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“Trail takes cycling in the Bow Valley to new heights and connects all the way to Lake Louise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Banff Legacy Trail

Banff Legacy Trail
Banff National Park, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
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Ranked #16 of 32 attractions in Banff
Type: Trails
Attraction Details
Canmore, Canada
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Trail takes cycling in the Bow Valley to new heights and connects all the way to Lake Louise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

The Legacy trail (26Km one way) has transformed cycling between Canmore and Banff. A beautiful paved trail, all be it, alongside the Trans Canada Highway (TCH) makes for an enjoyable ride between these two mountain towns and beyond.
Previously the alternatives were to ride the shoulders of the TCH, the Banff Trail off the end of the Canmore Nordic Centre, or Goat Creek trail.
To access it from the Canmore end:
Ride along Bow Valley Trail (Hwy 1A) cross the TCH, and ride west on the paved bike path beside the Harvey Heights road. At the end of the HH Road take the Access bridge back across the TCH and ride the shoulder against the traffic, 2km, to the Park gate and the start of the Legacy Trail proper. There are parking areas close to Harvey Heights along the access road that some use to stage for the ride. Another parking spot is right at the Banff Park gates between the Eastbound and Westbound lanes. Access to the Trail from here itself is sketchy at best.
This summer (2013)the trail should extended and connected to Canmore along the South side of the TCH so you won't have to ride against traffic.
The trail itself is smooth, rolling, and can be narrow at bridge crossings. There is a rest area with washrooms and picnic tables 1/3 of the way to Banff from the East end. The trail itself is multipurpose so you will have hikers, runners, roller skiers, rollerbladers as well as bikes on the trail.
Nearing the Banff end, at the wildlife gates, you can ride under the highway a short 1 km to Cascade Ponds with picnic tables and washrooms. From there you can connect to the Minnewanka Lake road and ride a great loop up to the lake and by Two Jack lake. (Clockwise is the best way to ride this loop)
Staying on the Legacy Tr. you enter Banff riding adjacent to the road on a paved trail. You end on the main drag (Banff Ave.) along a bike lane. With some route finding, you can access the Vermillion Lake Trails on the other side of Banff which will then connect you to the 1A Highway all the way to Lake Louise.
The prevailing winds are west to east so depending on the day, expect some wind if you come from Canmore. However riding Banff to Canmore is downhill and usually with the wind. There are shuttles available to take you back to whichever town you started.

Visited October 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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19 reviews from our community

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  • English first
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English first
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Cycle Canmore to Banff and Return”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

Cycle through spectacular mountain country... about 1 - 1.5 hours each way (depending on number of stops). Paved trail, some hills, usually breezy... a bit of a mountain wind tunnel. You can park close to the highway at Harvie Heights, just before Banff Park gates. Cycle into Banff for lunch!

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pollock Pines, California
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“What a gem to bicycle!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2012

Banff is blessed to have such a long (16 mile), beautiful, safe, and easy bicycle trail accessed right from town. It does parallel the highway, but we were too busy enjoying the views to notice the traffic. Bactrax Bicycle Rentals set us up with proper fitting bicycles that shifted smoothly for a reasonable price. They also recommended riding on Golf Course Drive, a 6 mile loop that was also beautiful with very little traffic.

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canada
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
18 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Banff Legacy Trail”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2012

The Banff Legacy Trail is a wonderful, paved, double track trail used by bikers, roller-skiers, roller bladers, etc. It is rated as a Green or easy level that meanders from the East Park gates to Banff and beyond - approx. 22km. It also connects with the Palliser Trail which runs west from the charming little town of Canmore. The Rocky Mountain scenery is (of course) outstanding; the only con is that the trail winds close to the highway so that you can hear the traffic. It is a great attraction for families and people of all ages and fitness levels to enjoy. Both Banff and Canmore also have many off-road bike trails of different levels of difficulty; you can get good trail maps from the Canmore Info Center and the Park Info Centers. Enjoy!

Visited August 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Airdrie, Canada
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
28 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Great riding!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2012

The trail consists of hills and flat places, so it's for everyone! The trail itself is in really good shape - not a lot of potholes or bulges (which is easy on the bum!).

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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