The Great Trail (TransCanada Trail) in Central Alberta
but not completed
as of August 26, 2017,
The Great Trail is now considered to be connected across the country, it
is not in some areas completed. Nationally, the trail is about 93%
completed but in Central Alberta, it is closer to 40% so there's still lots of
work to be done.
Most urban communities along the trail in Central Alberta have their
sections of The Great Trail completed, including Red Deer, Blackfalds, Lacombe, Ponoka, Penhold and
The map to the right shows the
Great Trail as connected in the region but most of the rural
sections are roadways.
The maps on the left show the sections in orange that are still on
Once completed, all sections will be off-road although some portions may be parallel to a roadway but physically
separated from it.
North of Red Deer, the most significant rural connection completed is between the Blindman
River north of Red Deer through Blackfalds to Lacombe in
County (with some funding from TCT and Alberta TrailNet and assistance from
the military reserves) completed the Blindman River Bridge in 2010 as well as a
trail from the bridge to Blackfalds.
A 8-km trail linking Blackfalds and
Lacombe was completed in 2012 and officially opened in 2013 (see
map). The final section from Lacombe to the Ponoka County boundary
is expected to be completed in 2018. All sections
completed in Lacombe County to date are paved and designed for bicycle and pedestrian use.
Ponoka County has completed a
gravel section of Trans Canada Trail between Ponoka and the
Lacombe County boundary, portions of which are designed for equestrian
use as well as bicycle and pedestrian.
The temporary link between Red Deer and the Blindman River is the quiet
local C&E Trail roadway. As the city develops to the north, this
link will be at least partially relocated.
South of Red Deer, a short section of paved trail was built in a natural
area south of the hamlet of Springbrook in Red Deer County in 2011. This will eventually form part of the
off-road connection between Red Deer and Penhold.
connection is along the shoulder of the busy Highway 2A and this is a
high priority to be remedied. Eventually, there will likely be two
trails connecting these communities -- a commuter trail parallel to but
separated from Highway 2A and a recreational trail west of the railway
line through the hamlet of Springbrook.
Three options have been identified for a future trail south of Penhold
to Innisfail, one of which is also parallel to but separated from
Highway 2A. Another option uses the historic Calgary and Edmonton Trail
which is now a major rural road but was once the main highway between
Innisfail and Red Deer.
South of Innisfail, the trail will eventually link with Bowden and Olds.
From Olds, the trail will head east to link with a future rail trail
between Wimborne and Airdrie.
The TransCanada Trail Pavilion
Trans Canada Trail pavilion in Red Deer was erected and dedicated in
2005 at Bower Ponds near Cronquist House.
In the fall of 2017, the pavilion is expected to undergo a refurbishment
similar to the rendering at right.
extends along the Red Deer River in each direction, much of it within
the excellent Waskasoo Park trail system.
the northeast, it goes to Taylor Drive and north to the city limits,
extending into Red Deer County along the C & E Trail to the Blindman River where a new pedestrian bridge was built in
To the southwest, the trail heads from Bower Ponds along
Great Chief Park and west past Red Deer Golf & Country Club to the
pedestrian bridge across the Red Deer River.
From there it heads east
through Heritage Ranch, along the river in a northeasterly direction to
the reconditioned former CPR bridge across the river and north to 67 St.
where it again crosses the river.
From there it heads south to the Kerry
Wood Nature Centre and Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary, along the river to Piper
From there it heads south past the Arena and Curling Club to
Rotary Park and on to Kin Kanyon past Bower Mall to Westerner Park and
the city limits.
Once the route of the Great Trail from Red Deer to Penhold is finalized,
it will link up with the trail already built to the southern city
Urban Trails in Central Alberta that are part of the Great Trail
Pedestrian bridge over Battle
River built in 2010. Gravel trail south towards Ponoka
Paved trail links with
Blackfalds to the south. Connection north to Ponoka expected
Paved trail north to Lacombe and south to
Blindman River bridge. Only indoor section of Great Trail at Abbey
Town of Penhold
Town of Olds
Temporary rural connections
north and south on Highway 2A. Built trails in town further
Temporary rural connections
north and south on existing roadways.
Temporary rural connections north, south
and east on Highways 2A and 56.
For further trail development in urban
centres, go to Urban Trails