Perhaps one of the worst kept secrets in the Bow Valley is our community’s love affair with bikes. Possibly a worse kept secret is that the Town of Canmore is working on creating a series of modern progressive mountain bike trails paralleling Benchlands Trail. Of course neither of those things were ever actually secrets. But pretending they were is kinda fun.
This landmark project was identified through Canmore’s much anticipated Open Space and Trails Plan (OSTP). Engagement for the OSTP began back in 2011 and Council adopted the plan in June 2015. During the presentation Mayor Borrowman compared the extensive recommendation to the Sears catalogue saying;
“It makes me think a little bit of the Sears Christmas Catalog – I wanted it all!”
With an approved OSTP the Town retained Hang-Time Bike Parks Inc. in 2016 to develop “Conceptual Designs” for what is currently being referred to as the “Benchlands Flow Trail”. The vision for the project was to develop concepts for three distinct trail sections creating opportunities for Expert/Advanced, Intermediate, and Beginner skill levels. Gavin Conner at Hang Time has put some things on paper that seem to have been plucked out of a mountain bikers dreams. If we’re still drawing comparisons to the Sears catalogue, the Benchlands Flow Trail is in the toy section.
The Town’s current hope is to complete portions of the Benchlands Flow Trail in 2016. Awesome things are happening in the Bow Valley. Stay tuned!