Apr 18, 2016

Our Favorite Calgary Rides - Chestermere Lake

This ride is part of a series of rides around Calgary. All rides are mostly off-street/pathway and are of varying lengths/difficulty level to accomodate all of you that love adventures.
The longer routes do require some level of route finding/navigating as Calgary does not yet have very good route finding system.

Other rides in the series - 

* Nosehill Up-And-Over

* Fish Creek Loop


* Pathway 100km

Distance: 75kms
Difficulty Level: Medium-Hard
Ride Time: 3-5 hours

Chestermere Lake is a small lake that is part of the Western Irrigation Canal network and home to a small community that encircles it located just east of the Calgary city limit.

The pathway connecting it to Calgary is one of our city's hidden-in-plain-sight gems that sees very low numbers of people on it.


While not the most visually stimulating ride, the quietness and lack of cars in proximity to the canal are a real treat.

The big appeal to us is simple: it is a fairly long ride with absolutely no traffic, has services including pubs and grocery stores at the halfway point, and travels through Calgary's eastern industrial zones offering incredible views of the Rocky Mountains to the west. Of note: the wind can offer and extra challenge (or bonus if it's a tailwind) so we recommend you do not try the ride if the forecast is for strong winds.

Accessing the canal pathway is not the most intuitive (typical of Calgary) so doing a little bit of research/scouting may save you a bit of frustration. There are a few ways to access it:

- starting at the Nose Creek pathway beside the zoo, cross the creek, head towards Max Bell arena, and follow the pathway up and over the canal, doubling back under the same bridge (17 Ave SE), and voila! - you're on it.

- connect to the canal path from the MUP near Ogden Road/Peigan Trail/Refinery Park.

- park at the Glenmore Inn and follow the adjacent pathway to the canal
One of the many range road crossings near Chestermere Lake

Once you're on the pathway, settle in, look around, and enjoy cycling through Calgary's industrial zones, eventually opening up into farmland, past wetlands, a golf course, and eventually you'll arrive at Chestermere Lake proper. There is not much along this pathway besides a few rest areas. There are no services and no bathrooms until you get into the Chestermere market area proper.

When you arrive at the lake, take a moment to cross the blue bridge and sit by the lake for a rest. Or, consider cycling around the lake before returning to Calgary. To reach the town centre, turn onto the residential street and follow it into town. Cycling around the lake is a pretty nice option too, adding about 10kms to the ride (see map below).


Chestermere Lake. There is a nice "beach" area at the north end, near the market place
Once you've arrived, refill your bottles, grab something to eat at one of the many options, and begin your return trip to Calgary.

That's it. Pretty simple really.

If you do the ride, let us know in the comments below how it went.

The few from 5000 ft.