Building trail in the beautiful backdrop of Jasper!

Jasper National Park is arguably one of the most beautiful backdrops you could enjoy in our country. There is no better place to be if you enjoy the outdoors and it was the latest stop for us in our 2015 Trail Care Crew season.

This was my first time being able to be in and enjoy Jasper and I would be lying if I said that I was not excited at the opportunity to be there. From the second you arrive within the park boundaries you are greeted with stunning vistas and views of the Rockies as you travel down the Icefield Parkway towards town. As you approach town you can understand why this is such a special place as it is located in the confluence of three major valleys with The Whistlers Peak and Pyramid Mountains looking down upon you. The town of Jasper is very bike friendly with three great local bike shops and trails access from every corner of town to the surrounding areas. It is also home to the Jasper Trails Alliance (JTA) and the Jasper Park Cycling Association (JPCA) who have worked hard to create a great relationship and partnership with the Park to offer great trails for riders of all abilities. There are two main trail offerings in the Jasper area; the official Parks trails that are signed and maintained by the park, as well as the Wildlands Trails that are signed but not maintained by the park but the responsibility of the JTA and JPCA. Both offer great trails and great experiences no matter what you are looking for.

For our visit, we had the pleasure to work with some locals who are members of both the JTA and JPCA, including a former Olympian as well as the manager of trails experiences for the park. IMBA Canada has had a very active presence in Jasper over the years so our typical in-class workshop was not necessary, and instead we focussed the entire visit on a build day of a problem section of a very popular trail. Reroutes over the years have made the trail much more enjoyable for riders, hikers and equestrians alike. However, a problematic swamp at the top of the hill has caused a major drainage issue that crosses multiple sections of trail all the way down to the bottom. This project was designed to be an example of what can be accomplished in a few hours of hard work to rehabilitate and maintain problem sections of trail. The hopes of the JPCA and JTA were to be able to take the successes of this project and show the park and others what can and should be done to keep the trail offerings in Jasper top notch. I am very pleased to say that the build was very successful and that the hard work and enthusiasm from everyone present made it a very fun day.

Whether you are a beginner or expert rider, Jasper has trails for all abilities and it is truly an outdoor paradise that needs to be experienced by anyone that enjoys being out in nature. We would like to thank Marcie, Lonie and Allan for a great build day and fantastic hospitality; as well as Freewheel Cycle and Vicious Cycle for showing us around the trails. Given the dedicated people, clubs and shops like those mountain biking in Jasper is in great hands to continue its legacy of fantastic trails into the future!

For more photos from our visit to Jasper click here!

-Justin Truelove

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