Vimy Outdoor Pursuits – Mr. Schmidt’s Top Six Things To Do This Summer

Summer is fully upon us and the school year is almost complete. As I am in my classroom teaching, my students enviously stare out the window dreaming of activities they would like to be doing outside in the sunshine and fresh air. So that begs the question, what activities are they dreaming of?
For many of us, the summer will be spent close to home with no major vacation plans. So I have compiled a list of the Top Six things you should do with your family this summer that are relatively close to Edmonton. I only chose six because the school break is really only about six weeks long, which means you could do one of these activities a week. Here they are in no particular order:

  1. Float the Pembina River. This is the perfect activity to do on one of those fantastic sunny warm Alberta days. The Pembina River is located about an hour west of the city near Entwistle. There are a few companies that you can use that will set you up with a tube and deliver you up stream so that you can ride the gentle current back to your vehicle.
  2. Mountain Bike the Cooking Lake – Blackfoot Recreation area. This provincial park is located 40km East of Edmonton and has many kilometers of fabulous trails. It is a great area to head out to for a ride. With its proximity to Elk Island National Park, you may also want to turn this into an overnight camp trip.
  3. Fish the North Saskatchewan River. This river is fairly well known for its Pike and Walleye fishing right within the city limits. If you’re looking to change it up, break out the Fly Fishing gear and head out after some Gold Eye. There are several places within Edmonton that produce some good fishing. I would recommend trying around the storm water outfalls, creek mouths that enter the river, around the bridges and along the river bends. Fishing is free for kids under 16, but adults need to have a fishing license.
  4. Enter any of the many fun road running races around the city. If you go to you can find a calendar of all of the running events happening in Edmonton this summer. There is something for everyone here from 5km run/walks to ultramarathons. This is a great family activity.
  5. Go water skiing. Usually one needs to have a boat and travel some distance to find a good lake, but you can actually go waterskiing in Edmonton at Shalom Ski Park. This waterski park is located on a private lake close the North Saskatchewan River down by Rabbit Hill. They offer water ski lessons for novice’s right up to competitive skiers.
  6. Go climbing at the Snow Valley Aerial Park. This is a great family activity that anyone can do regardless of your climbing ability. The Aerial Park is located in the Edmonton river valley in the same area as the Snow Valley ski hill. This is a fun time and a good workout.

Whatever you decide to do this summer, please make sure that you are safe and have fun as you head outside and take advantage of all for the great opportunities that exist right outside your door.

Rob Schmidt

Outdoor Pursuits Program Director