October is such a gorgeous time of year to explore Calgary by bike. Crisp blue-sky days, 1000km of bike paths and more than 300km of cycle tracks to explore. Choose from afternoon ice cream pedals to full-day urban wild rides. Jump on the LRT with your bike and ride a long and linear route to connect the city in a new way. Here’s some wonderful rides to connect, explore, and discover Calgary by bike!
Elbow River Pathway: Sandy Beach – River Walk – Scotsman’s Hill – Elbow Park
The entire length of the Elbow River Pathway is a wonderful mix of nature and neighborhoods as you cycle from Sandy Beach Park, through Riverdale, past Stanley Park and through Rideau. Scotsman’s Hill is the perfect photo stop before descending to the River Walk and the Bow River Pathway.
Distance: 7 to 20km
Glenmore Reservoir Circumnavigation
Paved pathway riding, stunning reservoir and Rockies views, and a wilderness immersion make this one of Calgary’s most popular leisure rides. Views are immediate and constant as you follow the paved pathway at the top of the bluffs in North Glenmore Park, into the Weaselhead wilderness and back up to South Glenmore Park.
Fish Creek: Shannon Terrace – Mallard Point
Vast and peaceful, a bike ride through the wilds of Fish Creek Provincial Park recharges and refreshes. Follow the paved pathways the length of the park, from the forested west end to the wide-open east end with an option to climb to the Douglasdale escarpment before looping back along the Bow River. Stop for a coffee or ice cream at Annie’s café.
Distance: 14 to 33km
Barley Belt Ride
Inglewood is the perfect start for the craft brewery tour that has you pedalling along the 12 Street cycle track, through Ramsay and along the 42 Avenue pathway. Choose to taste test at more than 15 breweries and cideries before looping back past Stanley Park and the Elbow River Pathway.
Confederation Park – Tuxedo Park – Crescent Heights – Sunnyside – Hounsfield Heights
Paved pathways that wind beneath the poplars and alongside the creek in Confederation Park before you connect to the bike lane in Mount Pleasant continuing to the photo-worthy views from the Crescent Heights escarpment. Descend into Sunnyside and detour to see gargoyles and garage art or to take a pit stop at a tasty eatery.
Distance: 6 to 15km
Bridgeland – East Village – Beltline – Mount Royal – Bankview – Bow River Pathway
Connecting the Northeast to the Southwest, these inner-city rides are a wonderful mix of cycle tracks, pathways, and on-road bike lanes. This is a colorful murals, homes and gardens ride as you cycle through the Beltline and into Mount Royal. The views from hilly Bankview are a highlight before connecting to the Bow River Pathway.
Nose Hill Park Loop
Views begin immediately as you follow the paved pathway onto the Nose Hill plateau, the highest point in Calgary. Choose to stay high on the plateau or drop down and climb back up. Highlights include the Siksikaitsitapi Medicine Wheel, the golden aspen groves, and the stunning grasslands.
Distance: 9 to 15km
Bowmont Park – Baker Park – Bowness Park – Calgary Farmers’ Market West – Greenwood – Bowness
Travelling from wetlands to grasslands this hilly ride climbs to spectacular Bow River views. Choose to continue along the Bow River or to navigate Bowness side streets to fill your panniers with local produce from the market.
Distance: 15km, or 22km with Calgary Farmers’ Market West add-on
Arbour Lake to Sunnyside LRT Linear Ride
Soak up big mountain views as you coast downhill along paved pathways past the Royal Oak wetlands, the wilds of Twelve Mile Coulee and into Bowness Park. Continue along the Bow River Pathway to the Peace Bridge and into Sunnyside where a café stop could be the big finish.
Distance: 26km one way. Return on the LRT.
West Nose Creek – Edgemont Ravines – Nose Hill Park
Bike past willows along the riverbanks and shrubs through West Nose Creek before winding through tunnels and into the wilds of Edgemont Ravines. Cycle past wetlands and into the manicured ravine park before climbing to Nose Hill Park where a paved pathway descent awaits.
Lori is the author of Calgary’s Best Bike Rides, 50 urban cycle tours and pathway pedals and the best-selling Calgary’s Best Walks, the owner of Fit Frog and the CTV Walks segment host. She leads walks, hikes, and snowshoe days with her company Fit Frog. Join her on free library walks following routes from her from her book this fall. Connect with her and get a signed copy of her books on Instagram & Facebook @lorifitfrog and at fitfrog.ca. Find her books at bookstores and cool shops throughout Calgary.
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