A new trail is being blazed for mountain biking and development in Canmore with the announcement this week of a partnership between a land developer and the local mountain bike association.
Three Sisters Mountain Village (TSMV) and the Canmore and Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA) announced on Sunday (Dec. 9) a memorandum of understanding to support the development, construction and maintenance of mountain bike trails on the company’s property in the future.
In addition to the agreement between the two parties on future trail development, TSMV announced $10,000 in support for CAMBA, which advocates for creating and maintaining local mountain bike trails in the Canmore area.
TSMV president David Taylor said the company is excited about the opportunities the partnership provides.
“We have heard from the community in our public outreach sessions and other conversations that having a quality and connected trail system is important,” Taylor said in a press release. “This is a big step towards making that happen.”
TSMV’s undeveloped lands include a resort or village area along the Three Sisters Parkway and adjacent to its abandoned golf course project. It also includes Smith Creek, which stretches from Stewart Creek phase three to Dead Man’s Flats. In all, it is 80 per cent of the developable lands left in the community’s urban growth boundary.
Currently the land contains a myriad of trails, both illegal trails and those that have been developed and supported by TSMV and land managers like Alberta Environment and Parks and the municipality.
Taylor said as the company applies for development approvals and possibly moves forward on those plans, some of the trails in the area may be closed or re-routed.
“This long-term collaboration allows for a direct line to the mountain bike community and represents the chance to have all parties at the table when we look at managing these lands into the future,” he said.
The agreement includes using resources to support educating mountain bikers as a specific group of recreational users on the landscape and the affects of human use in designated wildlife corridors. Efforts include creating signage that clearly communicates what trails are permitted, discouraging illegal trail use and building, difficulty levels, closures and construction zones for example.
“Canmore has some amazing and popular trails, and there are a lot of passionate riders and advocates,” said CAMBA president Chad Holowatuk. “This agreement will help support the maintenance and creation of a safe and exciting trail network. It’s also a unique opportunity to work together at the beginning of a development process, and we’re happy to share this news after years of laying the groundwork to get to this point.”