Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Our Favorite Kananaskis Bike Path - TRIP REPORT

The Bill Milne Bike Path is our favorite family bike trail in Kananaskis. The valley setting is splendid with mountains all around and the trail is perfect for young cyclists or those who want a leisurely ride. Most of the trail from Kovach Pond to Wedge Pond is flat and paved, so it is possible to do the trail on any kind of bike or tow a baby in a bike trailer. We even saw a family longboarding the trail! 


Route Overview

Trail: Bill Milne Bike Path (formerly known as Evan Thomas Bike Path)
Trailhead: Kovach Pond Day Use Area
Destination: Wedge Pond
Total distance: 17.4 km return
  • Kovach Pond Day Use to Golf Course 5.4 km
  • Golf Course to Bridge 1.5 km
  • Bridge to Mt Kidd RV Park 550 m - Stop here for an ice cream bar or popsicle!
  • Mt Kidd RV Park to Wedge Pond 2 km (this is the hilly section)
Elevation gain/loss: ~100 m gain on the way to Wedge Pond, ~100 m loss on the way back
Trail surface: Asphalt with two short sections of gravel
Difficulty: Easy (Moderate for 5 year olds)
Washrooms: Outhouses at Kovach Pond Day Use Area, Mount Kidd RV Park, and Wedge Pond
Picnic Areas: Kovach Pond, Wedge Pond
Dining: Delta Kananaskis Lodge, Moose Family Kitchen (located next to the Delta in the same building as Kananaskis Outfitters), Store and snack bar at Mount Kidd RV Park.

Bill Milne Bike Path, Kananaskis

Route Description

The trail begins at Kananaskis Village, but this area is winding and hilly (and usually full of pedestrians), so we like to start at Kovach Pond Day Use Area. From the trailhead, head left towards Kananaskis Golf Course and Mount Kidd RV Park. Very shortly you will come to a bridge over Ribbon Creek. Cross the bridge carefully - the pedestrian lane on the bridge is too narrow for a double Chariot - and continue on. You will pass through mixed forest, aspen forest, before entering a lovely flat, river plain with panoramic views.

Bill Milne Bike Path
Great snack spot on the Bill Milne Trail
Bill Milne Bike Path
Beautiful bridge 550 m before Mount Kidd RV Park
Pass the golf course and Mount Kidd campground, then cross highway 40 - about 1 km past the campground. This route allows you to stay on a paved trail and is also shorter and less smelly than if you crossed the highway at the golf course (the unpaved trail across from the golf course is shared with horses). 

The last section to Wedge Pond is rolling with a couple small, but steep hills. Children on balance bikes may need assistance, but my 5 year old was able to do the hills without stopping. The last few hundred metres to Wedge Pond are downhill on a gravel trail. Things to do at Wedge Pond follow. 

On your return, enjoy coasting most of the way back, and have a rest on the bench by the Ribbon Creek bridge near the trailhead. If you need a snack break sooner, pop in to the store at Mount Kidd RV Park and get an ice cream!

Nice view of The Wedge from the Ribbon Creek Bridge

Wedge Pond Activities

  • Hiking - 1 km interpretive hike around the lake.
  • Picnicking - Bring a picnic blanket as the picnic tables are up the hill from the lake and there are only a few benches around the lake.
  • Geocaching - There are 2 geocaches around the pond.
  • Fishing
  • Wading
Wedge Pond, Kananaskis
Getting mucky at Wedge Pond

Trail Hazards

There are a few road crossings, so children should be kept close and instructed to stop at every intersection. Most of the back roads were quiet, but where the trail crosses at Highway 40, cars are travelling at high speeds.

As in all mountain parks, there is wildlife, so travel in a group, make noise, and carry bear spray. See 10 Bear Safety Tips for Hikers and Backpackers for ways to stay safe. Note that bikes move quickly and quietly so you have a higher chance of startling animals on a bike - make lots of noise (sing, ring your bell periodically) to alerta animals of your approach.

Directions

From Calgary, head west on Highway 1 until you reach the exit for Kananaskis Country / Highway 40. At the stop sign, turn left. Continue for 23 kilometres until the turnoff for Kananaskis Village. Turn right on Mount Allen Drive. Take your first left, and then immediate next left on Ribbon Creek Drive into Kovach Pond Day Use Area.


Bill Milne Bike Path, Kananaskis
Try out the trail and let me know how you like it! 

Related Links

3 comments :

Where would you recommend to stop and turn around if we're looking for something shorter? Maybe 8km round trip

Maybe start at Mount Kidd and go to Wedge Pond? Great camping there!

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading and taking the time to leave me a message! I love hearing from readers!! :)