May 2016 – For the pat month we’d been in Canada’s four National Parks at the heart of the Rocky Mountains, and we’d marveled at the wonders that each park had to offer. From Kootenay to Yoho to Banff to Jasper, each National Park had left us reeling at the incredible beauty of these mountains.
But when we got up to Jasper in the northern part of the region, the weather forecast for the next 10 days looked downright dismal. We had been hovering over the little heater in our trailer a lot lately, and we weren’t sure we wanted to do any more of that right at the moment, so we packed it up and headed south the the city of Canmore.
Canmore is a delightful town on the eastern edge of Banff National Park, close enough to Calgary to be a weekend getaway, but smaller, quieter and a little less fancy than the nearby Grand Dame of towns, Banff.
Canmore is a fun place to stroll around, and there are lots of pretty homes, boutique shops and restaurants. It has a friendly, casual flare to it as well, and we both did a double take when we saw an RV roll up that was covered with a colorful hippie paint job sporting a peace sign on the hood.
There were plenty of traditional RVs too, and just as in every other part of the Canadian Rockies National Parks, there were a zillion Class C rental RVs driving up and down the streets.
A lovely walking path roams through the town and along the Bow River, and we ventured out onto it one morning.
The boardwalk took us over a foot bridge to the other side of the river, and we met quite a few other people who were also enjoying a morning stroll by the water.
But the favored mode of transportation in this town (as it is in Banff as well) is the bicycle. Bikes are so beloved in this town and cyclists are so well respected for that there are little stations along the streets that provide bicyclists with an air pump, a bike stand and a set of bike tools so they can do quickie repairs on their bikes!
What a surprise to see a cyclist’s Park Tools multitool and a screw driver and other goodies hanging on the inside of one of these cool public bike stands!
Cyclists are a common sight on all the roads around town.
Canmore has a fantastic network of bike paths that wander all over the place. There are maps at the intersections and free paper maps available too. We hopped on our bikes one day and had a delightful ride.
We rode the Three Sisters Trail that goes along the Bow River for much of the length of town and the Bow River Loop trail around downtown. The mountains framed every view.
Canmore is growing, and there are lots of very beautiful homes.
Not a bad spot to live — and with a fantastic running/walking/biking trail right out your door!
At one point we just had to take a load off in front of a truly gorgeous luxury mountain home.
The trail goes on for quite a ways, but there are plenty of places to stop for a breather.
As we admired the views on all sides of us, we suddenly noticed a family of Canada geese out for a morning swim. Mom and dad took up their positions at the front and back of the little parade while the goslings swam between them in the middle. So cute!
The bike trails encircle the town and wander off to the golf course and other far flung spots.
We covered just a fraction of what is available to be ridden (or jogged), but we were enchanted by what we saw.
It is so special when a community creates a trail system all through the outskirts of town to encourage people to take a walk, or do a little jog or ride their bikes.
Of course, having stunning mountain views and a fabulous river running alongside town is an incredible plus. But kudos to Canmore (and Banff) for making such an extensive trail system in and around town and making that scenery visible and accessible to both locals and visitors alike!!
If your RV travels take you into the Canadian Rockies, be sure to swing through Canmore and unload your bike for an easy ride (or walk) through some really spectacular scenery!
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Here is a little more info about Canmore and the bike trails:
- Canmore Tourism Website
- Canmore bike trail maps and other info
- Canmore area RV parks
- Tips for travelers visiting Canada by RV
- Location of Canmore (Google Maps)
Other blog posts from our RV travels in the Canadian Rockies:
- Waterton Lakes Nat’l Park – Starry Skies, the Milky Way & Wildflowers 08/09/16
- Waterton Shoreline Cruise – A Classy Tour of Waterton-Glacier NP 08/05/16
- Waterton Lakes National Park – Rocky Mountain High! 07/28/16
- Kananaskis Country – Canadian Rockies Beauty Off the Beaten Path 07/23/16
- Jasper National Park – Columbia Icefields & Athabasca Falls 07/12/16
- Hot Springs in the Canadian Rockies – Swimming in Giant Hot Tubs!! 07/10/16
- Banff, Alberta – A Grand Resort Town in the Canadian Rockies 07/03/16
- Yoho National Park – Emerald Lake & Natural Bridge – Aqua Magic! 06/26/16
- Moraine Lake – Crown Jewel of Banff National Park 06/19/16
- Icefields Parkway – True Blue Lakes, Avalanches & Grouse! 06/16/16
- Icefields Parkway – Canadian Rockies Scenic Drive – WOW! 06/14/16
- Lake Louise – RV Travels to the Heart of the Rockies in Banff 06/10/16
- Kootenay National Park Canada – Bears, Mountains & Rivers! 06/07/16
- Canadian Rockies – Big Mountains & Bighorn Sheep! 06/02/16
Other great bike trails we’ve found in our travels!
- New River Trail State Park – Galax, Virginia
- Bell Rock Pathway – Sedona, Arizona
- Acadia National Park Carriage Roads – Mount Desert Island, Maine
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