Medicine Hat – Exploring the City with a Sustainable Footprint #BucketlistAB
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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.
When the opportunity to visit Medicine Hat came up I was excited, because I’d seen how the city is evolving into a community that embraces its natural beauty and outdoor activities. I visited last year and explored the changes in this place where I once lived, rekindling my love for the region. What a difference a year makes. I now see the infrastructure for electric vehicle charging stations popping up all around.
The chargers made my trip worry free, knowing I could top up the car with ease. My first stop when I drove into town was to visit Medicine Hat College where there is a solar- and wind-power generating research station tied into the high-speed EV charger. The nice thing about this location is that you can easily walk the nearby pathway to the Medicine Hat Visitor Centre and pick up one of the free rental bikes the city provides. Or you can take the new hop-on, hop-off Sunshine Trolley city tours and visit the world’s largest teepee and other city highlights. The trolley runs from May to October.
But first we hit Gravity Sports, a local bike shop that has been serving the area for years and is also the pickup location for the free mountain bike rentals the city provides. Dean Watkins, mechanic and local trail enthusiast, dialed me in on my rental bike and joined us on our ride. From downtown you can easily ride directly to Redcliff and hit the trails.
Once we reached the Redcliff trails I was blown away. I live in B.C., known for its loamy trails and giant forests, and I had a feeling this was going to be a very different kind of ride. All I can say is that this place is rad, with its flowy berms and technical descents. It kept me on my toes at every new turn. I felt like I was riding back into time, so strange are the ancient formations of the Badlands with its deep ravines and eroded cliffs. You could just imagine a dinosaur popping out behind the next corner. It’s a well-known fact that this area is a goldmine for ancient artifacts and dinosaur fossils.
Our ride left us ravenous and so we headed to Sabai Infusion for lunch. How the heck did they know Thai food is one of my favorites? As an unofficial aficionado of Thai food, this now counts among my favourites. With our bellies full, it was time to walk off the big meal and explore the city’s new murals, chosen at the Mural Festival this summer. The new works of art adorning the historic brick buildings shows The Hat's passion for melding the past with the future and I have to say they were impressive.
Our walk also took us to the Medicine Hat Public library outdoor space. Until recently, a giant outdoor chess set was installed but this summer an outdoor table tennis table was built. The metal frame of the table mimics the colour and shape of the historic steel structured, Finlay Bridge, crossing the South Saskatchewan in the distance behind it.
After a few rounds of play it was time to wrap up our day of riding and walking, always best capped with a visit to the local craft brewery. Checking out a few more murals along the way, we headed into Travois Ale Works. This is a locally owned brewery that feels so welcoming, kind of the same vibe I’d seen earlier in the day at the Station Coffee Co. A cool and fitting fact about Travois: the owners met while mountain biking, which after the day I had, made me smile.
Medicine Hat stoked my passion for the outdoors all day – from the community-minded businesses to the promotion by the city encouraging people to go human-powered. I’d say that energy is alive and well in “The Hat.”
Attention EV owners
Watch for the new Peaks To Prairies high-speed charger being installed this fall in Medicine Hat. The Peaks To Prairies is an electric vehicle charging initiative that will connect all the towns and cities throughout Southern Alberta. Finding your Alberta Zen destination in a sustainable low-impact manner has never been easier.
When You Go
Uncover all of the above #MedHat experiences to be had in one of Canada’s sunniest cities. Share what you find while travelling using #medhat, and you could be featured on their social media channels.
Book now and go, www.TourismMedicineHat.com
#MedHat is investing in alternative transportation in some innovative ways - hop the Medicine Hat Sunshine Trolley and/or take them up on their free bike rental offer to explore 115 kms of trails. Find out more.
Thanks to the Nissan Canada for getting us around on this expedition in the Nissan Leaf. Nissan builds cars that are driven by innovation, excitement, performance and adventure.