Distance: 8.5 km (one-way)
Time: 1.5 – 2.5 hrs
Elevation Gain: 119 m
Elevation Loss: 176 m
Technical Rating: Advanced
Physical Rating: Moderate
Season: June – October
Permit Required: Yes (Park Pass)
Rundle Riverside is a very technical singletrack trail largely made up of roots and rocks. It is accessed via the Banff Trail located at the Canmore Nordic Centre and runs along the Bow River all the way to the Banff Springs Golf Course. Even though this trail has a technical rating of advanced, the little elevation gain and the rolling nature of the trail make this one of the easier trails to ride in the Bow Valley – at least easier physically, but not technically. If you’re an advanced to expert rider you’ll find the trail challenging, but not overwhelming to ride. For the intermediate rider, this trail will pose a good challenge to advance your skills.
The trail has become more challenging in certain spots as a result of the June 2013 floods; roots have further eroded and the few rock slide crossings have loosened. Overall, this is still a great challenge to ride and one that remains on top of my hit list. However, not all riders enjoy this type of extremely technical riding, so you’ll have to be the judge and decide for yourself.
Rundle Riverside may be ridden as an out-and-back, one way, or may be combined with the Goat Creek trail to complete a loop lasting about four to five hours. If you prefer an easier pedal back to Canmore, then combine Rundle Riverside with the Banff Legacy Trail for a smooth ride along a paved path.
The trail itself is only 8.5 km in length; however, in order to complete the trail one way, one must include the Banff Trail, which takes you from the Nordic Centre to Rundle Riverside, and the ride out from where the trail ends at the golf course to Spray Avenue, adding another 13 km to your ride.
If you’re looking to hitch a ride back to Banff or Canmore, after completing your one-way journey along the Rundle Riverside Trail, consider using the local Hike n’ Bike Shuttle. For a nominal fee they will transport you and your bike back to either town. Or as another alternative, there is always the Roam Bus connecting Banff to Canmore.
TRAILHEAD | N51 07.838 W115 25.889 (CANMORE)
Canmore access: Head up to the Canmore Nordic Centre and ride your bike from the day lodge west along Banff Trail. Rundle Riverside starts at the end of Banff Trail and is well marked.
Banff access: Take Banff Avenue to Spray Avenue. Turn left onto Bow Falls Drive; follow Bow Falls until it turns to Golf Course Road. Follow Golf Course Road for 4 km to the well marked trailhead.
bikepirate rating: 4 Skulls