Edmonton River Valley:
The North Saskatchewan River cuts a prominent form down the middle of Edmonton, and it also provides an ideal locale for a leisurely (or not-so leisurely) bike ride, depending on how far you want to go. The river valley, itself, acts as a jumping off point for other bike trips around the city. You can choose trips that suit your schedule, skill-level and location.
Nose Hill Park is in the middle of Calgary, but you sure won’t feel like it once you park and start riding. In the northwest quadrant of the city, Nose Hill features 11 kilometres of walking and biking paths that vary in terrain from super steep to gently sloping. For directions to the park, visit calgary.ca
Calgary-Bragg Creek Loop:
Riding between Calgary and the small town of Bragg Creek just west of the city is a great day trip with varied, but manageable terrain. You’ll find a 100-kilometre road that loops through southwest Calgary and along Highway 8 towards Bragg Creek. Once you are out of the city, the highway provides stunning mountain views for almost the entire ride. You can end your trip and circle back once you arrive at the Kamp Kiwanis roundabout, or continue south along Highway 22 towards the town of Bragg Creek.
The Gran Fondo Highwood Pass is a bike tour that winds its way through 135 kilometres of beautiful Rocky Mountain landscape. And while the Gran Fondo, itself, is a bike trip that many train for months to complete, you can tackle this trip on your own and in any increment that you prefer. You start the ride out of Canmore, and ride through Peter Lougheed Park into the Highwood Pass. The ride can be difficult, but can also be easily paced with breaks and rests.
Coal Banks Trail:
Cutting a path through Lethbridge’s interesting natural terrain, the 30-kilometre Coal Banks Trail is used for community events as well as walking, cycling, running and dog walking. The trail is an uninterrupted route connecting the city’s west end, river valley and Henderson Park, and was named for the old coal mining town that was once located in the river valley bottom. A map of the trail can be found online at lethbridge.ca
The Birchwood Trails:
The Athabasca region is surrounded by tons of outdoor pursuits, and there is no shortage of easy-to-access adventure from Fort McMurray’s doorstep. The Birchwood Trail system is one good example – located in the Con Creek Valley, the trails also include an “outdoor green gym” and run 130 kilometres throughout the town, connecting various neighbourhoods.