If you love spending time in the great outdoors, spend the day in Bragg Creek. The town is located right by Bragg Creek Provincial Park where you can spend the whole day hiking, mountain biking and exploring. While one of the main reasons for coming out here is to get outside, you’ll also want to visit for the great German and Italian food and games of paintball.
45 kilometres from the Calgary Tower | West on Hwy 8
What to Do
Bike or hike the trails
A trip to Bragg Creek pretty much requires that you spend some time in Bragg Creek Provincial Park. Bring your mountain bike in from Calgary and spend a few hours exploring the trails in the West Bragg Creek Recreation Area. Or choose a trail ahead of time that you’d like to hike. Trail maps of the area are available at MEC, though downloading the Trailforks or AllTrails apps might be your best bet. Be sure to check trail reports and weather reports before leaving.
Paintball is kind of like hide and seek, except messier and louder and with way more adrenaline – this game involves goggles, coveralls and paintball guns. Teams try to eliminate players on the opposite team by hitting them with dye-filled pellets. As well as the paintball course, this venue has propane barbecues on-site that are free to use (you must sign one out upon arrival) and 60 picnic tables. After a game of paintball, stick around the area to prepare your own barbecue dinner. Throughout the summer (June 1 to August 31), this recreation venue is open every day from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
2221 Highway 22, 403-282-8079, thebraggcreekpaintball.com
If you’re looking to get a game of golf in while you’re spending time in the Bragg Creek area, plan ahead and make a reservation at the Redwood Meadows Golf and Country Club. Public tee times for the 18-hole course are available by calling the pro shop two days in advance.
100, 1 Tsuu T’ina Dr., 403-949-3663, redwoodmeadows.com
Shopping in Bragg Creek
Wander through downtown Bragg Creek and spend some time window-shopping. Make a point to stop in at Archer’s Antiques to admire restored artifacts (and consider the adjoining Craftsman House which is furnished with antiques if you decide to stay overnight), “full-time liquor store, sometime antique shop” Spirits West for its vast wine selection, rare whiskies and assorted curios, and The Best Little Wordhouse in the West for books (there are 40,000 in stock) and gifts.
Where to Eat
Formerly known as The Bavarian Inn, you’ll find authentic German and Austrian food at this restaurant/tavern combo, as well as excellent service and a cozy room. Opt for the traditional dishes here. Start with the Hungarian goulash soup or sausage trio and order the wiener schnitzel for your main course. This restaurant also has an impressive patio — it’s quiet and partially shaded, with a forest view.
75 White Ave., 403-949-3632, bavtav.com
This café is just off of Highway 22 and is well worth a stop after spending the day exploring Bragg Creek Provincial Park. Its cinnamon buns alone are worth the drive from Calgary. As well as sweet treats, Cinnamon Spoon offers a range of lunch items, cold drinks and coffees. There are a few seats outdoors on the side of the café where you can relax in the sun, replenish those energy stores (with a cinnamon bun, of course) and still keep an eye on your bicycle.
1 White Ave., 403-949-4110
This bistro is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and also offers Sunday brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Stop here for comforting, filling food before or after a day of outdoor activities. There’s everything from burgers to pizzas to salads as well as a nice selection of Korean barbecue.
20 White Ave., 403-949-3361, creekersbistro.ca
You’d be wise to make reservations at this rustic Italian restaurant if you’re hoping to eat here on the weekend. This popular spot has a range of tasty Italian dishes, including pastas, pizzas and antipasti. The interior is beautiful and decorated to have a comfortable, homey feel – there are tables in different rooms throughout the space and picnic-style, wooden benches. If you can, try to have lunch or dinner on the Italian Farmhouse’s sunny patio.
20 Balsam Ave., 403-949-2750, theitalianfarmhouse.ca
This saloon has been open since 1979 and recently added a new patio to the property. Part cowboy watering hole, part sports bar, the food and vibe here are relaxed and ideal for happy hour (4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday). Your best bet for a nosh is the weekly burger special which always errs on the inventive side, and the “Cowboy” Yorkies and baked brie with chutney are also worth a try.
7 Balsam Ave., 403-949-3946, powderhornsaloon.ca