Cycling in Canada; you can keep yourself sweet with it for weeks. There are countless beautiful cycling routes in and around Edmonton alone. For example, plan a cycling route through Canada’s largest urban park, look for bison in Elk Island or explore the scenic mountain roads of Jasper National Park. We recommend 5 cycling adventures in Edmonton and Jasper for next spring!
Canada and outdoor activities go hand in hand. No one is surprised about this in Jasper, but nature is not far away in Edmonton either. In fact, nature cuts through the city. The River Valley is a broad swath of forest along the banks of the winding North Saskatchewan River, connecting dozens of parks. Various bicycle paths have been constructed through the River Valley, with the necessary height difference. Edmonton proudly calls the area Canada’s largest urban park.
#1 Cycling Adventures in Edmonton – E-Mountain Biking in the River Valley
The River Valley is perfect for an adventurous mountain bike ride. It abounds with pretty spectacular singletracks that are sometimes miles long. The routes are not marked. A guide is helpful. Michael is ready with two full suspension electrically assisted mountain bikes. Helmet on and through the urban jungle towards the urban forest. Thundering along the narrow forest paths covered with tree roots, you can occasionally glimpse the river. After less than two miles, the city seems miles away. We overlook the peaceful North Saskatchewan River. It’s as quiet as a mouse.
The view from Capitol Hill of the Edmonton skyline is beautiful. A modest skyline, not (yet) dominated by skyscrapers. The clear blue sky is somewhat hidden under a light smoke screen, coming from forest fires in the neighboring province of British Columbia several hundred kilometers away. Along the river we have returned to civilization through countless parks. Within the city limits you are suddenly completely outside the city and you imagine yourself in Canadian nature.
#2 Biking in Elk Island National Park
If you go cycling in Elk Island, it is best to park at the administration building at the western entrance, at township road 544. You can start right away on a scenic route along the southern shores of Lake Astotin, where the road berm is wider, the road tortuous and less crowded and the speed limit 40 km per hour. This route connects the Astotin Lake Recreation Area to the Elk Island Parkway via the Shoreline Trail. The Shoreline Trail is a paved trail that follows the original road around Lake Astotin. Beaver Bay half way up the trail is an absolute must for lunch; a small picnic area on a peninsula that offers beautiful views of the lake and waterfowl.
From beavers in the water to birds in the trees, keep your eyes peeled. But you could also end up in the middle of a bison traffic jam while touring the park. Bison herds gather all year round along the Parkway and the Bison Loop Road.
#3 Mountain Biking in Jasper National Park
Less than a 4-hour drive from Edmonton, you are already in Jasper National Park and only then you know for sure that you are in the right place here in Canada. There’s nothing like crystal clear blue lakes, tall green trees, rugged snowy peaks and bears on the road. And especially not if that area offers endless kilometers of hiking trails and mountain bike trails through the beautiful nature. A mountain bike is ideal for exploring the national park in an active way!
Jasper National Park is perfect for mountain biking, to really experience nature while avoiding the crowds. The mountain bike trails are endless and both beginners and experts can enjoy themselves here. Here you will find a network, a trail system of well-connected, well-maintained trails. So bring your own bike on the back of your RV or rent one from one of the many bike shops in town, such as The Boathouse at Fairmont or The Bench Bike Shop. Owner and mechanic Randal Riddell has lived in Jasper for years and is passionate about making sure everyone has a great day on the bike. So go ahead, bring bear spray and hit the trails to discover the distinctive landscapes and scenic mountain roads of British Columbia and Alberta!
#4 Fat Biking in Jasper National Park
If there is still snow in the spring, you can exchange your mountain bike for a fat bike and set off in Jasper National Park that way. With a fat bike you can brave the thick snow with the extra thick tires and test your talent on, for example, the Woodpecker Trail and Cabin Lake Fire Road.
#5 Enjoy cycling in the spring – car-free in Jasper National Park
Are you less adventurous and want to explore the park on a regular bike? That too is possible on the many paved bike paths, such as the scenic drive to Pyramid Lake, Whistlers Road to the base of the Jasper Skytram, The Falls Loop, Marmot Road or Maligne Road. Or rent a road bike and pedal down one of the world’s most beautiful mountain roads: the Icefields Parkway. Because after the winter the new ‘season’ will arrive in Jasper and you want to take advantage of that! Once the snow has completely melted, it’s time to hit the road and enjoy Jasper’s ‘car-free season’ on three main roads.
Cyclists choose Lac Beauvert Road, Highway 93A or Cavell Road. The first is just 1.4 miles, a flat stretch of paved road connecting Old Fort Point to the pristine Lac Beauvert. Lac Beauvert Road will be closed to vehicles through Canada Day (July 1). Off Highway 93A (15.2km) park at the Whirlpool Group Campsite or at the bottom of Geraldine Fire Road to enjoy 7.6 wondrous miles of wide open road! Once snow clears, this section of the road, from Whirlpool River to the Geraldine Road junction, will be open to cyclists and closed to vehicles until May 17. In the autumn, from September 19 to November 30, this stretch of road will be closed to traffic again, allowing cyclists to safely soak up the beautiful autumn colors before the snow covers the road again! Cavell Road is challenging cycling, a chance to test your physical fitness on this steep and winding road. Park at the bottom of Cavell Road to cover 550 meters of elevation in 14 km. A local favorite for Jasper’s avid cyclists, car-free from 15 May to 19 June! In the autumn, from October 3 to October 31, this road will be closed to traffic again.
Outdoor and cycling adventures in Edmonton & Jasper
Edmonton is an excellent starting point to spend a few days on a tour of Alberta or combine it with a visit to Jasper, which is about four hours away. Or simply fun as a city trip with a direct eight-hour flight from Amsterdam. KLM flies to Edmonton International Airport three times a week, more information can be found on the KLM website. On the new website Edmonton-Jasper.nl, focused on spring in Edmonton and Jasper, you will find various travel packages from tour operators. For example, you have the ‘Adventure in Alberta’ trip, where you visit two cities and two national parks, or ‘ Canada’s Rockies by Rail‘, a 9-day journey from Edmonton to Jasper, after which you travel by train from the Canadian Rockies to Vancouver. On a number of trips, you will stay in Edmonton for one or more days immediately after arrival or just before departure with KLM. Edmonton is the capital of the province of Alberta and in addition to its surrounding nature, Edmonton is also known for its events, cultural activities and shopping. It is therefore the perfect base for the start/end of a beautiful holiday.