By Leroy Jenkins
If you’re looking for a quick but challenging mountain bike ride in the town of Canmore, or a chance to work on your skills and test your bike before you head out into the wild Canadian Rockies, you’ll want to head straight over to Canmore’s new mountain bike parks.
The the Millennium and Benchlands Mountain Bike Skills Parks are designed by master park builder Jay Hoots, who, with a team of local volunteers, created this 2,000 square metre mountain biker’s heaven.
Besides being awesome parks, they also happen to be free, so you can hold on to your wallet and save it for some of that good Canadian Rockies cusine you’ll be dying for after a hard day riding.
The Benchlands park is located at the base of the hill just east of the Trans Canada Highway overpass. You can ride into the park from a paved or a gravel path above the east side of the Canmore Cemetery. There is a small gravel lot accessed off of Benchlands Trail.
The Millennium Mountain Bike Skills Park is on the corner of 5th Avenue and 1st Street Canmore, right next to the Millennium Park Sport field. You can ride in from 5th Avenue or the Bow River trail. If you drove, park at the Millennium Park lot.
The parks are designed to be fun and challenging for riders anywhere from a beginners level to advanced. Riding in the park is unsupervised, so you’ll want to exercise caution just like you would if you were out in the mountains.
The park does have some guidelines intended to increase your enjoyment of it, and help protect your safety, including that you wear a helmet and other protective gear, keep your seat post low, communicate with other riders and know your ability and stay within them.
Anyway, no excuses. If you’re in Canmore and looking to bike, it’s right there. Get out and ride!