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Lycan1 05-16-2013 11:41 AM

Calgary & Area Tracks
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I thought that I would start a thread where Calgary and area tracks could be posted in case the Dual-sport site shuts down as rumoured.

I will start with a wandering southern route between Calgary and Waterton Park. Mostly good gravel with a couple of short Green Lane sections just south of Calgary (Dunbow Road and 48th Street) that can be easily worked around if wet and impassable. There is a section near Millarville that goes across an oil field road and it may be gated and locked. If so there is a go around just west that uses township roads and you will see it on your gps if you zoom out just a bit. Please be respectful and close the two cattle gates at the south end if you can get across the oilfield road.

Most of the gas stops are not listed, but are easy to find. Longview, Pincher Creek, Waterton Park Townsite, Nanton, Claresholm, High River, Turner Valley, etc. NOTE: The gas stop at Brocket is no longer operating.

There is currently (as of May 2013) a bridge out west of Waterton reservoir due to replacement construction. It can be re-routed around in either direction on township and range roads to connect back to the track. Just south of Brocket there is a very short "unimproved road" section that would be muddy after a day of rain, so caution is advised.

I have added a revised track, below.

Lycan1 05-16-2013 07:19 PM

Airdrie to Burnstick Lake
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A nice little back-road run through Water valley and Sundre to Burnstick Lake. Suitable for any bike that can handle gravel. There is a short section of black dirt surface that would be difficult or impassable if really wet. The campground at Burnstick Lake is very nice for tenting, with tables, fire pits and wood available from the hosts.

Lycan1 05-16-2013 07:22 PM

Powderface loop
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For those new to the area, here is a nice loop, about 50% gravel, and big bike friendly. West of Bragg Creek.

Lycan1 05-17-2013 07:29 AM

Calgary to Ram Falls Loop
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Another easy loop with about 50% Gravel along the trunk road past Ram Falls Campground. If you have never stopped at the falls you should, very nice. You won't see them from the bridge on the road. The campground is nice, but try to get a spot on the east end away from the dust of the road. Fuel is available in Nordegg at the store, and at Mountain Aire Lodge along the trunk road.

Lycan1 05-17-2013 07:40 AM

Water Valley to Hinton return loop
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Another longer loop, better for a two day outing, about 80% gravel. North along the trunk road, into Mountain Park and Cadomin from the less used but good southern entrance. Then into Hinton for fuel, and south along back road gravel into Sundre for fuel and south into Water Valley. Any large dual sport bike can do this route. Lots of Camping available on this route, but fuel should be planned carefully, and don't pass any oportunity to top up.

Lycan1 05-17-2013 07:45 AM

Dutch Creek to Waterton Park
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This route is a little more challenging for larger dual-sports and has areas that may be impassable when early in the season or after a day or two of rain. Check local intel before doing the sections that are at higher elevations, and be sure of your abilities. Most of this is Gravel, and some sections are fairly remote. Fuel locations are marked, as well as bridges and known washouts. Very nice scenery on this one.

Lycan1 05-17-2013 07:52 AM

Easy day loop southwest of Calgary
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Any Dual-Sport regardless of size can do this easy day trip. Nice empty back roads and a good variety of scenery. The road, 532 can have snow late into Spring, and the small water ford north of Black Diamond can be a hazard after a day of rain, or during spring melt and caution should be used. A good rule of thumb for the river ford (it has a concrete pad) is if you can see the edges of the concrete pad it is safe. If the water is turbid and wider than the pad, don't do it. I made the mistake early one spring and nearly got washed away in 2,1/2 feet of fast flowing water.

Lycan1 05-17-2013 08:08 AM

Calgary to Beauvais
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A easy, run south, east of Hwy 22 to a nice, lesser know camp spot north of Waterton National Park. The tent spots at the south end of the lake on the east side are very nice. The highlight of the track was "Skyline" road south of 520. It can be a bit muddy up top between the trees and has a nice little switchback before turning west and dropping elevation. Any sized Dual-sport machine with a rider comfortable on gravel can do this run. Fuel stops are marked.

Lycan1 05-17-2013 08:24 AM

Trans Alta Road
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This is a fairly local run, northwest of Cochrane, and makes a nice half day or full day run. The road entrance is off the trunk road immediately past Richards road on the north side of the pavement, not far north of the village of Waiprous. The road is usually badly pot-holed, sometimes rutted and has one low area that stays muddy late into spring. There is camping available in many spots along it's length and ends in the Ghost river Valley north of the Banff Park boundary. The last hill down to the valley is usually chewed up and has lots of loose rock in the tire ruts. Be Sure of your ability to get back up before descending, but in reality even worn out K-60 Heidenuas pulled my 990 up it many times without drama. The Valley itself is a large rocky river flood plain and can be fun to ride on, with easily spotted trails along the berms. It is very picturesque. Banff Park Boundary is south west from the bottom of the hill into the Valley at a point called "Devils Gap" and NO MOTORIZED vehicles are permitted to pass into the park, so please respect that. Going north along the berm trails will bring you to the river eventually and is a nice run. The trail continues on to Phantom Crag but is a snow mobile trail and crossing the river with motorized vehicles is not allowed and can land you a fine by "Fish & Feathers" who I have seen patrolling on multiple occasions. Respecting the rules will help keep the trails open for future riders so please be respectful.

Lycan1 05-17-2013 08:33 AM

Margaret Lake trail
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This is another run that branches of Waiprous Valley Road heading west off the trunk road. It can be done by larger dual-sport bikes but is much more fun (I imagine) on smaller more dirt specific machines. Weight is definitely your enemy here. The trail is very rocky, has been scooped out by 4X4's and has lots of puddles along its length. A group of us on various machines, my 990 Adventure being the biggest did this. I had trouble on one of the steeper, loose hills but made it the second try. The last hill before the muddy section by the lake I opted to sit out. Good off road tires (TKC's or more aggressive would be advisable) and better not to do this run solo unless you are very confident about your abilities. It does see a fair amount of jeep traffic and dirt bikes on weekends.

Lycan1 05-17-2013 08:45 AM

Limestone Lookout
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Another nice trail on the West side of the trunk road a little farther north than Mountain Aire Lodge. You should fuel there if you plan to do this run. The trail is easy, almost right to the Radio tower, with about the last 200 yards very rocky. It makes for a good workout steering your bike across the lumpy surface trying to find a good line across the baseball sized (and bigger) rocks. The view on a sunny day is amazing and the fire lookout tower can be ridden out to if you are comfortable riding loose and sometimes fairly steep surfaces. Again a small dual-sport would have the advantage past the radio tower (and gate). It can get really windy on top. I did it on My 990 Adv., but did not go past the radio Tower, as I did not believe my worn rear tire would get my bike back up the hill. It is worth getting at least that far just for the views!

Lycan1 05-17-2013 08:49 AM

That's a start
These are some of the more interesting tracks that I had easily available. Hopefully someone else gets some enjoyment from them. I will continue to add as time goes by. I welcome any other locals to post what they may have, just please add a description so that other riders know what they are getting into. Also try to keep them Dual-Sport doable, after all that is what the intent here is.

Lycan1 05-17-2013 12:02 PM

Calgary to Elkwater
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This is a mostly gravel route that incorporates both gravel back roads and the canal service roads. It is a full day ride. I last did this 2 years ago (in its entirety) and there were spots were land owners adjacent had tried to block the canal service road with rock piles. They were circumvent-able but could be a tight squeeze for bikes with non-removable bags. Much better when dry, but do-able in the wet. Nice relaxing ride with very little traffic.

Lycan1 05-17-2013 12:05 PM

Alberta Trunk road
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Coleman to Hinton including Hwy 40 (paved) to connect the south gravel section and the north section past the village of Waiprous. Either Dusty or muddy, but with a good base all the way. North of Nordegg the week-day oilfield traffic can be heavy. Weekends (Sunday afternoons) the camper traffic can be heavy all along it.

Lycan1 05-19-2013 02:07 PM

BIG day loops
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For those who like a real full day, here are a couple of tracks that would be a hard push, all day event. They consist of about 45/55% split (paved to gravel) either way, depending on which track you take. Fuel stops are marked, and any sized dual-sport should be fine on these.

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