At the edge of the Rocky Mountain Foothills, the glacier-fed Ghost Lake reservoir, on Hwy. 1A, about a 50-minute drive northwest of Calgary, is an all-season attraction. Brisk winds funnel up the Bow Valley, fuelling summer windsurfing and winter ice sailing, and anglers catch whitefish and trout year round. Ghost Lake has some of the province’s best ice sailing with an active club that was founded in the 1950s. Boats can zip along at 90 km/h when winds are strong.
A hydroelectric dam built below the confluence of the Bow and Ghost Rivers created the man-made lake in 1929. TransAlta, the power company, owns the immediate lakeshore, which it leases to the cottage community; there is no public access. The Summer Village of Ghost Lake sits midway along the 12 km lake’s north shore. CottageClub, a gated resort community, has sprouted up at the lake’s east end. For 40 years, the summer village has hosted an August long weekend regatta with sailing and canoeing races, an obstacle course, a scavenger hunt, a talent show, a barbecue, and more.
The Ghost Lake marina has 50 powerboat slips and mooring for 50 sailboats. In the village, there’s a six-hole golf course and a tennis court. The CottageClub recreation centre has an indoor pool and an outdoor hot tub. Beyond what’s available in the local convenience store, residents and cottagers go to Cochrane, 23 km east. There are deer and elk in the area, geese and swans migrate through in spring, and cougar sightings are not uncommon.