The South Saskatchewan River is the place to be in a kayak or a canoe on a gorgeous summer day, soaking up the sun and the views.
That sounded like a fine idea, but I was already committed – and pumped – for our cycling excursion.
We glided down through the pretty neighbourhood of Riverside and across the historic Finlay Bridge, built in 1908 and connects the north to the south side of the South Saskatchewan River. From here, we cycled onto the two-km long scenic Devonian Trail – part of Canada’s Great Trail Network, the longest recreation trail in the world – running from downtown to Strathcona Island Park.
Riding along, I could see the heart of Medicine Hat as the river carved its way through the city. Bluffs high above overlooked the pretty, lushly treed valley. Arriving at the park that hugs the river and goes on for miles with biking and walking trails, it was obvious this inner-city sanctuary is a magnet for locals. Families and couples and joggers and walker were out enjoying the sights and sounds of spring.
We could have spent a lot more time here, but we decided to slip over onto the Seven Person Creek Trail. From this trail, you can ride around the iconic and historic Medalta Potteries. Medalta, once the industrial engine of the city, has been turned into a museum, art gallery and ceramic facility. Back in the early 1900s,it was Canada’s largest production centre for clay and pottery products. Just looking at the building, I could imagine the hustle and bustle of the workers in and around the buildings, and could easily see its lasting legacy on the city that is filled with red brick buildings.
Heading back to Strathcona Park, we stopped at the boat launch area to wait for the kayakers. At this time of year, the spring run-off from the distant Rocky Mountains made the river a mesmerizing spot with the fast-flowing waters and the riverside grasslands a relaxing place to sit back and watch the beauty of the world go by.
Check out our ZenSeekers’ story the Breweries Tour in Medicine Hat