Exploring Alberta’s Provincial Parks: Canmore Nordic Center

–SERC Wild Wings (Diskussion) 04:38, 3. Okt. 2014 (CEST), Copyrighted free use, via Wikimedia Commons

About Canmore Nordic Center

Canmore Nordic Center Provincial Park is a medium provincial park located immediately adjacent to Canmore – about 105km west of Calgary. It is the located in the northernmost parts of Kananaskis Country, an area that also includes Spray Valley Provincial Park, Bow Valley Provincial Park, Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, and lots of crown land (Kananaskis PLUZ, Sibbald Snow Vehicle, McLean Creek PLUZ, Cataract Creek PLUZ).

The park was constructed for the 1988 Winter Olympics held in Calgary. It served as the venue for the cross country skiing, biathlon Nordic combined events. After the Olympics, Canmore Nordic Center Provincial Park continued to be used for high-profile events such as the 1991 Deaflympics, and 2005 Cross-Country World Cup. It continues to serve as the primary training center for Canadian cross country and biathlon Olympians as well as the general public.

Currently, there are over 65km of groomed ski trails in the park, training facilities, mountain biking facilities, disc golf course, a toboggan hill, ice skating facilities, a day lodge, biathlon range, 4 stadiums, conference center, wax and team rooms, roller skiing trails, an agility skills course, and has lots of parking available.

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Activities at Canmore Nordic Center

Canmore Nordic Center Provincial Park is known for its stunning natural beauty, but it’s also home to a variety of summer activities that are sure to delight visitors of all ages.

Canmore Nordic Center Provincial Park is a mountain biker’s paradise, with over 60 kilometers of trails for riders of all skill levels. The park’s trails wind through dense forests, over rolling hills, and past sparkling lakes, providing riders with a breathtaking backdrop for their adventures. Additionally, there is a specialized bike park available for both beginner and expert riders. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, the park’s trails are sure to provide a thrilling and memorable mountain biking experience.

For those who prefer to explore on foot, Canmore Nordic Center Provincial Park offers a variety of hiking trails that range from easy strolls to challenging hikes. The park’s trails take hikers through Rocky Mountain forests, mountain bases, and even the Georgetown ghost town site. Ultimately, the trails connect to Banff National Park. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely hike or a strenuous climb, the park’s trails are sure to satisfy.

Canmore Nordic Center Provincial Park also offers a fun and challenging disc golf course. The park’s 18-hole course winds through the park providing players with a variety of challenges and obstacles. Whether you’re an experienced disc golfer or a newcomer to the sport, the course is sure to provide a fun and exciting game.

Canmore Nordic Center Provincial Park is home to a variety of wildlife, including elk, deer, bears, and many species of birds. Visitors can take a leisurely walk through the park and observe these majestic creatures in their natural habitat, providing an unforgettable wildlife viewing experience.

Hubert Strotz, 1988, during the Olympic GS in Calgary 1988 (Hans Bezard, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

What Canmore Nordic Center is really known for however is its winter Nordic activities.

There are over 65km of groomed cross country ski trails available to visitors at the park over all kinds of different terrain and skill levels.

Canmore Nordic Center Provincial Park is home to a world-class biathlon facility, which has hosted several international competitions. Visitors can try their hand at biathlon by participating in one of the park’s biathlon experiences. Participants can learn the basics of biathlon and even try shooting at targets with a .22 caliber rifle.

The park’s skating rink is open to the public, offering a picturesque spot to enjoy ice skating in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. The rink is maintained by park staff, and skate rentals are available on-site. The park’s snow tubing hill provides a fun and exhilarating ride for visitors of all ages. The hill features multiple lanes, allowing for side-by-side racing with family and friends.

In conclusion, Canmore Nordic Center Provincial Park offers a variety of winter activities for visitors to enjoy. From biathlon to ice skating and snow tubing, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful park. So, pack your gear, grab your friends and family, and head to Canmore Nordic Center Provincial Park for an unforgettable winter adventure.

Camping at Canmore Nordic Center

There isn’t any camping opportunities at the Canmore Nordic Center. There is Spray Valley Provincial Park, Bow Valley Provincial Park, Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, and crown land (Kananaskis PLUZ, Sibbald Snow Vehicle, McLean Creek PLUZ, Cataract Creek PLUZ) nearby for camping though.

CampgroundAmenitiesType of SiteAmount AvailableCost/Night
This data is accurate as of 2023

Day Use at Canmore Nordic Center

There is two day use areas at Canmore Nordic Center Provincial Park: the Canmore Nordic Center itself, and Grassi Lakes.

  1. Canmore Nordic Center – The main day use area in Canmore Nordic Center Provincial Park offers visitors with everything they need to explore the park. There are bike rentals, ski rentals, change rooms, fast food concession, showers, visitor center, water taps, and wheelchair accessibility. The activities that are accessible from here are disc golf, electric bicycling, fat biking, mountain biking, trail running, hiking, and cross-country skiing. Additionally, the Canmore Nordic Center has three specialized facilities available to users:
    • Bike Skills Park – The Bike Skills Park is a mountain biking park built for visitors to practice skills. The park includes dirt jumps, wall riding, and rock and bridge features.
    • Biathlon Range – The Biathlon Range is a year round Biathlon training facility featuring 31 firing lanes with electronic targets designed for .22 caliber rifles. Both the rollerski trails and biathlon competition trails converge at the range so depending on the season, skiers, roller skiers, and runners all have access to the range. There needs to be a Range Safety Officer present to use the range. Range bookings are by submitting a Biathlon Range Booking Request Form to: cnc.biathlon@gov.ab.ca
    • Bill Warren Training Center – The Bill Warren Training Center is a large fitness facility operated by WinSport Canada. The center offers personal training and physiotherapy services. There are also conference rooms available here for weddings, conferences, and other gatherings.
  2. Grassi Lakes – Grassi Lakes day use area provides access to one of the more popular hikes in the area. The Grassi Lakes hike offers good views of the Bow Valley and Canmore from the cliffsides of the mountain range. There is a creek that runs alongside the more difficult trail that offers good views of waterfalls. The day use area offers hiking, mountain biking, picnicking, and rock climbing opportunities for visitors.

Distances to Alberta Cities

Distance to Calgary: 97km

Distance to Edmonton: 393km

Distance to Red Deer: 243km

Distance to Lethbridge: 311km

Distance to Grande Prairie: 712km

Coordinates: 51°05’23.6″N 115°23’07.5″W

Alberta Parks Website