Glenmore Reservoir Circumnavigation

I’ve been riding my bike a lot more than usual this fall, including a bit of cycle commuting between home and downtown Calgary. About 90% of my preferred route between home and the city centre is along recently installed bike lanes and sections of the almost 1000 km of recreational pathways in the city. Thanks to elevation change, it’s about a 40 minute ride into town and about a 50 minute ride on the way home – similar to how much time it takes me to walk to the nearest LRT station and then catch a train to downtown. But a return trip via transit costs me $6.30 while cycle commuting burns only calories! I will continue to cycle commute at least sometimes. But when my schedule permits, I’d rather go for a fun ride!

One easy and scenic riding option in Calgary is circumnavigating the Glenmore Reservoir, about 15 km with a net elevation gain of about 25 meters. NOTE – the total elevation gain is about 4x that and there are a couple of short stretches where the grade is steeper than 10%.


From our home in west Calgary, we have relatively decent access to North Glenmore park via pathways and relatively quiet streets. There’s great access via the Elbow River Pathway. Or you can load up your bike and drive to one of several free parking areas to start your ride:

  • North Glenmore Park has several parking lots;
  • depending on the time of year you will find lots of space at Heritage Park;
  • Glenmore Landing is a good option if you also need to do a bit of shopping; and
  • there are two lots in South Glenmore Park.

Mr. GeoK and I started our circumnavigation at the west end of North Glenmore Park and opted to ride clockwise, saving the big uphill for the very end of our ride. But don’t let the thought of a short, steep hill discourage you from riding ’round the Reservoir. The scenery is fantastic, especially in September/October…

If you’re persuaded that a ride around Glenmore Reservoir should be on your “must do” list this fall, be aware that the pathway through the Weaselhead is closed for work, from 9 am to 3 pm from now through November 6, 2015. So plan to start early, start later, or wait until the work is complete!


I’m always on the lookout for new routes to ride, especially in and around Calgary, Canmore and Banff. If you have a favourite ride, please leave a comment and share your recommendation.

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