Calgary Bodies of Water
Ghost Lake is a man-made body of water west of the city alone Highway 1A and adjacent to the town of Cochrane. Watersports and fishing occur regularly on the lake during summer months.
Found in southeast Calgary, Lake Bonavista was Canada’s first manmade lake community. For this reason, the lake and its surrounding community have served as a model for other lake communities in the country. Completed in 1968, the lake features 52 acres (21 ha) and is the largest artificial lake in Calgary. Summertime activities at the lake include fishing, swimming, boating, and beachcombing while wintertime sees skating and ice fishing.
This man-made reservoir, which covers an area of 429-ha, was completed in 1933 on the Elbow River. As Calgary’s major water supply system, the Glenmore Reservoir supplies Calgarians with drinking water, flood control and downstream management, and serves as a recreational area. While swimming is not permitted, available recreational activities include fishing, boating and sailing with lessons offered by the city. The reservoir also serves as a great area for bird watching in the spring and fall.
One of Alberta's greatest rivers, the Bow River meanders 623 kilometres (387 miles) beginning at Bow Glacier and flowing south through Banff National Park and Calgary. Flowing through Calgary's centre, the river serves as one of the city's main water sources (the other is the Elbow River in Calgary's south). In the summer, people use the river for floating through the city in rafts. Out of the city, the river is widely used by fly fishers, kayakers, birdwatchers, canoeists and more. The river is also an important water source for prairie farmland.
Flowing from Elbow Lake in Kananaskis Country, the Elbow River begins about 8 km (5 mi) west of the community of Bragg Creek. It runs from the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and into Calgary where it feeds the Glenmore Reservoir and finally merges with the Bow River. Apart from being an important source of water for Bragg Creek, the Elbow River provides residents along its course with bountiful opportunities for recreational activities. Popular activities include fishing, white water rafting, kayaking, wading, and camping or horseback riding along the water’s edge.
Sikome Lake is a manmade lake located in the southeast corner of Fish Creek Park. Designed primarily for swimming and wading, the lake is a popular summertime destination that offers a variety of amenities. This includes lifeguards, change rooms, and concession stands that are open from mid-June to the Labour Day weekend in September.
Located just east of Calgary about 20 minutes from the city centre is Chestermere Lake. Bordered by the small town of Chestermere, the lake consists of about 750 acres (304 ha) and features an 18-hole golf course. This man made lake offers a myriad of water recreation activities and includes a boat launch facility for public use. Chestermere and Calgary are also connected by the Calgary Bike Paths system at the south end of western Chestermere.