10km of rolling single track with some doubletrack gravel path along the camping areas. 150 cumulative meters of climbing (so pretty flatish). Mostly quite easy, good for anyone on a MTB, and a good way to link up all the other trails,. A great intro to trail mountain biking, fun for the whole family (and all those other cliches). But seriously, it's a decent trail and the fact it's inside Banff with amazing views, it can't be beat. Well signed and easy access from anywhere in the town and Tunnel Mountain camping areas.
The NE section is along a cliff with great views of the Water Tower and escarpment along the N side of Hiway 1. And somewhere along there we came upon this surreal water tank / UFO thingee. Nothing too weird, just didn't expect it there. Some power lines, some deadfall, nice forests all contribute to a fun ride.
You will cross a little road we didn't recognize along the SE side, and decided to investigate. It turned out to be a dead end going down to the water treatment plant and where many years ago a bridge used to cross the Cascade River. Cascade River is the outlet of the small hydroelectric plant at the Water Tower (which in turn is fed by Two Jack Lake).
This and 6 other trails (Hoodoos, Tunnel Mountain Loop Singletrack, Star Wars, The Toe, Snake and Water Tower) form a buncha new mountain bike trails within Banff Park. In the past, there were *very* limited options for riding in the woods of National Parks. But thanks to a philosophy change by Parks Canada and some *VERY* hardworking volunteers at the Bow Valley Mountain Bike Alliance (BVMBA), we now have these to enjoy. And you WILL enjoy them, they're good!. And even better, there are more coming, the BVMBA tells me late spring 2012 should have another new, technical trail open near Star Wars. Support you local MBA, BVs trail building night is Wednesdays, bring boots & gloves, they have a Pulaski with your name on it.
You can park in the Surprise Corner / Point parking lot and ride East and up to Tunnel Mountain Drive, or park in one of the spots along TMD to ride back towards SP.
To get to Surprise Corner parking, drive all the way along Banff Avenue and turn left just before (at N side) of the Bridge to the Park Admin building/Banff Springs onto Buffalo Street. Take Buffalo to where it turns into Tunnel Mnt Drive at a sharp left corner and there is free public parking there.
Tunnel Mountain Drive runs from Buffalo Street (as above) to the far North end of Banff Avenue (900m South of Hiway 1 overpass).
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