Outdoors

Canoeing
Photographer
Jeff Bartlett

Outdoors

Western Canada is blessed with the kind of places that outdoors lovers will never tire of. The Rockies will leave you feeling at once small amid the epic landscape, but also stronger when you challenge yourself to hike that mountain, ski that new run or paddle those glacier-fed lakes. In B.C's Okanagan, you'll be tempted to stand-up paddle board on lakes, fish in mountain streams or pedal your way along an old rail track called the Kettle Valley Trail.  The province's north is a place in equal measure peaceful and wild with its backcountry parks where you paddle glassy lakes amid towering snow-capped peaks, bald eagles soaring overhead. And when you hit the serenity and edge of the world feeling along the west coast you'll know you've arrived in a special place. The mystical First Nations lands draw you in to its ancient stories and a landscape where in one day you could easily spy a black bear and her cubs searchig for salmon along a shore, or an orca's spray creating a rainbow of mist under a sunny sky. Best view yet is from a kayak, of course. It all adds up to experiences that will make you look at Canada in a whole new light. 

As the sun dipped below the western horizon, the cloud-streaked sky turned crimson red. To the north and south, shades of pink, purple, and orange added some extra warmth to the final glow.

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.

It’s incredible when you start to think about how many different activities involve water. That might be skiing or snowboarding in the winter, to paddle boarding, kayaking or flyboarding in the summer. What is Flyboarding? If you guessed snowboarding and flying, you are right. But now the question is, are you ready to try it?

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 think of Lethbridge, Alberta I recall my time there with endless memories. Driving from Calgary to Lethbridge and shaving off time by going the “Granum” way, living on the West Side, wearing Von Dutch hats while strutting through the halls of the University.

How did a community in central-east Alberta score a manmade lake that would go on to make the region a prime spot for a Provincial Park?

Crane Lake, M.D. of Bonnyville - We all know we need more happy in our lives and you can find it on the lakes within the M.D. of Bonnyville.

It’s not every day that someone can paddle their way around history. But you can in Lac La Biche, home to one of Canada’s most unique provincial parks, Sir Winston Churchill Park, Alberta’s only campground that is on an island.

When you think of Cranbrook, what likely comes to mind is the Rocky Mountains and all of the adventures to be had, but getting out on the water is one of the most popular pastimes in the East Kootenays.

I looked at the notes I jotted down about my first fly fishing experience: “Chili” was the first comment. The second was: “Squishy."