For the past four years in a row I have traveled east for a visit to ride the Medicine Hat mountain biking trails. Much like most communities have experienced in recent years, Medicine Hat is seeing an explosion in cycling. Thankfully this wave of momentum and its energy has been captured by the local municipal government, Alberta Parks and the local bike club 670 Collective.
Discover the New Medicine Hat Mountain Biking Trails
The local parks, grasslands, forests and hills have provided the blank canvas for this captured energy to be shaped into an explosion of new trail development. For my visit this fall I was going to check out the new family friendly trails at Echo Dale Regional Park. I would also visit the forested flow and technical trails at Hidden Valley Ski Hill within Cypress Hills Provincial Park at nearby Elkwater.
Echo Dale Regional Park Mountain Bike Trails
Echo Dale Regional Park is the largest municipal park in the region just west of the city. It is a terrific destination with expansive views, lake, washroom facilities and camping all along the South Saskatchewan River. A great part of the park is you can leave your car at the hotel and ride here from anywhere in Medicine Hat thanks to the 115km long Heritage Trail Network.
This year at the park you will find new trails consisting of fun blue and green multi-use designs to let new riders ease into experiencing mountain biking for the first time. Of course they are also perfect for experienced riders to have fun and share their passion with family and friends. At the bottom of the trails along the edge of the main park area a small skills area has been put in. Wooden rollers and skinny boardwalks are a fun feature for kids who love the challenge and the news skills they get to develop.
Thanks to Rustin and his dad Kirk for coming out and hanging with me on the trails for this stunning fall evening.
Medicine Hat Mountain Bike Trails on Trailforks
Hidden Valley Ski Hill Mountain Bike Trails at Cypress Hills
Time to turn the energy up and get your flow on because the new trails here on the slopes of the Hidden Valley Ski Hill are dialed for fun. Located within the Alberta side of the Cypress Hills Provincial Park, only a 35 minute drive from Medicine Hat, this zone is bringing the big mountain MTB feel to the Prairie riding scene. Mountain bike trails only started in the park in 2017 but have expanded quickly with almost 14km of new trail being added in 2021.
In previous visits I have ridden trails like The Last Grizzly and Tower Trail which are accessed from the Elkwater townsite in the park. For this ride we parked at the Lodge for the Hidden Valley ski hill and used the brand new climb trail called Sorry (lol how Canadian). Being a west coast rider and trail builder myself I was extremely impressed with the trail route selection and thoughtful design to the natural land features. The 2.1km climb trail easily gains 168m of elevation with little effort or time.
First on the agenda was the super fun and flowy blue trail Canadiana. It was great having local 670 Collective club member Caleb showing me the trails. He is a very fast talented local rider that was a blast to ride with. This trail was perfect to show locals their first taste of what west coast flow is like.
Next we tackled Tragically Steep which is a narrower black diamond old school style fast descending rooty single track tech trail. I love flow trails as I am a bit of a speed freak but this trail made me smile as I often prefer rougher and more technical trails. For our final lap up the climb trail we checked out the new black diamond flow trail. All I can say is wow, this trail features some serious big stunts and has BC bike park style written all over it. The machine built hips, berms and tabletops will have you catching air the whole way down.
Stay tuned for this new black flow trail next year when it is officially open. At the time of my visit a downhill green flow trail was also being built. These two new trails will help make this a great place for riders of all skill levels but also style preferences enjoy riding here.
Support Your Local Mountain Bike Trails Organization
As with most regions the bulk of the amazing trail networks have been created, developed and maintained by local volunteers. Medicine Hat is no exception as the local club 670 Collective has been working hard to put the region on the mountain bike scene. If you do happen to ride and visit the region be sure to make a donation on TrailForks via Trail Karma or swing by their website. Of course consider buying a membership in your home community and local trail organization if you have one. If we want to continue to enjoy fun trails wherever we visit and where we live then we need to ensure that trail groups remain strong and well funded.
A big thanks to Medicine Hat Tourism for hosting me on this trip. I always enjoy my time here, be sure to follow the links to related Medicine Hat activities at the bottom of this post. The city has a great diversity in outdoor activities, great coffee shops, plenty of craft breweries and loads of historical and cultural points of interest. To learn more about the things to do and see check out the Tourism Medicine Hat website.
For more ideas on what to do in Medicine Hat, extend your stay and check out these posts.
- Explore Medicine Hat by Bike
- Discover the Medicine Hat Craft Beer Scene
- Top Things To Do in Medicine Hat This Summer
For other road trips and travel destinations check out my Mindful Explorer Travel Destination Page . As well I am always grateful for a follow on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter where I share more frequent photos and stories daily.