It was pretty cool to go back to Lethbridge, Alberta and take the time to see what their nature is like. After all, I lived there for four months when I went to the University of Lethbridge and never took the time to explore the natural side of Lethbridge.
I had always admired the coulee’s, a beautiful landscape formation that looks like a series of small hills. They create a canyon-like valley, which is stunning to explore. Since the coulee area is the most scenic area in the city of Lethbridge, we focused our time there, checking out the various things to do.
Helen Schuler Nature Centre
Technically, the Helen Schuler Nature Centre is not “natural” but it’s a great place to visit first so that you can learn all about the ecology you’re about to experience. It’s also a really cool LEED-Gold certified building, which makes it fit in with the eco side of things. There’s also a number of trails that start from here, a rooftop garden, and staff that can point you in the right direction.
Go For a Hike in the River Valley
There are all sorts of trails in the coulee’s, snaking all around the valley bottom and all the way up to the top of the hills. You can take the trails right under the famous Lethbridge Trestle Bridge, go to the Oldman River, visit Fort Whoop-Up, or partake in a number of other activities in the area. The Lethbridge train bridge is worth the visit itself, as it’s the highest and longest trestle bridge in the world!
Go For a Bike Ride in the Coulee’s
If walking and hiking isn’t your thing, consider taking a bike! While not all the trails are open to biking, a number of them are and it’s a really beautiful place to explore on two wheels. For those who want thrills, there’s also a nearby Mountain Bike Park that has jumps and moguls, allowing you to practice some tricks while you’re there.
Go Find Turtles in the Wetlands
I’ve seen turtles all over the world but I didn’t think they existed in Canada, little lone Alberta! But yup, they’re all over the waters of Elizabeth Hall Wetlands. This Preservation Area, located on the west side of the river, is a popular spot for bird-watching, as it attracts all sorts of bird life, as well as beavers, muskrats, and turtles! If the Lethbridge weather is cloudy or cold during your visit, they might be harder to spot but if the weather is hot and sunny, you’ll see them all over the place. There’s also a floating dock on one side of the lake to allow for a more up close and personal look at the wildlife.
Word of Caution: The coulee’s are home to rattlesnakes and it’s not all that rare to see them. If you see one from a distance, that’s awesome! They are a really cool creature. At the same time, you do want to take precautions not to startle them and get bitten. They are quite poisonous and you will definitely need to get yourself to the hospital if you get bitten. Don’t be scared. They aren’t seen too often but you should know that they are in the area.
Things to Do in Lethbridge
In this article, we described some of the activities you can do to get a taste of the natural side of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. However, there are lots of other things to do as well, such as visiting Fort Whoop-Up, exploring the Japanese Gardens, or simply walking around downtown Lethbridge and trying some food at one of the many delicious Lethbridge restaurants. If you have more time, check out Lethbridge Tourism and see if there are any events in the area. So, whether you’re looking for things to do in Lethbridge this weekend or planning a trip further in advance, make sure you take the time to explore the natural side of Lethbridge.
Calgary to Lethbridge
Lethbridge is located in Southern Alberta, around 2-hours drive south of Calgary, Alberta. It’s only a bit over an hour from the border of Montana, USA, and has one small airport. Most people arrive by car. From here, you can continue South, go east to Medicine Hat, or head west to the scenic area of Crowsnest Pass.
Like many Canadian cities, Lethbridge is extreme. Expect hot dry summers and cold windy winters. Lethbridge is known for its wind and the storms can be strong, but not dangerous. In the winter, there is a lot of snow and temperatures dip down to -30 Celcius, whereas the exact opposite can be expected from June – September.
Best Hotels in Lethbridge
There are a lot of hotels to choose from in Lethbridge, Alberta. The one that we stayed in is the newly renovated Sandman Signature Lethbridge Lodge. This hotel is in the best location possible, located right next to the Galt Museum and the Lethbridge Trestle Bridge, which has the best views in the city. You’re close to walking trails that go throughout the coulee’s, Fort Whoop-Up, and downtown Lethbridge. There’s even a lovely indoor courtyard, which has a pool, hot tub, and a really good breakfast buffet.
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Disclosure: This post was written in partnership with ZenSeekers and Travel Alberta.