Want to cycle between Canmore and Banff? You can do it!
If you have driven on Highway 1 between Canmore and Banff you have no doubt seen cyclists, runners, and rollerskiers using the trail that follows along beside.This trail is the Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail, or more commonly just Legacy Trail, that stretches 26.8km between the mountain towns of Canmore and Banff.
If you have looked over enviously at the cyclists on the trail as you drive along the highway, or even been passed by them as you sit in weekend traffic, we are here to tell you all you need to know about the trail. The most important point to state is that anyone can do it!
But what if your current bike is buried at the back of the garage still needing a 'little tune up' after the winter? Not to worry, at Chateau Mountain Sports we have you covered. We have Norco Ebikes, Hybrids and Road bikes all brand new this season and perfect for riding the Legacy Trail!
How about the distance? If you are not a regular cyclist and cycling over 50km in a day seems daunting we have a great solution for you. Our EBikes have pedal-assistance from an electric motor meaning that every pedal stroke is amplified leading to easier cycling all day long. The battery easily has enough capacity for a full day of riding and best of all it is no more difficult to learn than riding a non-electric bike.
The Legacy Trail has minimal elevation (142m in the Canmore > Banff direction and even less the other way) but you might be wishing for more hills once you realize how the EBike makes such short work of the inclines!
Is the route easy to follow? Absolutely. If you are renting from our Canmore store you simply need to follow Bow Valley Trail to the start of the Legacy Trail. The start of the Legacy is marked by a large sign and a counter for the number of users so far that day. It is always interesting to see how much the number has jumped on the return leg. This trail is popular especially on a sunny weekend.
The map below shows how to get from our Shops of Canmore store to the start of the trail.
Can I start the trail in Banff? Yes! We also rent bikes from our Banff Springs store located at the Fairmont Hotel. It is just over the bridge from downtown Banff and you can use river trails and low-traffic streets to cycle through Banff and join the Legacy Trail.
Please see the map below or pick up a map in-store.
What can I expect from the trail? The trail is paved and has 2 lanes with enough room to pass and still stay in your lane. There are various viewpoints and rest stops along the way including a day use/picnic area at about the halfway mark.
As you are cycling down the Bow Valley you will be rewarded with great views of the Rundle mountain range and the towering Cascade Mountain which dips in and out of view as you head west. Cascade Mountain is then in full view once you reach Banff itself.
When you arrive at the outskirts of Banff the trail joins Banff Avenue, the town's main street with shops, hotels and restaurants. Starting summer 2020 the Legacy Trail now extends from the eastern entrance to Banff right into the heart of downtown. Some areas are pedestrians only so you will have to either walk with your bike or lock it up at one of the handy bike racks in town. Fortunately all of our bike rentals include a lock (and helmet) as standard.
Overall the trail is very family-friendly and great for all abilities. We hope we have convinced you that the Legacy Trail is for everyone and if you haven't tried it before, maybe this weekend is the time! If you have cycled the trail before be sure to tell your friends about the experience and invite them along next time!
Be sure to book your rentals with Chateau Mountain Sports to avoid disappointment! Click here for the rentals page.
Wanting more? You can extend your ride by biking the (mostly) traffic free Vermillion Lakes road with great views over the water to Mount Rundle. At the end of the road cyclists and pedestrians can cross under the highway to join the 1A. This road passes Johnson Canyon and other sites on its way to Lake Louise and during summer 2020 is closed to vehicular traffic. Another cycling paradise! Be prepared for wildlife and always carry your Bear Spray