What to Know Before Boating Calgary’s Bow River

What to Know Before Boating Calgary’s Bow River
What to Know Before Boating Calgary’s Bow River

The sky is blue, but you’re not. And that’s because you’re planning to cruise Calgary’s Bow River this summer!

Before you pack your bags, however, there are a few things you should be aware of. From where to get a raft to access points, here’s what you need to know before you go!

Rental of rafts

Do you have a canoe, kayak or raft made of polyester, nylon or coated with synthetic rubber? Congratulations! You have a head start.

The rest of you will need something sturdy to get you safely from point A to point B. An air mattress or a giant inflatable swan will not do.

Below you will find a number of places where you can borrow everything from life jackets and boats to paddles.

Lazy Day Raft Rental

When: book now
Where: 720 – 3rd Street NW, Calgary
Cost: €39+

Sports rental

When: book now
Where: 4424 16 Ave NW Calgary
Cost: $60+

The paddle station

When: book now
Where: 5227 – 13 Avenue NW, Calgary
Cost: €59+

What you need to bring?

Once you have reserved your rental car, there are a few things you will need to pack in your bag.

Our advice? Take water, some snacks, sunscreen, phone, wallet, keys and a change of clothes in a waterproof bag, plus a few emergency items.

Sports Rent actually has a great checklist of items, but what are the most important? A whistle, a throw bag with a rope, and an umbrella or tarp in case of rain.

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Access points

All packed? Now it’s time to go! We recommend having two cars and parking one vehicle at one end and the other at a trailhead.

The city of Calgary has a great map showing the best places to start, but here are a few popular places to start:

Carburn Park

Where: 67 Riverview Drive SE, Calgary


Where: 5050 Spruce Drive SW, Calgary

Stanley Park

Where: 4011 1a St SW, Calgary

Sue Higgins Park

Where: Southland Drive SE & Deerfoot Trail, Calgary


Be smart, be safe!

As explained on the city’s website, all passengers MUST wear a life jacket while cruising the Bow River, so be sure to bring one with you when you rent your raft.

What else should you pay attention to?

Alcohol is not allowed, so leave your craft beers and ciders at home. And if it starts raining, the city recommends pulling over, even if you’re prepared.

If you have any other questions about what you can and cannot do while boating on the Bow River, check out the City of Calgary website here!

As always, the heat can come and go in the blink of an eye, so keep an eye on the forecast!

There’s nothing better than cruising on Calgary’s Bow River when the temperatures rise, so enjoy the sunshine.

It’s going to be a long, hot and spicy season.