Most Calgarians know of Chestermere as a staycation destination. The city boasts amenities such as the Lakeside Golf Club or Chestermere Lake and provides year long entertainment, whether it be on a boat or on skates. However, what may not be well-known amongst Calgarians, are the network of paths alongside the lake and nearby canals.
Growing up in Chestermere, these paths almost became second nature to me. If you were not spending time with your friends at the beach or the lakeside park, you were wandering the paths, whether they be alongside the golf course or the canal.
The main artery of the path system is the picturesque, tree-lined route which runs parallel to West Chestermere Drive. On one side of the road are luxurious, million dollar lakeside homes, and on the other is a dilapidated fence separating you from the equally scenic golf course.
We all have them. Places in the city that bring us joy, big and small. In an era of chaos, Calgary Journal editors have taken time this fall to reflect on the public spots that bring us happiness and peace.
You can read the whole series here.
Chestermere gained official recognition as the Summer Village of Chestermere Lake in 1977. But before this era, the community began as the ideal destination for farmers looking for better ways to irrigate their land. In 1907, a dam and canal system were built.
These canal systems remain today, and with its accompanying paths, they played host to many of my childhood adventures.
It was always a challenge within my friend group to see just how far we could bike on these paths, before we eventually decided on an unsuspecting tree farm as the unofficial final destination.
It was only as I grew older and took up biking this path again did I realize that I had never really appreciated the view. The rocky shores of the canal provide a perfect contrast to the vast, flat landscape. The famous prairie sky is as big and blue as ever as it domineers over the recognizable yellow and green pastures.
So while many experience Chestermere through the beach or lake, maybe next time consider experiencing it how I did as a child, just with a better eye for the scenery.