Hiking & Biking 4

Top 3 Places to Mountain Bike in Canmore

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  • Tourism Canmore Kananaskis - June 23, 2023

With breathtaking landscapes and an extensive network of diverse trails, Canmore is a mountain biking paradise that offers an unparalleled experience for riders seeking adventure in nature. From towering peaks to picturesque valleys, our untamed wilderness beckons riders of all skill levels. Beginners and experienced riders alike will find smiles on their faces as they explore the rugged beauty of this extraordinary corner of Alberta’s Canadian Rockies.

In this blog, we’ll uncover the hidden gems and well-known trails that make Canmore a mecca for mountain biking. While there are trails to challenge the most extreme riders, we’ll focus on the incredibly diverse intermediate trails where Canmore excels. Let’s dive into Canmore’s mountain biking scene!

Thrilling Adventures Await in the Canmore Nordic Centre

The Canmore Nordic Centre boasts a well-maintained trail system that provides over 100 kilometres (62 miles) of mixed cross-country and downhill riding experiences. With trails meandering through picturesque forests, meadows, and hills, riders are treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and the Bow Valley. The technical challenges, flowy sections, and natural features make this mountain biking destination truly remarkable.

The Nordic Centre also features top-tier facilities. Trail Sports, only steps away from the Nordic Centre, offers bike rentals and lessons if you’re looking to improve your skills. At the visitor center, you can procure trail maps, refuel with delicious pizza, and enjoy a cold beer, ensuring a seamless mountain biking experience.

Trail Recommendation:

The EKG Trail at Canmore Nordic Centre offers an exhilarating mountain biking experience. With playful terrain, tight turns, and fast-flowing descents, this trail keeps riders engaged. Starting with a warm-up climb, the flowy sections, berms, and small jumps add excitement. Enjoy stunning views of the surrounding mountains and Bow Valley. Well-maintained and clearly marked, make it a must-ride trail for intermediate+ riders.

Ride with the locals on Montane, Horseshoe, and G8 Trails

Located on the northern edge of Canmore, this network of trails ascends above residential neighborhoods and winds through lush forests and meadows. Amidst wildflowers and towering trees, riders can spend hours exploring the numerous long gentle climbs and fun flowing descents without riding the same trails twice. Multiple entrances and exit spots are available along Benchlands Trail and Elk Run Boulevard.

Parking is limited, so we recommend pedaling from your accommodation or from one of our many bike rental shops – Sports Garage, GearUp, and Sports Experts, to name a few – along Canmore’s bike and pedestrian pathways to the various trailheads. Look for trail signs or ask knowledgeable bike shop staff as the trailheads may not always be obvious from the street. Throughout these trails, you’ll likely cross paths with local riders enjoying the stunning viewpoints.

Trail Recommendation:

The Horseshoe Loop trail is one of the older singletrack loops in Canmore. Expect to encounter bikers, runners and hikers on this multi-use trail. Accessed from Cougar Creek trailhead, it offers a fun network of rolling and semi-technical trails with views of downtown Canmore. For an extra challenge, add the long G9 climb or explore the connected G8 trail to the east. Keep the summit to your left shoulder and the valley to your right for easy route-finding going out and reverse for the return home.

Fun for the Whole Family on the Quarry Lake Mountain Bike Trails

If you seek a tranquil setting for your ride, the trails around Quarry Lake are perfect. Take in breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and finish your ride with a refreshing dip in the lake. Located just minutes east of the Canmore Nordic Centre, this small network of trails features minimal climbing and is suitable for groups with varying skills and abilities. Flowing trails weave in and out of the forest, offering stunning views of the towering Three Sisters Mountains above.

This network also connects to more technical riding, such as the Highline Trail, if you continue pedaling east. For convenient bike rentals and a quick start on the trails, Trail Sports at the Nordic Centre is the ideal option.

Trail Recommendation:

To access Mosquito Bite trail, pedal up the gravel trail on the east side of the Spray Lake Reservoir. En route, you may see paddleboarders and kayakers enjoying the water on warm summer days. Follow the gravel trail toward the reservoir’s top to connect with the Mosquito Bite trail, leading back towards Quarry Lake. This hidden gem offers a thrilling experience amidst stunning natural surroundings. The comfortably wide trail features a mix of optional technical sections, smooth descents, and fun turns to keep riders on their toes. Well-marked and maintained, it guarantees a smooth and enjoyable ride. Be prepared for potential encounters with local wildlife as you navigate through the forested terrain. Mosquito Bite is a must-ride trail for intermediate riders looking to immerse themselves in the fun and beauty of Canmore’s mountain biking scene.

Nearly all of Canmore’s trails are conveniently located within pedaling distance of a range of amenities, including world-class bike shops as well as restaurants, cafes, and local breweries. Enhance your mountain biking journey by immersing yourself in the vibrant charm of our extraordinary mountain town. We’ll see you out there!

In Canmore and Kananaskis, our natural ecosystems and stunning landscapes are the heart and soul of our local mountain culture. Before your visit, we encourage you to sign the Pledge to the Peaks, committing to mindful exploration to ensure the safety of all inhabitants of the region and preserve the beauty of our unfiltered wilderness for generations to come.