Banff, Canmore, and Lake Louise

Canmore: Best Trails for Running

Canmore is a mecca for everything outdoorsy, from mountain biking, bouldering, peak bagging, skiing and of course running. It’s a 60 minute drive from Calgary, and also serves as a gateway to Banff National Park. This post features some best trails in the area for running — not overly challenging or technical. See also our post for some of the best roads and gentle paths for running in Canmore. NOTE: Bring bear spray in summer, especially on the Goat Creek Trail.

Bow River Paths. A great way to get a sense of the area. Plus, pretty and not too challenging!  On the south side of the river, a mainly gravel path (Spur Line Trail) runs along the river, east from Bridge Ave. as far as the Timberline Lodge, ~7 km. MAP. On the north side, there’s ~2 km along the river (Higashikawa Friendship Trail) and you can do a 7km loop including the Canmore Recreation Center and Lions Park, on the Larch Island Trail. MAP

Canmore Nordic Center. A major center for the 1988 Winter Olympics, this nordic center is great for mountain biking, hiking, and trail running in summer. There are nearly 100 km of trails, for all abilities. For more moderate trail running, better to follow green or blue trails. TRAIL MAP

Goat Creek Trail/Spray River Trail. This is a fun trail running adventure. It is possible to run all the way to the Banff Springs Hotel for 19 km. This is mainly a gravel bike path, popular with mountain bikers, and almost all downhill in the direction of Banff, winding through the valley on the back side of Rundle. In Canmore, the Goat Creek Trailhead is 10 km south of town on Rt. 742 (Smith Dorrien Highway/Spray Lakes Rd.), next to the Ha Ling Trailhead. The trail turns into the Spray River Trail near Banff. One fun option is to run one-way and take a bus back, or leave a vehicle. MAP

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