Calgary is not close to any significant lakes, but many of Calgary's communities have private-access lakes. None of these are any good for water skiing or para-sailing (or anything motor boat related), but if you know a local, they are great places to go year-round (for swimming or skating, depending on the weather). There are two major rivers in Calgary, though, the Bow and Elbow, and there are a lot of parks along the banks of these rivers.
Sikome Lake is open to the general public throughout the summer. This man-made lake is fairly shallow and is ideal for kids, BBQs, or beach volleyball. There are playgrounds, change-rooms, and a snack shack, as well.
One of the most wild and thrilling adventure sports in Alberta is white-water rafting. Chinook River Sports offers white-water rafting tours on the Kananaskis River, Horseshoe Canyon, and the Kicking Horse River. You can choose what level of intensity you are willing to try. This is a fast-paced, thrilling way to enjoy nature, and you'll be taken down some of the most scenic, mountain landscapes in Canada.
During the summer, many Calgarians enjoy floating down either the Bow or the Elbow in a dingy. Sandy Beach is a popular launching off point for floating down the Elbow, which is a much tamer, slower, and shallower river than the Bow. Some people prefer to float down the Bow, but be very careful of the weir near the Zoo. This is a no-rafting zone, and you could die if you try. It's best to launch yourself south of the weir. Pearce Park Estate is a good place to park.
Sikome Circle SE
Man-made, public lake with plenty of sand and sun...
4500 14A St. S.W.
A small picnic area down by the river... read more
13931 Woodpath Road Southwest
A unspoiled natural area with an expansive pathway system... read more
90 Avenue and 24 Street Southwest
Sail, play tennis, bike, or picnic... read more
7305 Crowchild Trail South West
(84 hectares surrounding the north side of the reservoir)
Perfect for picnicking, close to Canoe and Rowing club... read more
1st Street South East
Take a stroll through the city's vast network of scenic nature walks... read more
Off Sarcee Trail Southwest
A river-side picnic area with hiking trails...
1900 Heritage Dr. SW
(At 14th Street Southwest)