Overview of the Canada portion of the ride. The red line is bicycle only trail.
For me, the route begins on the Mount Norquay Scenic Drive which overlooks Banff. Start at the top and enjoy the views of the city.
The Banff Springs Hotel was originally built in 1887-88. In 1925 it burned and was rebuilt. After the fire they found a secret room with no windows or door where some believe that a ghost that haunts the hotel lived.
As you wind down the switchbacks toward town, be on the lookout for mule deer and rocky mountain sheep.
Banff was administered by the national park system until 1990 when it was allowed to incorporate. There are about 7,500 permanent residents.
The town has an interesting railroad depot. Many tourists arrive by train. In fact, in 1883 three railroad workers stumbled onto the natural hot springs there. In 1885, Canada established the area as a federal reserve and began promoting the area as a resort and spa to help support the railroad. The railroad built hotels along the line to support this.
A closer look at the hotel.
The bicycle ride starts at the Spray River trailhead behind the hotel.
Since this trail excludes motorized travel, we have to go around and over some mountains on a very entertaining separate route.