July 12, 2021 • Mountain Living
Living the Dream
By Kate Barker
Buying into the Bow Valley is so much more than owning a house.
It’s summer, and it’s one of the best times to live in the mountains. With their towering peaks, crystal clear rivers, vibrant green trees and miles of trails to explore, it’s time to embrace the best parts about living in the Bow Valley. The natural playground is your backyard when you buy into the mountains, and there are countless ways to explore what it has to offer!
This sport has seen an explosion in popularity in recent years, and with pandemic lockdowns meaning people couldn’t travel, mountain biking became a popular way to get outside with your cohort and enjoy some exercise and sunshine during an otherwise dreary time. This year, Canmore & Area Mountain Biking Association (CAMBA) is hosting Pedal for Pints, a fundraiser that aims to raise money to maintain the busy trails.
Running is fun, so why not take it to the trails? Trail running is a great way to build endurance and strength while connecting with nature and enjoying all the scenery this area has to offer. Trail running groups in both Canmore and Banff can broaden your knowledge of the local networks, and they’re a great way to make a few friends along the way. Locally owned running store Strides hosts regular runs for all abilities as well as workshops if you’re new to running or have never hit the trails before. Trail running is best done in groups that make lots of noise, and wildlife safety is a must! Bring your bear spray!
There’s nothing like taking in the views of the valley after a good hike. The Bow Valley is full of hikes, from touristy hikes in town to backcountry hikes that take days to complete. The towns also have stores for all the apparel, gear and accessories you’ll need to hit the trails. The backcountry areas around the towns are largely protected by either Parks Canada or Alberta Parks. Residents of Banff can apply for a pass that grants them access to Banff National Park, but all residents must pay for the Kananaskis Conservation Pass to access the trails in that area.
Living in the mountains doesn’t mean you have to leave your equine partners behind. Both Canmore and Banff have riding clubs designed for residents to have their animals nearby and ready to take on some spectacular trails. The Banff Light Horse Association is a membership-based club with self-care paddocks for Banff residents to house their horses during the summer months. In Canmore, the Bow Valley Riding Association has self-care paddocks to purchase for residents of Canmore and surrounding communities. Both clubs may have waitlists, and they have bylaws to keep people and horses safe and happy, and to make sure the paddocks are being used by local residents.
The Bow River hosts various species of fish, but the real charm of fishing in the mountains are the alpine lakes. Just getting to these spots is a mountain adventure, but after you bike, run, hike or ride in, you often have the area to yourself. Take in the views that make living in the mountains so enjoyable from these alpine lakes and cast a line for cutthroat trout. Make sure you have the proper fishing permit for the area and you know the regulations. Many places are catch and release only.
So whatever your reason for moving to the mountains, take advantage of the summer and the natural playground right outside your door!