Canmore, Alberta – An Outdoor Lover’s Town in the Rocky Mountains

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.

771 Spray Lake Reservoir Canmore Alberta Canada

Spray Lakes Reservoir in Canmore

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.

Rocky Mountains downtown Canmore Alberta Canada

Canmore is a fun walking town with a soaring mountain backdrop

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.

Window view of Rocky Mountains Canmore AB Canada

The mountains reflect in a picture window.

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.

RV adventure Canmore Alberta Canada

RVing in (hippie) style

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.

RV travel Canmore Alberta Canada

Rental RVs are big business in Canada’s Rocky Mountains

A lovely walking path roams through the town and along the Bow River, and we ventured out onto it one morning.

Bike path boardwalk Canmore Alberta Canada

A boardwalk brings us to a beautiful walking path through town.

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.

Bike path bridge Canmore Alberta Canada

Ready for a stroll?

Bow River Canmore Alberta Canada

The Bow River in Canmore

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!

Canmore Alberta Canada street bike stand

Canmore LOVES bikes and has repair stands around town!

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!

Bike repair tools bike stand Canmore Alberta Canada

Loose handle bars? Floppy seat? Here’s what you need!

Cyclists are a common sight on all the roads around town.

Cycling in the Canadian Rockies Canmore Alberta Canada

We saw folks on bikes everywhere.

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.

Bicycling the bike trail Canmore Alberta Canada

The bike trail system in Canmore is extensive and gorgeous.

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.

Bicycle trail Canmore Alberta Canada

What fun to ride a bike in this setting!

Canmore is growing, and there are lots of very beautiful homes.

Fancy homes Canmore Alberta Canada

There are some really elegant homes around town.

Not a bad spot to live — and with a fantastic running/walking/biking trail right out your door!

Bike trail Canmore Alberta Canada

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At one point we just had to take a load off in front of a truly gorgeous luxury mountain home.

Luxury homes Canmore Alberta Canada

“Nice pile of bricks ya got there!”

The trail goes on for quite a ways, but there are plenty of places to stop for a breather.

Bicycling the bike path Canmore Alberta Canada

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Bow River Canmore Alberta Canada

If you need to take a load off, here’s a great spot to do it!

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!

Geese and goslings Canmore Alberta Canada

A little goose family swam by.

The bike trails encircle the town and wander off to the golf course and other far flung spots.

Bike path and walking trail Canmore Alberta Canada

Stunning!

We covered just a fraction of what is available to be ridden (or jogged), but we were enchanted by what we saw.

Mountain view on bike path Canmore Alberta Canada

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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.

Geese on Bow River Canmore Alberta Canada

The coffee bistro and fancy shops were nice, but this was where it was at!

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:

Other blog posts from our RV travels in the Canadian Rockies:

Other great bike trails we’ve found in our travels!

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