If you are ever looking for a great cycling trip, the Red Deer to Lacombe experience would be one of my favourites. It is part of the Great Trail and perfect for the cyclist who wants to experience our rural and city trails. Let me give you some insight into how our last trip went.
We started the cycling journey at Heritage Ranch, pedalling our way on the paved trails past Bower Ponds until we came to the Taylor Drive bridge. We turned north here and followed the trails along Taylor Drive until we came to Hwy 11A. We then crossed over and continued along the C&E Trail Range Road 273A. This rural road, although paved, has no shoulders, be aware, the traffic was light being that is was Sunday. However, it can get busy during the weekdays. We continued straight past the sign that reads “No Exit, Subdivisions only” and across the bridge over the Blindman River.
The Blindman River bicycle bridge is a pretty stop with washrooms, picnic tables and a chance to recharge our batteries before continuing left up a paved road until we hit the Vista trail, taking us into Blackfalds. We cycled past well-placed signs and a map of the Great Trail that took us to the Abbey Centre, a 41,000 sq ft recreation complex, with a unique looking amphitheatre which they use for some of their outdoor events.
As we continued, the trail then took us through some residential streets, with signs posted to make sure you don’t lose your way.
Heading out of Blackfalds, we found our way back on the trails where we had the pleasure of cycling through beautiful parkland, over quaint bridges, along serene lakes, and yes, past farmers’ fields as they readied themselves for harvest. The weather was chilly that day, but the views were outstanding. While most of the trip was flat, there were a few good hills, but nothing we couldn’t conquer.
For a short time, we found ourselves back on the road through a lovely subdivision outside of Lacombe. The signs, however, brought us right back on the trail past the Lacombe Agricultural research station and into the city of Lacombe. What a ride, a stop at Cilantro and Chive’s, a lovely little restaurant in the heart of historic downtown Lacombe, gave us a much-needed rest. They had a great selection of local beer on tap, so we celebrated with a pint and some fantastic food. It was then on the trail again as we returned home to Red Deer. A tiring but wonderful 64-kilometre roundtrip, if you’re counting. All and all, a great day and a good reminder, we must make this trip again.
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