicine Hat where I hadn’t lived in more than two decades only to find the city had changed – a lot.
The term “hidden gem” is used to describe something that is outstanding and but not necessarily obvious to most people. That’s what I wanted to learn about Medicine Hat, so I met up with Attiya Fune and her parents to explore the city and learn about the more off-the-beaten-path places for visitors.
One pedal stroke after another, we work our mountain bikes to the top of Old Baldy Trail in Cypress Hills Provincial Park. The climb is less than a kilometre but we are rewarded with stunning views of Elkwater Lake below, shimmering in the late-afternoon light and embraced by thick forests around it.
A lake in southeastern Alberta is a pretty rare thing, especially one this size where you can boat, water-ski, kayak - and swim. The number of water activities is as long as an Alberta summer day.
Not sure what I expected when I selected Level 2 on the power mode switch. Helmet strapped on, I took my first pedal stroke and with a surprising burst of energy my electric assist mountain bike burst to life. Now that’s more like it.
This was going to be a fun way to tour the Crowsnest Pass area, which borders on Alberta's newest protected area - Castle Wildland Provincial Park.
Rolling prairie hills and grasslands abruptly give way to the montane forest and mountains of the Canadian Rockies as we drive westbound. The Castle wilderness almost appeared as a line across the land where it was decided the prairie would become towering mountains. It was here drove into, Castle Provincial Park.
Southern Alberta has so much to explore. Grab an awesome itinerary here.
Learn how the oil industry came to be in Alberta. Take a walk through time with this awesome trip planner.
Castle Provincial Park is full of adventure for any and everyone. Learn more here.
Splish, splash and have an incredible time in Lethbridge with this awesome itinerary.
Lethbridge is home to some incredibly cool areas to explore. Learn about 5 ways to enjoy the city.
It's hard not to think back to the "old west" days when driving through the coulees of Lethbridge. They're almost like a canyon cutting through the prairies, dry and rugged, with rattlesnakes and scorpions on the lam. I can see the odd cactus still holding on to their spring flowers.
Our two-day itinerary has you using Pincher Creek as your hub for winter activities.
Crowsnest Pass is a region that has been home to the Piikani and Ktunaxa First Nations dating back 10,000 years. Alberta’s Southwest region, and specifically the region of the Crowsnest, is home to the most concentrated collection of First Nations Archeological sites – over 380 of them. It’s also home to Canada’s largest mining disasters, which is now a tourist attraction that welcomes over 100,000 people each year to experience this massive rock slide.
Hook yourself into Lake Newell for the chance to land yourself a new way to achieve winter zen. In this story, we take to the ice to see if we can hook some lunch during our ice fishing adventure.
Enjoy the great outdoors on the ice at Lake Newell and try your hand at ice fishing, then head to Brooks to enjoy the craft beer and coffee scene.
Get to know Canada’s sunniest city filled with cafes, breweries and a winter wilderness only minutes away
Downtown Medicine Hat is a delightful mix of old and new with restored historic buildings and vibrant murals brightening brick walls. Eateries and pubs celebrate Medicine Hat’s rich history with equally colourful names.
Pincher Creek, AB – Shortly after 10 a.m. on a frosty, fresh-powder morning, we reach the newly-marked trailhead for the Drywood Creek recreation area in Castle Provincial Park. Not surprisingly, we have the parking lot to ourselves.
If you are heading to Pincher Creek over the next several weeks to get in some great snowshoeing at Castle Provincial Park, pad some time in to visit both Frank Slide and Head Smashed-in Buffalo Jump while you are in the area.
Our two-day historic tour takes you to some of Southern Alberta’s most spectacular historical sites, but one thing is missing – the summer-time crowds. The centres are yours to explore at a leisurely pace.