By Christie Melhorn, January 12 2018 —
Many traditional New Year’s resolutions involve disciplined workouts and diet regimes. Pursuing fitness goals can improve well-being in a variety of ways. It gets you out of bed earlier, is a better energy boost than a cup of Tim’s and offers relief from the heap of assignments on your desk. However, those goals can become suffocating and detrimental when you start feeling down about yourself for missing a day of sprints or eating a cupcake from one of those perpetual bake sales in Earth Sciences.
Regardless of what your fitness routine and school schedule looks like, everyone needs a break. And since winter is here for the next few months, you may as well take it outdoors. In Calgary, sledding is an accessible and easy way to get a healthy adrenaline rush and shake off looming pressures.
If you don’t have a sled, stores like Canadian Tire and Home Hardware sell plastic and foam ones for around $15. Or, you can get creative and use household items like a large cookie sheet or furniture cushions — just know this probably isn’t safe! It’s not necessary to wear water-resistant gear when sledding. As long as you’re warm and prepared to get wet, you’re in good shape. Here are some great hills in the city to spend a day on.
Only a 10-minute drive from the University of Calgary campus, Confederation Park is a striking inner city park. It boasts multiple hills varying in steepness and length. The hill beside the park’s entrance on 25th Ave. and 10th St. NW is a great place to start. The space is open and the large stretch of land between the bottom of the hill and the park paths will prevent you from colliding with passersby. However, it’s generally quite busy, so collisions with other sledders may happen!
The recently redeveloped Prairie Winds park in Calgary’s northeast is loaded with adrenaline pumping hills. In the southwestern portion of the park stands one of the city’s largest and most impressive sledding hills. When using it, be mindful of fellow sledders and tobogganers by carefully timing your descent. If you’re looking for a more gentle ride, the parks western side has smaller slopes. Prairie Winds is located at 223 Castleridge Blvd. NE.
Not to be mistaken with the looming hill behind Signal Hill shopping centre, Signal Hill park is tucked away further into the neighbourhood at 2063 Sirrocco Dr. SW. The incline isn’t as extreme as the former but the long, moderate ride is refreshing and enjoyable. This park is generally loaded with excited children falling over in their snowsuits, so be vigilant of when and where you launch down the hill. Driving there can also be a hassle because of its proximity to the shopping area. Avoid departing around rush hour or on weekend afternoons.
For more ideas about where to go sledding in Calgary, click here.