Awesome Alberta: The Banff Legacy Trail is the perfect summer bike ride (PHOTOS)

Jul 22 2020, 9:00 am

COVID-19 still presents a very real and dangerous threat to public health. While much of Alberta’s outdoors have been reopened to visitors, it is recommended to plan ahead, check local restrictions and current public health measures, and avoid any areas that may be too crowded. 

Calling all bikers, hikers, and avid adventurers.

We’ve found the perfect day trip for you to take on some time this summer, though it isn’t really any single solid destination — it’s more of a journey in itself.

The Banff Legacy Trail, 22.3 kilometres of paved trail that winds through the Canadian Rocky Mountains, is the ideal adventure for your next big day off.

Get a sweat going, take in the views, and even grab a spectacular photo or three along the way as you bike from the Banff Park East Gate to the Bow Valley Parkway.

The trip will take you from Banff all the way over to Canmore, so you can spend your downtime checking out all the excitement that either town offers.

The full roundtrip will take you about two to three hours by bike, though probably longer as you’ll want to stop on more than a few occasions. Not because of any nasty hills leaving you out of breath, but instead by the stunning scenery taking your breath away.

For your own safety, please make sure you are prepared before heading out on your next adventure. Information on how to prepare for your trip and stay safe while on your hike is available from and AdventureSmart. Parks Canada visitor guidelines are available here. Always remember to leave no trace, pack out what you pack in, stick to designated trails, and refrain from feeding wildlife — and please note that irresponsibly taken selfies (even if they look great for the ‘gram) can be fatal


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Where is it?

The Banff Legacy Trail starts (or ends, depending on how you look at it) across from the Alberta Visitor Information Centre at 2801 Bow Valley Trail in Canmore. The other trailhead is located at just up the road from the Banff Visitor Information Centre in Banff.

Both Canmore and Banff have multiple bike rental shops, so all you need to do is get yourself to either town and you’re good to go.

How do you get there?

From Calgary, the Canmore trailhead is the closest of the two, sitting just over an hour’s drive away from Calgary along Highway 1.

If you’re hoping to start from Banff, you’ll only need to continue along the highway another 20 or so minutes.

From Edmonton, you just need to hop on the highway south to Calgary and then follow the above instructions.


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What’s there?

Stunning views, amazing scenery, and a pretty decent workout await anyone looking to take on the trail.

There’s a Valley View Day Use Area located at the halfway mark of the ride, which offers — as the name suggests — quite the view.

There’s also plenty to do once you’re in either Banff or Canmore, which includes grabbing a much-deserved pint from the town’s various restaurants and pubs.

Happy trails!

banff legacy trail

A map of the Banff Legacy Trail (Banff National Park)

DH Calgary StaffDH Calgary Staff

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