The Crowsnest Pass - Alberta's Next Riding Area?

Sep 29, 2011
by Jay Hoots  

With a brand new bike skills park fresh in the ground and new cross - country singletrack trails being finished daily, Crowsnest Pass is buzzing with mountain bike excitement!

With a vision to create a mountain bike tourism destination, the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass invited IMBA to create a 5 year master plan for the area. With the hopes of economic diversification, more recreation opportunities for local youth and increased tourism, Crowsnest Pass is on its way to having a well rounded mountain bike trail system and destination.

The local bike club, United Riders of Crowsnest (UROC) is working hard to develop trails with volunteer labour and promote mountain biking in general throughout the area. They offer weekly group rides and ladies rides and put a ton of sweat (and maybe sometimes tears) into their trails.

Hoots Inc. has built the bike skills park located in Blairmore, AB along with over 5km of singletrack, cross-county trail adjacent to the Pass Powerkeg Ski Hill.

The bike skills park includes beginner and intermediate jumps along with a big jump line for more advanced riders. Also included in the park is a drop zone, pump track and a variety of skills features, boasting a 170 ft log and rock ride.

Looking forward to the future, implementation of flow trails, an “epic” cross-country route, advanced downhill riding and more intermediate, cross-country singletrack will provide opportunity for all types of riders, both young and old, near and far.

Be sure to stop by Crowsnest Pass on Hwy 3 in southern Alberta and check out the trails or better yet make it your destination for all things mountain biking! The 4 cozy towns of Coleman, Blairmore, Frank and Bellevue that make up the Crowsnest Pass have lots to offer, including old school trails that the locals are willing to show off. Stop in for a coffee at Stone’s Throw Café in Blairmore and an ice cream at The Old Dairy Ice Cream Shoppe on Mainstreet in Bellevue! Yum!

Jay Hoots shaping dirt jumps with the local kids


Endless scenery in Crowsnest Pass

Graham from Bike Bros. bike shop in Cochrane, AB is loving his new hardtail on the jumps at the new Crowsnest Pass skills park in Blairmore


Sam Dueck hopping out of the pump track in true Sam Dueck fashion

New singletrack through the beautiful forest next to the Pass Powderkeg Ski Hill

Sam Dueck and Jay Hoots of the Norco Factory Team and Hoots Inc. Trailcrew enjoying the jumps


Ben McInnes from the Hoots Inc. Trailcrew testing out the jumps

Simon Garstin from the Hoots crew checking out the platform's rock lines


The beginner trail that starts from the bike skills park offers great views

Getting a tour from locals Gord and Darcy on the famous School of Rock…attempting to look like a rock band…where are you Jay Hoots?

Ashley Kalk from the Hoots Inc. crew having a great time building sweet bike trails in Crowsnest Pass

Jay Hoots with a very captive audience of local kids getting tips on how to maintain and shape the dirt jumps at their new bike skills park in Crowsnest Pass.



Posted In:
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60 Comments

  • 67 1
 +1 for child labor
  • 16 0
 at least its good child labor
  • 4 7
 Co2x2 .............. you beautiful bastard you!!!
  • 4 12
flag Smells (Sep 30, 2011 at 13:43) (Below Threshold)
 I hit neg prop by accident
  • 3 1
 Send some of those midget monkeys my way!
  • 23 1
 Stoked to have another bike park in Alberta. Hoots inc. sets the bar for other cities. Hopefully Edmonton will catch on soon, we need legal riding.
  • 17 0
 Its a shame all the big ski hills are in national parks otherwise we'd have some insane riding here in AB
  • 6 0
 I totally agree, with all these towns building new bike parks Edmonton has really dropped the ball. Especially a lot of wasted money painting lines on roads and as far as I could tell no one used them. How ever there are some really nice illegally built trails in the valley.
  • 1 0
 no doubt we have some good trails, but unless people manage to keep them relatively secret, or they're REALLY well established, they're good as gone. The unfortunate fact about MTB in Edmonton.
  • 3 1
 hopefully america will catch on...make that the bay area!!!! where mtn biking started!!!!! ahhhhh im crying
  • 3 3
 Haha. The ironic thing about this is that the majority of the well built "illegal" trails were done by us Razz . I really hopes this sets the level for Edmonton, they seem to really like the idea of a park, in fact they even have land they have proposed to be set aside for a skills park, yet nothing ever gets done. Just not on top of their list of priorities, I guess. Thankfully there's Hinton, Moose Mountain, and now Crowsnest to lead by example, and maybe bring change a bit faster around Alberta.
  • 2 0
 Keep in mind guys that all of these changes and developments are rider and volunteer driven.. it's not like the municipality, IMBA, or the government showed up one day and said, "we're building some sweet jumps for you guys, do you mind?". Use this as inspiration to fuel your own mtb community, get organized, and get'r done. Stoked to see another area of legitimate mtb development... can't wait for the IMBA Epic!
  • 2 0
 We had a riding area in Edmonton, but not enough people bought passes to keep it viable. It wasn't the best, but it was way better than what we have now, which is nothing.
  • 3 0
 Completely agree. It's a shame, even with the massive amount of promotion and advertising they didn't sell enough seasons passes to stay open.
  • 1 0
 @w-e-w
I know, as do the majority of other Edmonton riders, that we have to be willing to assist in the building of a park. It's not a volunteer issue for us, the fact that we don't have much riding almost makes the riding community stronger; we really just need the city to look around and realize that it is feasible, and actually necessary that we create an area for mountain biking in Edmonton. Especially after the closure of Rabbit Hill.
  • 1 0
 I appreciate that, but I don't think the city (or any city) will look around or realize or do anything on their own accord.. the riding community will have to organize it, plan it, identify the potential sites, design it, present the benefits, and propose an executable plan that is economically feasable with clear benefits while addressing the safety, maintenance, environmental aspects (whether relevant or not)... and maybe even fund it (through volunteer labour and/or securing grant(s))... not any easy task, but I think that's what it takes and some municipalities will take more convincing than others... best of luck if you guys are already on this path!
  • 1 0
 To clarify on my first comment, by "us", I meant the mountain bike community as a whole, and the very people who are asking for a park. Just seems kind of funny to me.
  • 1 0
 is it too much to ask for this and castle? probably.
  • 3 0
 So excited about the biking here! The new trails Hoots put in are great! Lots of fun older trails around too. Here's a vid of School of Rock: www.pinkbike.com/video/219665

Can't wait to get even more new trails here. Thanks for all the hard work Hoots Inc.! What's the situation on the flow trail?
  • 1 0
 sick trail!
  • 2 0
 sick trail, definitely will have to spend a day or two there, or even a quick ride on the way to fernie!
  • 4 0
 The Crowsnest Pass looks to have huge potential and I have several friends that have moved there over the years and love it. Good work Hoots.
  • 5 0
 its happening Nate its happening. City of Devon soon
  • 4 0
 I think that these parks are the best way to keep mtb'ing alive in Alberta. Already 4 (including Devon) in the province.
  • 1 0
 where in the crowsnest is this?
  • 1 0
 DJ's are in Blairmore at the bottom of the ski hill, just West of the Albert Stella Arena.
  • 5 0
 Woohoo Ashley, Hinton Represent!
  • 1 0
 i was visiting family down there and when i was riding my bike and i saw people jumping there bikes at thoughs jumps and they are sweet. they are so nicly maintaind and they set you up perfectly. they are great for beginer riders and riders with experiance.
  • 2 0
 Is this open to the public now? Is there a fee? Are the trails rideable? I am a leader of a youth group and would love to take them out there next Saturday. Thanks for any answers.
  • 1 0
 Yes, it's all open ... and all free.
  • 1 0
 Could try and get in touch with UROC also the owner of Stone's Throw Cafe on mainstreet Blairmore might have info, he put me onto some trails on the ski hill where Hoots has been working...can't remember name Steve or Kevin maybe? Some trail info at link below but its not nearly close to all the goods...

www.uroc.ca/trails.php
  • 1 0
 Thanks Jay and the rest of the Hoots Crew. You not only put in a skills park and trails, you did an awesome job of it, got the local kids excited and involved and brought your brand of positive vibes to Crowsnest Pass. AWESOME.
  • 1 0
 For all the Edmontonians, Jay Hoots is building a bike park in Devon in the next month or two, same idea as Hinton & Crowsnest. So Edmonton (area) will have the bike park very soon.
  • 1 0
 Man, you guys wanna try getting legal trails in Australia - Nearly the whole frikkin country is a national park (Nothing against parks) we need areas that are protected - but com on, let us ride in them.
  • 2 2
 Just an FYI,,, Im glad they are expanding biking out there. But every single park "hoots" has built, has gone to crap. and no-one spends the time to fix up trails or the parks that were built. "Hoots" takes the money and moves to the next town. Whether the city has considered a budget for maintenance, or upkeep, needs to be considered. All the "hoots" parks have become a real letdown and eyesores in communities around the lower mainland. Just like skateparks back in the day,,, un-used and not maintained or updated... it only becomes matter of time before it gets torn down. SO.... make sure when building these parks to have a budget set aside for maintaining these parks.
  • 2 0
 That's what UROC is here for. We have trail maintenance days and the community has hired summer crews the past 2 seasons. These aren't the only trails here either. We have a good group of riders and volunteers who put in time building and maintaining trails in the Pass.
  • 1 0
 @quach03 are you a marxist-socialist or just a whiny c_nt? Hoots is a good capitalist with an excellent business model providing communities with a sustainable concept if they should choose to keep it maintained. Go buy yourself a McLeod and Polaski and get to work instead of...
  • 2 0
 i want a go! wish we had more free ride in scotland its all steep techy downhill.
  • 2 0
 nice to see stuff going up in alberta , im from alberta and they deffinatley need some dirt jumps
  • 2 0
 wow!!!! looks like such a sick place to ride!
  • 1 0
 bottom line here is that biking is catching there because they got a huge chunk of cash to make all that happen!
  • 1 0
 Hell yeah did you see that kid sport that Metallica shirt in that last pix. \m/
  • 1 0
 Grew up in Red Deer, now living in socal and wishing there was a skills park nearby. Bravo Alberta.
  • 1 0
 stoked cant wait too ride it
  • 1 0
 Crowsnest already has a tonne of riding, just got to be in the know.
  • 1 0
 Baseline mt out by Rocky needs to be more open to the public!
  • 2 0
 Its open to the public, you just have to push up. 40 min push to the highest trail enterance and 7 min down some of the best trails I've ridden. But keep in mind only 2 of 8 trails out there are legal so if you get harassed don't blame me.
  • 1 0
 or bring a quad and trailer to shuttle. Or just know someone with the combo for the gate!
  • 2 1
 I'm Brendan busato and I'm in the pics and I helped build it's so sweeet
  • 2 1
 why cant more bikeparks be built in the uk? this place looks fun tho
  • 1 0
 where is it between thos towns?
  • 1 0
 Dude, jumps are in Blairmore . They are West of Albert Stella Arena at the base of the ski hill!
  • 1 0
 With these trails be gravel heavy?
  • 1 0
 Looks awesome. Will have to get out there next year for sure!!
  • 1 0
 Video of the trail Hoots built: www.pinkbike.com/video/262566
  • 1 0
 Is there any plan to open the chairlift for bike use?
  • 1 0
 Sooo stoked!
  • 1 2
 isnt that were they found the pedo what kidnaped a kid and they sent out an amber alert
  • 1 0
 DAMN! WHAT A JOB.
  • 2 3
 build wooden kickers! saves time.

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