Travel Attractions

Ribbon Creek Trail

Below the Eastern Slopes of Mount Allan, rests a small town in the Kananaskis Valley, known today as Ribbon Creek Trail. A utopia for arctic sports enthusiasts, Ribbon Creek remains one of the last few vestiges of mother nature nature, in all her glory. It wasn't always so.

Her earliest residents, the aboriginal Sioux Mountain Band tribe, called the Stoney Indians, first settled in the area to take advantage of the the abundant wildlife to hunt, making the most of this pristine landscape and all her bounty, until encroaching settlers from overseas began to utilize the region as well, temporarily depleting the stock of wildlife, and ultimately leaving the Stoney Indians with no choice but to move on to less frequented pastures. But the real development of Ribbon Creek trail's surrounding area didn't begin until the 1800's, when Britain funded scouting of the area for natural resources, after information was relayed to British settlers, from Mackipictoon, a native chief, who knew the lands well.

Prompted by his description of mineral and resource rich lands, Britain decided it was time to determine which, if any, were available for them to capitalize on. Nearby sectors has yielded gold, and there were dreams of Ribbon Creek's pockets laid heavy with it, secreted beneath the mountain walls. But it was coal, not gold, that Ribbon Creek was rich in, and that was almost as good.

Though discussion and debate delayed the mining, by the turn of the century, investors were eager to fund coal mining expeditions, and almost overnight, shanty towns built for male miners cropped up. With the fruits of their labour beginning to be harvested, the temporary housing evolved into more permanent settlements.

Despite the industry, it was still a very isolated and rugged terrain, and those who lived in it had to be tough and resourceful. By the 1940's, the small hamlet was home to 150 miners and their families, and the town itself was given a name for the books. Kovach was the name entered into the lists, so named after their district ranger, Joe Kovach. However, the name didn't stick, and the locals dubbed Kovach “Ribbon Creek”, which is still what it is referred to today.

Despite the early success of the region, by 1952 the mining iunsutry began to peter out. A lack of nearby railways made exportation of the coal costly and difficult, and ultimately, the industry collapsed. What remains of the once, short-lived boom time is now buried beneath the Ribbon Creek Trail mountains and forever gone fro the landscape.

Those residents who did remain tried their best to eek out an existence by falling back on the abundant wildlife and pristine conditions the area offered, but life was hard. Then, in 1988, it was decided that the Winter Olympics would be held in nearby Calgary. After surveying the area, Canmore, and thus Ribbon Creek, were deemed the perfect place for hosting the Nordic events, and a renewed interest in the region blossomed.

Today, Ribbon Creek trail is considered a mecca for winter sports and year round outdoor enthusiasts; drawing crowds from all over the globe who wish to experience firsthand the incredible skiing, hiking, and climbing options Ribbon Creek offers. In order to preserve her natural beauty, Canmore has kept a close eye on development, and boasts only a small, year round population that is fiscally sustained primarily by bed and breakfasts and the tourism industry.

Early on, concern was shown in preserving Ribbon Creek Trail and Canmore's natural beauty. Much of the region has been designated as Wildlife Corridors, providing protection and natural habitat to many native species who, without the protected habitat, face extinction. Hikers on the Ribbon Creek trail are often privy to spotting Elk, Deer, and other small wildlife, and there are other stretches of the trail that can be driven through where bear, cougar, wolves, and even the elusive wolverine can be seen.

For sports and outdoor activities, he majority of Ribbon Creek Trail is beginner-friendly, with still plenty of intermediate and advanced terrain for those with more experience. Part of Ribbon Creek's draw for tourism is the diverse range of things it offers visitors to do, from families, to couples, and even solo hikers and athletes. There are extensively marked trails that make for perfet family-friendly hikes, and plenty of small stops along the way that serve good food, coffee, and maps.

Back country Ribbon Creek will please the more experienced hikers, with opportunities for day long or even overnight hiking, with plenty of camping spots along the way. Those considering these more difficult hikes can also benefit from one of the many guided tour groups in the area, many of whom offer day long and overnight group rates, which not only provides visitors with added security in unfamiliar territory, but also the opportunity to find little-know, out of the way trails and places they may not have found on their own. Mountain biking is extremely popular and there are even some paved paths for bikers who prefer more even ground. Horseback riding is a popular tourist attraction, and there are many ranches who provide guided tours, which makes for a memorable family experience.

While the overall temperature in Ribbon Creek is considered mild for Alberta, summers are short and top out at an average of seventy degrees Fahrenheit. Winter, though long, are generally mild, with lows in the range of twenty four degrees Fahrenheit. It is of course, the winter, that truly makes Ribbon Creek Trail what it is today, providing skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts with some of the best conditions and locales in Canada.

The Rocky Mountain Ski Challenge, an annual marathon, has a standing event in Canmore. The twenty-four Hours of Adrenaline mountain biking tour is an annual event in which mountain bike enthusiasts race one another in designated spots through North America, over the course of 24 hours. Canmore is one of the mainstay spots, and thousands of riders converge at the Canmore Nordic Center to see who will make the most rounds and win that years claim to fame. The Three Sisters Scottish Society hosts the Canmore Highland Games every September, and for history buffs and nature lovers, there is the Canmore Miner's Reunion and the Rock and Fossil show, as well as the annual Festival of Eagles event, during which bird watchers convene to watch the autumn migration of the golden eagles. The two-day Canmore Children's festival features circus like entertainment that includes face painting, jugglers, and small theatrical productions.

The area also has a rich history with music, and there are several different events held annually to celebrate this, from folk, to rock, to classical. Canmore and the Ribbon Creek trail are truly some of the world’s best places to experience nature and all it has to offer. With no shortage of things to do, it offers the perfect opportunity to spend a few days with family, friends, or loved ones.

Whether you're looking for a quiet break from the buzz of city life, or to get out on your ski's and blaze the trails, there's something here for everyone. An impromptu trip will still provide you with an endless array of activities to choose from, but don't forget to look into all the event and seasonal perks Ribbon Creek trail has. Regardless of your plans, this is one place where you'll still be able to return to next vacation, and find a whole new list of things to do and explore.

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