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Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail extension announced

The extension of one of the most scenic routes in the world is the result of a $4.35 million investment by the Alberta government, the towns of Canmore and Banff, and the Municipal District of Bighorn. Families, bikers, hikers, and rollerbladers will have eight more kilometres to enjoy along the Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail between Canmore and Banff.

Over the next year, the popular trail will wind its way from the Banff National Park East Gate to the Travel Alberta Visitor Information Centre in Canmore. Additional work will begin in 2014 to extend the trail from the visitor centre, through the Town of Canmore and to Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park.

“There are more than 45,000 visits to the Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail each year and the new paved trails will provide an unforgettable experience for everyone to enjoy,” said Tourism, Parks and Recreation Minister Dr. Richard Starke.” The partnership approach on this project was the key to it moving forward. We support collaborative efforts that expand the experiences we offer to Albertans while growing our tourism industry.”

“This new stretch of the scenic Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail will offer users safe, continuous access to cycle, hike or blade along the majestic Rockies,” added Transportation Minister Ric McIver. “Moving cyclists off Highway 1 improves the safety for everyone, including tourist and commercial vehicles. With our partner municipalities, we continue to build Alberta for our residents and visitors alike.”

The Government of Alberta is providing nearly $3.3 million of the total $4.35 million investment. This contribution will extend the trail 8.4 kilometres from the Banff National Park Gates to the Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park, as well as create a world-class trailhead at the Travel Alberta Visitor Centre parking lot in Canmore. The towns of Canmore and Banff, and the Municipal District of Bighorn are providing more than $1 million toward the trail extension.

“The Legacy Trail has proved to be a tremendous asset to the Bow Valley, and an economic and tourism benefit, as well as facilitating the use of alternative modes of transportation. A vital recreation connection between the east gate and the Town of Canmore has been missing,” said Canmore Mayor John Borrowman, speaking on behalf of the Bow Corridor Regional Mobility Partnership. “I am thrilled by the announcement that this gap will be closed. The Legacy Trail will become a safe place for all users - pedestrians, cyclists and families. Moving these users to the trail will also improve safety for drivers on the nearby TransCanada Highway.”

The new trail will connect to 26 kilometres of existing pathways in Banff National Park and offer three-season access to cyclists, hikers and other non-motorized vehicles.

“It is my hope and expectation that one day soon, the completed Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail will be one of the most celebrated and sought after experiences along the Trans Canada Trail, a nation-wide recreational pathway winding its way across our country from coast to coast to coast,” said Ross Hayes, Alberta TrailNet Society President. “We are pleased to see all levels of government working together to create an amazing trail for all Albertans and visitors to enjoy.”

The Redford government was elected to keep building Alberta, to live within its means and to fight to open new markets for Alberta’s resources. The province will continue to deliver the responsible change Albertans voted for.

Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation