April 28th, 2015 Canmore’s Council unanimously approved an allocation of $60,000 from Federal Gas Tax Funds toward construction of a multi-use pathway extending the Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail approximately 250m to Marmot Crescent in the Town of Banff.
On September 13, 2013 the Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail extension from Canmore to the East Gate of Banff National Park was officially opened. The project’s success was a result of collaboration, financial, and technical contributions from the Town of Banff, Alberta Transportation, Alberta Tourism, the Town of Canmore, Parks Canada, and the MD of Bighorn. The project was completed under budget providing an opportunity in 2015 for Canmore to allocate a portion of remaining funds to complete a connection of the trail into the Town of Banff. The continuation of the Legacy Trail from its current termination to Marmot Crescent is an essential missing piece in both the connection to downtown Banff and the link for cyclists wanting to travel west to the junction with the 1A and on towards Lake Louise. West-bound cyclists on the Legacy Trail currently need to either illegally cross traffic at the end of the trail, where there is no formal crossing, or walk their bikes along the existing sidewalk to the crossing at Marmot Crescent.
In addition to the extension on the Banff end of the trail, Canmore is proceeding with concepts to extend the Legacy Trail to Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park with work to begin in 2015. The current concept being considered would see a switchbacking 2.5m wide gravel trail climbing the steep escarpment from the TransAlta Rundle Plant to the top of the existing stairs. There are hopes to keep the existing stairs with minor rehabilitation and consideration is being given to providing a more direct descent trail for mountain bikes. Route markings, signage, and some improvements to existing connections would also be done to get cyclists and pedestrians from the Legacy trailhead in Canmore to the Nordic Centre. The feasibility of concepts still needs to be assessed so no promises are being made about what the final constructed trail might look like.
Since 2013 when the Legacy Trail was connected from Banff National Park’s East Gate to Canmore, counts have doubled from approximately 56,000 in 2012 to nearly 108,000 in 2014. It’s still early in 2015 but at over 10,000 counts already as of April 28th, Legacy is on track to surpass the previous record set in 2014.
You can always check the counts at: http://legacytrail.canmore2.visio-tools.com/
Never ridden the Legacy Trail before? Take a look at our maps and guides!