Redcliff, Alberta....the little town with big riding opportunities!

Redcliff, AB is a small community just outside of Medicine Hat. From Highway 1 it might be easy to drive by without even batting an eye, and for us it was our latest stop in our 2015 Trail Care Crew Season to work with the 670 Collective.

We were very quickly impressed and excited as we pulled up to the newly built bike skills park in Redcliff to meet the club and town representatives. You are greeted with a beautiful set of jump progressions with some well built wooden lips, as well as two towering wooden ladder bridges used as major focal points for passersby. The park includes a jump progression line immediately off the parking lot with 4, 6 and 8-foot tables and an advanced line of 10-foot gap jumps with the wooden lips. From there the park flows very well into the wooden skinny progression area that boasts multiple lines and multiple offerings; everything from large scored logs to narrow 2-inch skinny’s give riders many different ways to test their balance. In the centre of the park is the pump track, with an overall beginner loop with advanced transfer lines and possibilities for expansion. At every turn, we were blown away with the engineering, vision, flow and craftsmanship of the entire park; and the best and most impressive part is that club members and volunteer hours built it all! With donated dirt, machines, fuel and member labour the bike Skills Park is a true testament as to what can happen when a local club and community are able to come together with a common vision and goal in mind.

From there it was time to check out the trail offering in the area and one we left the parking lot and got into the trail we were blown away yet again with what stood before us. The Cliffside Trail is the main trail offering and takes riders away from town and into the coulee’s and valleys outside of town. The terrain in which the trail travels is stunning and highlights the beautiful landscape surrounding the two communities and you learn very quickly, where the town of Redcliff got its name. It was great to have representatives from Redcliff and Medicine Hat join us for our trail assessment as even the Redcliff Town representative had no idea these trails were there and was blown away with the design and beauty of the area. The 670 Collective has done a fantastic job in partnering with both surrounding communities and generating land-use agreements on some beautiful terrain to work with. The future is very bright for the club as the city of Medicine Hat is looking at creating trail offerings that extend from the City to Redcliff and into the existing Cliffside Trail. What they have designed and built so far is well thought out and an awesome intermediate trail offering showcasing the great landscape available.

Saturday had a great turnout for our Trail Building School and build with riders and non-riders alike, as well as representatives from Medicine Hat, Alberta Parks and the club itself. There were lots of great questions and discussions before we took to the trail to work on the project at hand. The project laid out was creating an advanced optional line using some amazing existing rock outcroppings and creating some challenging rock gardens, roll downs and drops while opening up and widening the original trail in a section that has seen many rider injuries and issues. Both AJ and I were super impressed with the work ethic of the volunteers and blown away with how well the finished product turned out. Sunday had us taking some club members out to an area where they want an advanced climbing and descent trail and we split off into separate groups to do facilitate a design workshop in the field and get an idea as to how to design sustainable trails as well as the work that goes in to designing sustainable trails.

Overall, the visit was extremely successful and we were both very impressed with what was already available in terms of trails and the bike skills park. Moving forward we are very excited to see what is to come for the 670 Collective and their new trail offerings. While Redcliff, AB might be a non-destination to most along Highway 1, for mountain bikers it should definitely be a place you stop off and enjoy for an afternoon or day to see the amazing beauty of the area and take in the great trail experiences available. The only downside to our visit is that it was raining the entire time so we were not able to get out and enjoy the trails on our bikes. We would like to thank the 670 Collective, the town of Redcliff and City of Medicine Hat for their amazing hospitality and for organizing a great visit.

For a link to photos from our visit with the 670 Collective, click here!

-Justin Truelove