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2 Nice Trail Hiking Networks in Canmore, Alberta

I am an avid hiker with a focus on easy to moderate trails in natural settings. I occasionally do harder trails.

At the Canmore Nordic Centre July 26th 2022

At the Canmore Nordic Centre July 26th 2022

Two Trail Networks That Are Easy to Get to From Canmore

Canmore, Alberta, is located very close to Kananaskis Provincial Park. As such, the town is near a lot of famous hikes, including the trek to Ha Ling's Peak. I hiked this mountain hike in 2020; however, at the time of writing, the hike is now closed. Furthermore, there are other trail closures in the Canmore area for the 2022 hiking season, something that might leave trail-hiking enthusiasts searching for something to do in the area.

While the closures can't last forever, some of the trails that are fully or partly closed are difficult trails to the tops of mountains. If anyone is looking for some easy-to-moderate trail networks in Canmore, then look at both the trails in the Canmore Nordic Centre and the trails near the Horseshoe Loop trail. Each of these areas offers easy-to-access trailheads and pleasant walking environments.

Plus, like I said, they're open!

Me at Quarry Lake in July 2022

Me at Quarry Lake in July 2022

Canmore Nordic Centre's Summer Trails

The Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park is primarily intended for fans of winter sports. The venue was one of the competition sites for the 1988 Winter Olympics. During the summer, cyclists and hikers use the well-maintained trails. You can visit this park numerous times and take different routes each time.

My favorite trail in this park is the Georgetown Interpretive Trail. This one goes near the northern ridge of the trail network, thereby offering chances for ridge-side viewpoints and photography (the picture above is near this trail). I've found that the trails are wide, which is a big deal to me because I don't like brushing against plants as I walk.

A couple of interesting facts about the Canmore Nordic Centre's trails is that there are exercise facilities within the park. For instance, at the endpoint of the Georgetown Interpretive Trail, you can find some chin-up bars that have been stationed there. Clearly, this park was designed with fitness enthusiasts in mind.

Also, if you want to venture on the long hike from Canmore to Banff without using the highway-side Legacy Trail, then the Canmore Nordic Centre's trail is the staging point for your journey. That hike will take at least a few hours, and it will take you out of the trail network at the Canmore Nordic Centre, but the trails within the park can still be featured in your day.

The trails at the Canmore Nordic Centre are easy to find. They are located near Quarry Lake, which is uphill from downtown Canmore.

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If you are in downtown Canmore, then there are two bridges to cross the Bow River. When you see the hydro plant, which can be seen from either bridge, then take the stairs upward and start west along the ridge. Soon you will find route maps of the area.

Follow this link from AllTrails to get a more detailed look at the route and the most current weather predictions for the terrain.

Horseshoe Loop Trail Network

The trails at the Canmore Nordic Centre are south of the town of Canmore. On the north side, you can find a trail network that includes the Horseshoe Loop trail. There are plenty of trails in this network, including one that is ridgeside with nice viewpoints.

To get into this trail network, you can walk uphill toward the Cougar Creek Trail, a trail that was closed at the time of writing due to blasting in the area (summer 2022). If you locate Elk Run Boulevard, then you will want to head north. The trail network can also be accessed near the intersection of Elk Run Boulevard and Lady MacDonald Drive.

I found that the trails in this area were very nice. They were smooth in many parts, but, of course, you will encounter roots, so be careful not to stumble. I did notice a lot of bicycle tire-tread marks, so pedestrians will need to be careful.

There was some elevation to deal with but nothing that would categorize the trail network as difficult. Furthermore, there were some photo opportunities for the mountains across the Bow Valley.

You can connect to the Grotto Mountain Trail using the Horseshoe Loop trail network as your starting point. Thus, anyone that is looking for more of an epic trail hike, as opposed to something short, can use this network as a staging area. The following two narrated videos are from the Horseshoe Loop trail network and work to conclude this article.

Enjoy the views!

© 2022 Shane Lambert

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