Road Trips: Experiences

Fly in a vintage biplane and go river surfing – all in Alberta.

Photography Adam Goudreau and Dwayne Martineau; Pilot Frank Stacey took photographers Adam Goudreau and Dwayne Martineau into the wild blue yonder 


Not only does the Reynolds-Alberta Museum offer a fascinating collection of restored vehicles, farm equipment and aircraft from years gone by, it’s adjacent to the Wetaskiwin Regional Airport where, instead of simply seeing history on display, you can experience it.

Absolute Aviation offers museum-goers the chance to take to the skies in a 1940 Waco UPF-7, notable for being one of the final biplanes to be produced.

There are three trips: for $139, you can go up for 10 minutes; for $199, you get a 20-minute experience in the open air of the biplane; and, for $409, you get a 50-minute trip that offers an aerial tour of Pigeon Lake.

The pilot sits in the back of the biplane, while the front seat can accommodate one or two passengers. So, if you’re up for it, you get to sit in the front, with no canopy to obscure your views.  The price is the same for a couple or a solo flier.


If you’re looking to hang ten but can’t make the trip all the way to Hawaii, there’s another alternative closer to home. It turns out that there a few spots to catch a wave along Alberta’s rivers.

One such spot is located in Kananaskis Country, about 40 kilometres west of Calgary. There, surfers can book a two-hour lesson through Rocky Mountain River Surfing to learn to ride a sculpted river wave on the Lower Kananaskis River; the wave was built by the Surf Anywhere project. The Alberta River Surfing Association also lists a few other spots in the province where you catch a wave, most of them in Kananaskis Country, so if you still want to get out there once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ve got plenty of options.

Photo supplied by Victoria Wakefield


For some people, a trip to Entwistle may not sound like the most exciting summer excursion, but Edmontonians with a lust for a not-too-far, relaxing, sun-filled summer day know this sleepy town holds one of the best river spots for miles.


Tigers, jaguars and alligators are not animals you would expect to see in the Alberta prairies, but thanks to Discovery Wildlife Park in Innisfail,  you can get a close look at some of these species – and maybe learn a little something too.


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