Central Alberta Regional Trails Society

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Urban Trails in Central Alberta
 
Several communities in Central Alberta have developed well-used trail systems. Many are part of or linked to The Great Trail (also known as the Trans Canada Trail).
Red Deer Waskasoo Park Trail Map
 
The largest and best known trail system in the region is in the City of Red Deer, (population 100,000) much of which is in Waskasoo Park. The trail system covers more than 110 km and is continually expanding. Citizens of the city have ranked the trail system as one of the most cherished amenities of the community.

The trail system includes three pedestrian bridges across the Red Deer River including an abandoned historic CPR railway bridge. Features along the system include Heritage Ranch, Maskepetoon Nature Park, Great Chief Recreation Park, Bower Ponds, Cronquist House, Great West Adventure Park, Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary, Kerry Wood Nature Centre, Three Mile Bend off-leash dog park, McKenzie Trails, Riverbend Recreation Area, Discovery Canyon, Coronation Park, Rotary Recreation Park, Rotary Picnic Park and Kin Kanyon. Recently, the city has built a trail along the east edge of the city on a berm that will eventually be part of an expressway. Plans are under way to develop a trail system in the north part of city as it develops.

The system connects the historic downtown, City Hall Park, Public Library, and 'The Arches' interpretive pavilion with the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery, Golden Circle Seniors Centre, Blue Grass Central Spray & Play, Red Deer Recreation Centre, Red Deer Arena, Pidherney Curling Centre, Rotary Skateboard Park, Sunnybrook Farm Museum, Collicutt Centre, Westerner Park, Red Deer Golf & Country Club, River Bend Golf Course, Lions Campground, Mountain Bike Park, Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, Tourism Red Deer and Civic Yards.

A Trans Canada Trail pavilion was erected near Bower Ponds in 2005.
(Red Deer Waskasoo Trails map 2014)
 
Lacombe Trails MapExtensive trail networks have been developed in the City of Lacombe and the towns of Innisfail, Ponoka, Sylvan Lake, Blackfalds and Penhold. All but Sylvan Lake are partially or mostly part of the Trans Canada Trail (now The Great Trail) system.

Many of the initial trails in the City of Lacombe (population 11,700, 25 km north of downtown Red Deer) were constructed by a lone individual, the late Bill Nielsen, who was very dedicated to trail development. The city has since developed, expanded and upgraded the community trail system to a length of about 16 km. (Lacombe trails map)

Blackfalds Trails MapThe town of Blackfalds (population 9,900, 14 km north of downtown Red Deer) has the only indoor section of Trans Canada Trail in the country. It goes through the Abbey recreation Centre fieldhouse. The town has also completed paved trails linking the Lacombe County trail south to the Blindman River and the Lacombe County trail north to the city of Lacombe. (Blackfalds trails map)

The town of Ponoka (population 7,200, 56 km north of downtown Red Deer), as part of a continual trail development plan, completed a new pedestrian/bicycle bridge across the Battle River in 2010. The Diamond Willow trail system extends 5.2 km.

Sylvan Lake Trails MapThe town of Sylvan Lake (population 15,000, 24 km west of downtown Red Deer) has developed a natural trail system that includes the abandoned CPR/Alberta Central Railway right of way. There is also a lakefront trail and a much more formal promenade along the lake front for a total of 26 km. (
Sylvan Lake trails map)

The town of Penhold (population 3,300, 16 km south of downtown Red Deer) has recently constructed a trail along Waskasoo Avenue linking the community with the Penhold Multiplex and the Penhold Crossing High School. Other trails are in the planning stage.
Innisfail Trails Map
The town of Innisfail (population 7,800, 33 km south of downtown Red Deer) was one of the first communities in Central Alberta to have a section of TransCanada Trail around Dodd's Lake. Since then, a fairly extensive trail system of about 20 km has been developed. The town has recently expanded its trail system around Napoleon Lake, much of it through volunteer efforts. (Innisfail trails map)

The town of Olds (population 9,000, 66 km south of downtown Red Deer) is developing an extensive trail network.

The village of Alix (population 850, 54 km east of downtown Red Deer) has a 6.5-km trail around Alix Lake.

The hamlet of Springbrook (population 1,500, 14 km south of downtown Red Deer) has both paved and gravel trails in a natural area on the south side of the community as well as a trail along Airport Drive.

Red Deer and Red Deer County are in the planning stages of extending the city's Waskasoo Park into the County as the city grows along rivers, tributaries and possibly abandoned railway lines.

 


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