The Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail has been a great addition to the Bow Valley, and thanks are given to the people and agencies who conceived, designed, and constructed it. Cycling, walking, running and cross-country ski training are all great activities that many of us enjoy, and the Legacy Trail has been embraced and well used by locals and visitors alike.
Having noted the above, it is time that we all reflect on the good, the bad, and the ugly as it relates to the safe use of the trail, and perhaps look at how to make our trail experience even better.
The good aspects of the trail are obvious, but here are some bad, or even ugly observations.
- The trail is very busy on certain days and at certain times
- There are diverse group of users, with varying levels of experience and competence
- No requirement for helmets
- Users who stop in the middle of the trail
- Users taking selfies while riding
- Users wearing headphones
- Cyclists who run their dogs while on a leash
- E-bike and electric scooter riders who go much faster than other users.
To address the above, and other concerns, I suggest a set of guidelines that are accepted as conditions of use, that build on the trail etiquette that is published on Parks Canada’s website https://parks.canada.ca.
- Guidelines should be set out, published, posted on the trail, and at other locations.
- Volunteer trail ambassadors present during busy times on weekends and holidays.
- Trail ambassadors will assist users.
- Wear a helmet – no exceptions.
- Keep to your right, regardless of the activity. Pass only on the left.
- Announce “on your left”, or ring a bell, then pass with care.
- When stopping, step off the trail, and look carefully before re-entry.
- Use power-assisted bicycles responsibly; yield to slower trail users.
- Travel at a reasonable and controlled speed
- No dogs on a leash for cyclists.
- No use of headphones or earbuds.
- Step off the trail for photo opportunities.
- Abusers of the guidelines may be asked by trail ambassadors to “retire from the trail”.
Something along the lines of the above would make the Legacy Trail even better for all users.
Legacy Trail Advocate,