Back on April 1st there was a misleading article suggesting that CATS were building trails in Canmore. While that article was slightly more authentic than Trump tweets, it still seems only right to provide you with some reading that has a bit more substance. Something to chew on, something to savor and enjoy, something with more meat to it than a Trump Tower Grill Taco Bowl.
“Many hands make light work”
There’s a new trail group in Canmore and they’ve hit the ground hard with saws, McLeods, Pulaskis, and Rogues. As part of what was planned as a Canmore Trail Alliance (CTA) crew leader training day with no real work expected, keen leaders managed to rough in an entirely new singletrack connector from Sherwood Forrest to Elevator shaft in about an hour. With an initial training day effort like that, there is no doubt the CTA is dedicated to making change for the better.
“Be the change you want to see”
There are some amazing trails in the Canmore area, but you don’t need to listen hard to hear the loud roar of people wishing for more. The CTA is the upshot of those strong desires for more and improved trails in the area. Headed by passionate trail users from the community, Friends of Kananaskis, Alberta Parks, and even the Town of Canmore; the CTA is in a good position to help improve trail offerings in the valley. Partnerships with land managers, recreational groups, clubs, businesses, trail users, and the community at large will allow the CTA to take a collaborative, inclusive approach to building and maintaining an incredible trail system in and around Canmore.
“The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do”
Realistic conflict theory is a fancy way of saying that independent groups with conflicting interests will tend to fight a lot. No kidding eh! Situations similar to those reflected in the Tina Kraal Trail Sabotage Case are not unfamiliar in the Bow Valley. With a foundation built on collaborative partnerships, the CTA is all about “working together” with passionate and diverse users to plan, build, maintain, and experience an amazing trail system. To establish a valley wide trail system that people love and respect it is vital to engage trail users through planning, design, construction, and maintenance. Beyond that, it is also the CTA’s role to:
- Identify trail projects that require volunteer work
- Provide trained crew leaders to lead volunteer crews
- Help develop and advance trail initiatives that enhance Canmore area trails
- Provide trail updates and education
- Encourage participation
- Promote collaboration and inclusion
- Represent trail users
“Don’t let your dreams be dreams”
In collaboration and partnership with Alberta Parks and the Town of Canmore the CTA is putting shovels in the ground and plans to help deliver a ton of work for 2016. Who knew all this was in the works?
- Nordic Centre Long Loop – This loop trail will provide a long, continuous, remote, singletrack experience as well as form a significant portion of a much anticipated trail connection from Skogan Pass to Banff.
- Terminator Extension – The existing Terminator trail will be extended all the way down to the top of the Coal Chutes to create a more sustained and challenging trail offering at the Nordic Centre.
- Benchlands Flow Trail – This will be a series of progressive flow trails offering pumps, rollers, jumps, and drops in a way that Canmore has never offered before. With a consistent fall line from the Iron Goat to the Benchlands Bike Skills Park, it’s expected that this is going to become one of the most popular trails in Canmore!
- Douglas Fir Bench Trail – This trail will be enhanced to address some of the steep eroded sections as well as formalizing a connection from the Palliser housing developments to the Montane Trail.
- Silvertip Trail – Formalizing and improving the existing singletrack trail from the golf cart tunnel to the gravel pathway above the cemetery.
- Trans-Canada Trail Connector – Plans are being pursued to construct approximately 5km of trail connecting Three Sisters to Dead Man’s Flats in an effort to complete the nation wide trail on time for Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations on July 1, 2017.
“Knowing is half the battle”
OK quoting G.I. Joe, who probably didn’t know much about trails, is a bit of a stretch. But if you want to know more about what the CTA is up to or what they’re all about, check out the website at canmoretrailalliance.com. The website also has information on getting involved with trail work on Thursday evenings (6-9pm) and on most Saturday mornings (9am-12pm). Or if you want to meet some of the folks working in the valley come out to Trails Fest on June 11 in Kananaskis Village.
“As long as you are going to be thinking anyway, think big.”
The first sentence on the CTA’s homepage is “Working together to build, maintain, respect and love our trails”. With sentiments like that, the future of trails in Canmore is looking bright!