If you want to go for a mountain bike ride with your kids in the mountains, Canmore is a great place to escape with your kids. The mountains tower, the scenery is spectacular, and the terrain is varied.You can do an easy ride along the Bow River through town, You can take the Legacy Trail out to Banff, or you could look for some tracks on the mountains.
Zacharie took the final weekend of summer to take to the mountains and hit up some of the mountain biking trails in Canmore. First on our itinerary was a visit to Millennium Park for the the pump track and skills park (h/t to Tanya Koob for getting on my radar) and then we headed up the hill to the Canmore Nordic Centre for a more traditional ride in the mountains.
Here’s a breakdown of where we went and what each place is like:
Canmore Pump Track
The pump track in Canmore is a small corner on the western edge of Millennium Park that has been carved up into dirt banks and bumps for kids to pound over.
We saw little ones with strider bikes, tweens with bigger bikes, and a few dads showing their charges how to really hit the jumps.
A pump track is a great place for kids to get comfortable on a bike and for parents to just sit back and relax. They turn around doing laps, while you lounge on the sidelines having a coffee, chatting, or join in if you want.
Zacharie had a good time hitting the bumps and corners, but actually enjoyed running the course more than riding it. He started pretending he was on America Ninja Warrior and just ran up and down and all around.
Canmore Mountain Bike Skills Park
In the trees just beside the pump track is a skills park. About a dozen trees have been set up in a circle with rocks to create a pathway to work on your obstacle maneuvers at a safe distance above the ground.
It was a little above Zacharie’s skill level, but he had fun running on it.
A great place for those who want to do some serious riding, or just hit a few k with the family, the Canmore Nordic Centre is what I have always dreamed of in a mountain trail system. The home of the Canadian Nordic Ski Teams, it is a paradise of cross country trails in the winter, and mountain bike networks in the summer.
You can do single track bushwacking, or you can stick to a leisurely pace on a paved 4.6km return path in the middle of the park.
This is what we did. There’s just enough bumps to make it interesting, and just short enough to be something younger kids can tackle. If you’re up to more of a ride, you can pick any number of routes through the dirt, gravel, and leaves.
Stop in the rental shop across from the Day Lodge to pick up a trail map for $2. The trails are also clearly labeled out in the park.
It was an absolutely magical late summer day, and we just dipped our tow into the offerings Canmore has for people who love to ride. For example, look at the mechanic station we found on the main drag across from the Old School Bus Ice Cream stand.
If you’re looking for family friendly, kid friendly, a wide variety of choice of mountain biking trails in Canmore, it shouldn’t be too tough to leave with a muddy smile no matter your skill level.