Winsport has long been home to a plethora of fun activities for the entire family. Gracing the hillside above 16th Ave and Stoney Trail, Calgarians have been coming here for decades. What you may not know is that in addition to the ever popular winter sports, Winsport's Canada Olympic Park boasts some amazing summer activities too!
As summer dawned I decided that my big kids and I should check out the Skyline Luge. The Luge you cry? Not "THE" luge... The SKYLINE LUGE. This is a concrete track that twists and turns from the top of the ski hill to the bottom. It gradually descends over 100 meters (328 feet), and can brag about being the longest Skyline Luge track in the world, at 1.8 kilometres! Riders steer wheeled carts, propelled by gravity, down the course while maintaining whatever pace they are comfortable with. Each cart is equipped with brakes and steering is similar to turning a bicycle.
How do we get there?
Winsport is currently accessible off of 16th Ave. There is a lot of construction in the area currently and the "Canada Olympic Road" is a new entrance. Park in the main parking lot at the bottom of the ski hill. (It's free, woohoo)! Follow the signs and proceed through the Day Lodge directly outside. (No need to stand in line at customer service, as you buy your ride tickets outside). Head up the stairs and you'll see the Skyline Luge buildings on your right. From the bottom of the hill you'll ride the chair lift up to the top, which both kids enjoyed immensly!
What should we take?
Nothing special is required. Helmets are provided for children and adults. You won't be taking photos as you'll be too busy steering your cart down the track, but fear not, Winsport takes a photo of you on each lap. These are available for purchase for a separate fee. If you have a backpack or purse that can sit between your legs in the cart, I'd recommend bringing sunscreen as you'll be in full sun for the duration of your visit.
What does it cost and how long does it take?
There are a variety of options when it comes to how many rides you'd like to do. We opted for three rides each and it took us roughly 1.5 hours, including a washroom break.
2016 Individual Pricing Summary:
One Ride $15
Three Rides $23
Five Rides $32
2016 Family Packages Summary:
Family Four Rides $46
Family Eight Rides $64
Family Twelve Rides $80
*** Pee Wee Rides $3
Family packages are meant to shared between family members. There needs to be 1 or 2 adults and at least one family member aged 15 or younger. ***Kids under 110cm can ride in tandem with a paying adult, who is 20+.
Photos are extra, but were not an unreasonable price. You'll also find vending machines, and a place to purchase drinks and snacks in the day lodge.
Cash, credit cards and debit are all accepted. You may also pre-purchase your ticket vouchers online HERE. I found a great coupon at the Calgary Attractions website, so be sure to check that out too!
Sonja (MOM): This was so fun! From the moment we pulled into the parking lot, the excitement emulating from the kids was palpable. We were there on a week day and there were no lines anywhere. Buying tickets, finding helmets and traveling to the top of the hill was very easy. Everything is clearly marked. Avary (aged 7) failed her first "driving test" in the carts and rode tandem with me for the first run. You can get going really quickly, but it never felt out of control. The second run Ava barely passed and was allowed to leave the starting area on her own. She crashed going around the first real corner. She wasn't injured but was terribly scared, so we ditched her cart on the side of the track and she finished off the run with me, tandem style again. At that point I asked for an exchange on her full price ticket to a Pee Wee ticket and there were no issues at all. Our third ride was all fun and no tears. Both kids begged to go AGAIN, AGAIN. I'd say this activity is best suited for kids over age 5. Tresten had no issues steering his cart and raced to the bottom of the track in only the manner a 9 year old boy could. (Then patiently stood holding my purse waiting for us ladies. LOL)!
Tresten (AGE 9): "I thought it was really cool because you get to drive little carts really fast! I'd definitely recommend this to my friends. Can we go back soon?"
Avary (AGE 7): "Skyline luge was really fun! My favourite part was riding down the big hill with my mom. I'd recommend it to all my friends!"
Hope this review helps you make the decision to go and check out the Skyline Luge at Winsport. Have an epic time!
~ Doula In The Wild
By: Doula Sonja
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