The Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail is paved trail that travels about 25 kilometres between Canmore and Banff, connecting the two Bow Valley towns.
The trail currently starts at the Travel Alberta Visitor Information Centre on Bow Valley Trail in Canmore, but will soon connect to the Nordic Centre. See a map of the trail here.
There are a number of viewpoints along the trail for the bikers, hikers and long boarders making the trip, which often takes between two and three hours and has about 50 metres of elevation gain.
There are a number of options to get back to Canmore, from taking the ROAM public transit with your bike to biking back on the Legacy Trail or Rundle River Trail (opposite side of Bow River and very bumpy).
The trail is best travelled from April to October and is out of condition in winter. This is surely one of the best ways to enjoy the Bow Valley with your family or during a work out.
Travel Alberta Visitor Information Centre to Banff Park East Gate: 4.5 km
Banff Park East Gate to Cascade Pond: 12.4 km
Cascade Pond to End of Banff Ave: 3.4 km
Through Town of Banff to Bow Valley Parkway: 8.5 km
The following is information from Parks Canada: There are five sets of pedestrian gates on the trail, three of which may be bypassed by cyclists via state-of-the-art, solar-powered electrified mats that span its width
The gates are intended to protect wildlife and to create an uninterrupted route for cyclists. Mats allow the gates to be open for trail users and deliver a low amperage charge (10 kilovolts) to deter wildlife from accessing highway and trail systems Cyclists simply roll across the mats without stopping Pedestrians, pets and other users should avoid the mats completely and use the pedestrian gate.
About the electrified mats: The charge is uncomfortable, but not harmful To avoid a charge, ride across the mats without stopping Keep pets off of the mats, as they will get an uncomfortable shock Cyclists can cross the mats with no effect thanks to their rubber tires, do not dismount unless you are wearing rubber-soled shoes.
Considerations for wheelchair users and recumbent cyclists: The trail travels through the heart of the Canadian Rockies over rolling terrain. There are a few short, steep hills along the way. These spots are clearly marked with signage. Be aware of these locations and ensure you have a plan to travel safely.
Enjoying the trail with your dog: To ensure that all park visitors have an enjoyable experience, Parks Canada requires:
– Dogs be kept on leash at all times
– Stoop and scoop anything left behind by your dog
– Visit Parks Canada Information Centres to find out which connector trails permit dogs
Traveling through the Town of Banff: Users following the pathway have route options for travelling through the Town of Banff – a scenic route travelling through the neighborhoods of Banff, or a more direct route through the downtown district.
Trail Etiquette: This multi-use recreation path is built for the enjoyment of diverse users – from cyclists to skateboarders to in-line skaters. To ensure enjoyment of all users, please:
– Always keep to the right
– Wear a helmet
– Travel at a reasonable and controlled speed
– Announce “on your left” and pass with care
– Horses always have the right of way; stop and allow horses to pass safely
– Pets must be leashed
– If you encounter any wildlife along the trail, give them the space they need to continue moving in the direction -that they are traveling