CANMORE – Mountain bikers have a new place to hone their skills with Canmore and Area Mountain Bike Association's (CAMBA) and the Town of Canmore’s newest project named the Benchlands Drop Zone.
The project had its official ‘blast-off’ opening Tuesday (Sept. 26) where dozens of bikers got to check out the new trails, enjoy a BBQ, and win prizes.
Grant Fox, the project lead for the Drop Zone, spent hundreds of hours across three years bringing the Drop Zone to life as he wanted a place where riders could work on their mountain bike skills.
“I just wanted a place where we can put a progressive set of technical features that people could work on their skills and get better,” said Fox.
Although Fox began the project, he eventually had backup from six CAMBA trail builders to help build the features and trails.
The park has trails from green all the way to double black diamond, making it an ideal place for bikers of all skill levels to progress.
There are eight short trails to hot lap with 14 features that include drops, wall rides, jumps and a whale tail.
“I think it’s giving them a good opportunity to learn different progressions and just build those core competencies for mountain biking and have something that’s a bit unique to the area because we haven’t had any kind of technical features or drops in this sort of location,” said Laura Quelch, executive director for CAMBA.
The Drop Zone is tucked into the trees next to the already existing Benchlands dirt jumps, which Quelch commended as it bundles everything bikers of all ages need into one location.
Riley Welden, Parks Planner with the Town of Canmore, said it’s wonderful to have volunteers with CAMBA build an amenity that will provide a space for locals and visitors to use.