Fall is the perfect time to get outside and get moving before the weather gets too cold. While the sun is still shining, the temperatures are still warm and frost hasn’t made an appearance yet, take advantage of our close proximity to the Rockies and go for a ride along the protected Legacy Trail in the Rocky Mountains.
What is the Legacy Trail?
The Legacy Trail is a separated multi-use lane that connects Banff and the outskirts of Canmore to the east, and Vermillion Lakes and Highway 1A to the west. The pathway is about 22 kilometres one way. It was completed in the fall of 2010 to commemorate Parks Canada’s 125th birthday. It is planned that in 2014, the trail will be extended all the way to the Canmore Information Centre. While parts of the path were affected by the June floods and reopened to the public in July.
Why We Recommend It
For starters, it’s an incredibly beautiful ride. Going for a ride along the Bow River, though also fun and good exercise, just isn’t the same. How many people get the chance to bike through a scenic national park? Seeing Mount Rundle and Mount Norquay from your saddle is breathtakingly scenic.
This ride is also safe. For those who don’t feel comfortable sharing the road with cars or riding on a noisy road shoulder, this path is completely separate from road traffic. The path is paved the whole way and the clear signage means it is next to impossible to get lost.
The trail is relatively flat, and since a round trip shouldn’t take more than three hours, it’s perfect for cyclists of any ability. Perhaps best of all, biking is an accessible, low-impact form of aerobic exercise.
How To Get There
The best way to get to the Legacy Trail is to take the TransCanada Highway out of the city to Canmore and park on the shoulder of the eastbound lanes near Harvie Heights. For those who don’t have access to a car, the Banff Airporter is a shuttle bus that runs between Calgary and Banff, with a stop in Canmore.
Make a Note
This path runs parallel to the highway, so be sure to remain cautious and all obey signage. Pack water and snacks if you’re planning to do the return route, as you could be out for a few hours. Keep in mind that it’s better to get there earlier rather than later; traffic can build up in this area on weekends.