Bluhrgirl's picture

Calgary to Cochrane Trail Update

Glenbow to Calgary




Help make the Calgary to Cochrane trail through Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park a reality.

Donate today and be part of a legacy. 

From July 14, Calgary Herald Advertorial By Gerald Vander Pyl


July 1 is fast approaching and organizers at the Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation are counting down the days and the dollars needed to make the capital campaign in support of the Calgary to Cochrane (C TO C) Trail a success.

Canada Day is the deadline for the capital campaign supporting the construction of Bearspaw Trail. This is phase one of the C TO C Trail—the legacy trail system linking the City of Calgary to the border of the Park. Since its official kickoff on February 25, donations have poured in from families, individuals, businesses and organized groups to the sum of $90,000, to date.

Tara McFadden, Development Officer for the Foundation, says the group is close to reaching their goal. Construction of the 2.2-kilometre portion the trail should commence in the fall. When complete, the trail will connect Calgary and Cochrane through the spectacular parkland trails of Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park, along the north bank of the Bow River.

“We need to raise less than $10,000 by the end of June,” she says. “We now know it’s possible, and we’re seeing so many people giving for a number of reasons. They support the trail and they want to help make it happen. We’ve also got hiking, walking and seniors’ groups donating money because they plan on using the trail once it’s built. Then there are those who want to recognize family members and friends along the trail. It means something different to everybody, but they all share the same goal.” 

The campaign is a multi-phase $7.5 million project that will link existing park trails and add new connections. The project is ambitious in scope, with the Bearspaw Trail as the first phase. The end goal is to have all trail connections complete for 2020. This will be an important part of the Trans Canada Trail network.

McFadden says there are still opportunities for supporters to make a donation to phase one, Bearspaw Trail, before its deadline, and they can do it creatively. 

“There are lots of upcoming signature days and moments that are worth commemorating with a donation to the trail. There’s Father’s Day, where you can donate in your dad or grandfather’s name, or maybe as a convocation or graduation gift for a student, a birthday or anniversary, wedding gift, or even to celebrate your dedication to your country by making the donation for Canada Day.”

She adds that some of the most unique and heartfelt stories come from donors. 

“We’ve heard from grandparents who donate in the names of their grandkids so they can be recognized along the trail. There are the little groups scrounging up $100 and $500 to dedicate in the name of their passions, and probably the most significant donation was made in honour of someone who has done a lot of trail work across the country.”

When finished, the C TO C Trail will provide opportunities for walking, hiking and biking. A railway crossing and a bridge over the Bow River will provide the final connection to Cochrane. But for now the immediate goal is raising the remaining $10,000 by July 1 to get the project started.

“After Canada Day, we’ll know if we have the required funding in place,” says McFadden. “Once we confirm funding we’ll be able to work with our partners to get the trail built this fall.”

McFadden says donations of more than $100 will receive permanent recognition along the Calgary to Cochrane Trail network, so people will become part of the project legacy. For more information and to make a donation to push the campaign over the top, visit or call 403-851-9053.

Donate online at

Image icon Glenbow to Calgary Brighter.jpg918.34 KB


Crivak's picture

So who is behind this now.

So who is behind this now. The sites been down and can't seem to get responses on it. Should I give the number listed a ring?

mikewarren's picture

Calgary not contributing?

Why isn't this just funded by the City??! The only portions left to build are through City land and a tiny connector to Cochrane (through Town of Cochrane land, as far as I can tell). Technically it's already connected to Cochrane, but it's very dumb: you have to ride / push straight up the hill to Gleneagles...

DarrenB's picture

Well, it is....

Calgary has committed to connecting the lands, so not sure why you are arguing otherwise.

The new community of Haskayne, west of Tuscany, already has a full pathway system in the designs to connect east to west, and the City of Calgary is establishing Haskayne Legacy Park, which will connect the rest.

I think it is the Cochrane side that is going to be the issue.


gyrospanner's picture

Or is it a lack of commitment?

To do what you say you're going to do, especially when it's easy to dodge your way out of it?

This "missing links" website is interesting -

To quote "For 2015-2017, our main focus is to identify and complete sections of the Trans Canada Trail within Calgary city limits. These connections will include pathways in the northwest from Baker Park to Haskayne Legacy Park and


Amazing!  But technically, they can say that they have done what they promised "within city limits," but I'm not sure about the "pathways to Haskayne park" bit, as this park is kinda' land-locked by private landowners.  I guess it all depends on whether or not the short 1.5 km of road from Woodland Road to Michaels Creek is actually open to the public.  My guess is that it ain't because the railroad probably has safety concerns.




DarrenB's picture

Not roads

The connections to the edge of the city are all part of much bigger future planning initiatives, like the Haskayne Legacy Park I mentioned and the planning and municipal development for the new community of Haskayne that will be built west of Tuscany for the next few years. If you want to see what has been approved for the future pathways that will connect Tuscany to the west edge of the city boundary, I would 311 a request for the planning documents for those developments. I don't think you will find them anywhere else as the pathway planning isn't a stand-alone initiative (unless Parks has some info on it - they must have been consulted).

Regarding connecting Glenbow Park to the City - I can't say what the City of Calgary's involvment would be outside city limits, but if they are involved, Parks would be the most likely contact. Roads won't be involved.

Crivak's picture

The tweet string was pinging

The tweet string was pinging CalgaryParks, GlenbowRanch and the CityofCalgary. It was the City who said to try AB Transportation. YYCTransport wasn't pinged at all, the City twitter employee was who mentioned them.

Next's picture



your question is important.

to all 

once any organisation is asking for money - what does it mean ?

 that it is NOT payed by the City of Calgary.


why whover is asking for money for this project?

"commited to connecting..."

what do you mean by "commited" so why somebody is asking for money? 

gyrospanner's picture

The [NOT SO] Great Trail

If you look at the alignment shown on their website, you will likely be disappointed.  To get to Glenbow Ranch from Tuscany, you gotta' ride up to Crowchild Trail, ride west to Woodland Road and then ride south on Woodland.  Last time I went out there, there was a gate with a No Trespassing sign?



gyrospanner's picture

Woodland Road - response from GRPF


I emailed the GRPF and inquired about Woodland road, and there is some "hope" for this as well, as this is their reply


"Unfortunately the road does access a private lands owners field that we are currently in the process of purchasing the rights to cross it. For the time being you can access our park and Visitor Centre through Glenbow Road roughly two km's out of Cochrane.


DarrenB's picture

Yep, we just have to be

Yep, we just have to be patient for a few more years until the Haskayne development gets built. But maybe the right-of-way through the property could become active sooner...

Crivak's picture

Good digging

This explains why they didn't hit their 2014-2017 mark too. 

To quote:

Geoff Bobiy, senior development manager at Brookfield, says Rowan Park will provide that “missing link” in the trail system, to connect downtown Calgary all the way to Cochrane, and provide a variety of uses for residents, including cross-country skiing, cycling, running and rollerblading.

The community will also link to Haskayne Legacy Park and Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park.

DarrenB's picture

Who didn't meet their mark?

Who didn't meet their mark? CtoCTrails? That Bearspaw Trail extension in Glenbow Park they were working on did get funded, so when the Haskayne development in NW Calgary (already approved and development ongoing) is finally built, that will connect the two. 

Or do you mean the targets for the Trans Canada Trail (aka The Great Trail, as it has been rebranded)? Unfortunately, the TCT doesn't really fund trail development - they generally just try to piece together a cross-Canada route from existing trails. When it was apparent that a route from Cochrane to Calgary wouldn't be ready for 2017, they just re-routed the TCT on the highway and city roads so that there wouldn't be a big gap on their map (which was the solution across Canada - just reroute to highways and navigable water bodies so they could claim it was connected - the very reason why a number of people, like Edmund Aunger, have spoken out against The Great Trail initiative). You have to take that TCT/Great Trail map with a grain of salt - there are a LOT of gaps on that map that aren't identified, especially in Alberta (we have more km of gaps than almost the entire rest of Canada combined).

Crivak's picture

Dunno who it was under, just

Dunno who it was under, just that they had a 2017 mark regarding the C to C trail down on the C to C website when it existed. Just like the Mattamy Greenway goal where it was said they wanted it open by 2017 for the 150th anniversary of Confederation. So in 2014 when these things were up it was, "okay, cool, so we'll be able to go around Calgary or go to Cochrane in 2017!" and then last year in 2017 it was more like, "okay, didn't make it for the anniversary I guess, maybe 2018?" but all the information and websites went down so it was concerning. Looks like it's just red tape as usual with things being passed around to different projects. But hopefully I'm not saying that in 2020.

DarrenB's picture

Not red tape

2017 was the deadline for the TCT/Great Trail. That must be what you are thinking of.

The only way from Calgary to Glenbow Ranch on pathways will be through the Haskayne development. Even though the planning on that was approved a couple of years ago, it takes a lot of time to build new communities, particularly when the land used to be an old gravel pit and concrete plant (lots of remediation to do). But the plans include the pathway connections, and the City of Calgary has made it a priority to make that connection, so we will eventually get them (perhaps by 2020, if we are lucky). There is no reason to expect them sooner (they won't build pathways now just so they can be closed, torn up, and replaced when construction starts).

Crivak's picture

Wish I could show you the old

Wish I could show you the old C to C website :)  Or maybe I can find the original PDFs, they had the planned route through Tuscany (with it now being tied up with Haskayne, hence).

edit; there's a snippit from glenbows side.

The City of Calgary is currently working towards the trail connection as well.  “We are excited to see the Glenbow Ranch portion of the trail moving forward with the successful fundraising campaign,” says Doug Marter, City of Calgary’s Parks Planning and Development Manager.  “Calgary Parks is looking forward to completing the final connection through to Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park in 2017.”

It goes on to mention the TCT and the Cochrane end being built more towards 2020 (IIRC the PDF had a bridge that required construction through 2019):

The completed trail will be part of the Trans Canada Trail network, and future phases will include new trails within the park, a railway crossing, and a pedestrian bridge across the Bow River to Cochrane.  The overall project cost is estimated to exceed $7.5 million.  Fundraising and construction will take place in multiple phases, with a completion goal of 2020.


DarrenB's picture

My understanding that there

My understanding that there were land acquisition issues between the city boundary and the park boundary. I believe the establishment of the Haskayne Legacy Park was what actually solved it, in the end. Regarding your bolded quote above, I am surprised that anyone thought they would work out those issues by 2017 (also recognize that a LOT of land west of Tuscany in Rockyview County was developed over the last few years - and I know there was some masterful political manoeuvering to drop that development down so fast - so perhaps old trail plans became unworkable when the land got developed. Not sure. 

Remember, the CtoCTrail initiative was to fund construction in Glenbow Rand Park (not on City or Rockyview County lands). They really wanted to be able to create the Bearspaw Trail which would connect to Haskayne Legacy Park, and that was funded. The other end of the trail was supposed to cross over the Bow River so that cyclists wouldn't have to enter Cochrane from a big climb up and over Glen Eagles, but I don't think that ever got funded.

Alberta Trailnet was involved on that one - you might ask them if they know the details of where the project is at.

And again, the TCT isn't buidling anything - they are just aligning and re-aligning their "trail" on a digital map wherever they can fit it into existing trails, paths, or roads. The TCT/Great Trail relies on local trail organizations and funding to build their route across Canada.

Crivak's picture

It might be easier to ask

It might be easier to ask Doug Marter, since the above was a quote from him. Sounds like he would know details. Likely the end of it is that it's the remaining Haskayne connection and the link gyrospanner provided above. 

Next's picture

I went to Cochrane on A1

I went to Cochrane on A1 highway and I was surprised how clean and cracks and potholes -free was the shoulder of that highway.

Shoulder is rather wide and smooth.

I ride new streaches of MUP pathways in Calgary and see /and feel/  shoddy UNEAVEN substandart asphalt surface, 

example Quarry Park along the river shoddy, uneven streach of 2-year old path 

how could city pay contractor for such a low qulaity job? obviously contractor does not have asphalt experience nor he does have equipment to lay asphalt. 

riding from SE trying to reach A1 is a nightmare in Calgary with fragmented paths here and there

Calgary bike-friendly??? 

uphill-both-ways's picture


It could depend on what was ordered for the finished designed surface and the cost of providing it. If the objective was to have a surface suitable for a reasonable ride at 20kph, then it would likely have a different asphalt quality than a surface intended to accommodate a 40kph cyclist.

gyrospanner's picture

The alignment I remember

I rode the first part - you go through Tuscany, cross 12 mile Coulee road onto 80th ave and then take the pathway heading northwest by the small lake in Watermark.  Eventually you end up on a road called Blueridge View.  And then Nothing.


As I remember, it was to sort of meander its way along the side of the hill over to the Lasso Trail

before it dropped down the hill off Bearspaw Village Lane (like follow the creek) towards Glenbow Ranch.


The new alignment through the Keith area might be better, as you wouldn't have so much climbing and it would be a more direct route.

Next's picture



your guessing is radiculous

for 40km/h street city would tell contractor to pave rough, univen surface to slow down cars? also?

shoddy cheap contractor with no equipment to lay even surface

work never checked by the city -  that what it is!!

Why there are even surfaces on any other newely made MUP s   ??

I photographed and sent it to 311 and ask city to have any quality checks before paying contractors