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Montane Traverse - East portion

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The Montane Traverse is the less-exciting replacement for the now-closed Soul Bros trail. It runs East-West along the terraced benches above Silvertip golf course. It''s fairly easy going with some good climbs at the start, then rolls along above the golf course before branching off to a few different options. The initial climb out of Cougar Creek gets the legs going, then you roll along through forest and cross a bridged swampy bit before beginning another fairly steady climb for about 300m. The trail then swings west & follows the bench above the golf course, with a few minor dips and climbs before descending to a junction. It''s generally smooth going. Make some noise...the trail has been closed twice already this summer for a few days due to bear activity. Most people ride this in an East-West direction. At the junction, a left turn will bring you through the woods for 5 minutes and spits you out at the golf course clubhouse. A right turn meanders and climbs before crossing a creek to continue the west part of the Montane Traverse. Go straight on a rolling trail through spruce & pine forest for a few minutes, then the trail swings south & there''s a fun descent back towards Canmore (heading South). The downhill is pretty chewed up & rutted after heavy rain in June 05. When the downhill ends, you can go right and follow trails to exit at Cross Z Ranch, or go straight up a short climb and follow a nice rolling ride along the Douglas Fir Bench between the golf course and the highway. There''s a short downhill, then rolling terrain along the open ridge before a final steep, loose downhill. If you take the left downhill, go through the golf cart tunnel then hang a right to climb a skinny singletrack up to a gravel bike/walk path. heading east, you''ll eventually drop down to Benchlands Trail road..go left up the hill on the road, and you''ll find your way back to Cougar Creek trailhead. It''s a nice after work ride with some good climbs to start and some fun downhill at the end with smooth singletrack most of the middle.
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Trail Directions
From the east exit Highway 1 west at the Canmore Town Centre exit. Right at stop sign. Left at lights. Up this road (Benchlands Trail), when it forks after about 1.2 km go right then immediate left into the Cougar Creek trailhead parking. Follow the paved then gravel path up the west (left) side of the creek for about 400m. Look for trail sign on the left.
Trail Length
~8 Kilometers
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