13 EASY Canmore Walking Trails For the Whole Family

If you find yourself in Canmore on a beautiful day and want to enjoy a nice walk, you have plenty of options to choose from. There are plenty of Canmore walking trails that the whole family can enjoy. Almost all provide epic views of Mount Rundle, the Three Sisters, or Ha Ling Peak.

We love to hike but don’t always have the time for a full day out in the mountains. That’s when we’ll take an easy walk in and around town. These walking trails are great year-round and, unless otherwise noted, have minimal elevation gain. They are stroller, kid, and elderly-friendly unless otherwise stated as well.

Our Favorite Walking Trails in Canmore

Classic “Last of Us” Walk

canmore engine bridge
The Canmore Engine Bridge in the fall

If you’re a fan of the famous HBO show The Last of Us, you likely already know that most of the series was shot in Alberta, and then you probably know that one particular episode was shot in Canmore specifically. You can see many of the sights shown in that episode on an easy 3.5 km walking loop from Downtown Canmore.

The Big Head is next to The Drake Hotel and Restaurant

Start at the Big Head in Downtown Canmore near The Drake Hotel and walk along Policeman’s Creek toward 10th Street until you reach the Spur Line Trail. From here, turn left and walk less than 1 km to the Canmore Engine Bridge. It’s here you can walk across the famous Railway Bridge, seen dilapidated in the show. You can often see fishermen fishing from the bridge, and if you’re lucky, you’ll spot some elk near the Bow River.

Keep walking along the bridge near the Rundle Hydro Plant and continue to take in the sights along the Bow River. Cross the main bridge in Canmore while viewing the Three Sisters, and then head to Main Street in Downtown Canmore. Once downtown, you’ll probably recognize a few famous establishments from the show!

Bow River Loop

Bow River Loop

This is one of those super quick and easy walks that is just like the one mentioned above but avoids the whole downtown area. The Bow River Loop is a pleasant circular walk around the Bow River outside the center of Canmore. The loop follows a gravel path that leads along the Bow River and over the two pedestrian bridges.

Canmore Bow River Loop
Crossing the pedestrian bridge

The highlight lies in the two bridges; the first is the main Pedestrian Bridge off 8th Avenue, which offers fantastic views of a fork in the Bow River and the Three Sisters Mountains. The second bridge is the historic Engine Street Bridge, an old railway bridge used by mining companies that has been converted into a pedestrian bridge. The trail connects the two paths, and several offshoots offer exploration.

Policeman’s Creek Boardwalk

Policeman's Creek Boardwalk
Policeman’s Creek Boardwalk in March

One of the best walking trails in Canmore is the quick and easy Policeman’s Creek Boardwalk! The raised boardwalk along Policeman’s Creek is a scenic and quintessential walk that will take you from Downtown Canmore, around to the Malcolm Hotel, and back. It’s accessible all year round and is great for viewing birdlife.


It’s a lovely walk, but the most popular route is along the raised boardwalk from Main Street across the street from the Bid Head Statue and Spring Creek. This short stroll is an excellent way to pass twenty minutes and is ideal for those with a stroller or with mobility issues.

There is no elevation gain, but it still covers some distance, making for a nice way to get those steps in. If you need a break, there are also a few benches along the trail.

Three Sisters Viewpoint


This is one of the easiest walking trails in Canmore and has an absolutely mind-blowing payout. While you can see the Three Sisters from just about anywhere in Canmore, we believe the best view is from the Three Sisters viewpoint.

It’s only a five-minute walk to the viewpoint, and it’s well worth enjoying in the early morning or evening at any season. To get here, Park at the town’s off-leash dog park near the helipad on the Bow Valley Trail. Once you’ve parked, cross the road and go under the train tracks. You’ll find a faint path leading you to the photo point along the creek with some of the best views of Faith, Hope, and Charity.

*These one may be a bit tough for strollers and those with mobility issues as the terrain is a bit rooty and rocky.

Rundle Forebay Road

Rundle Forebay Road
Sunset along the Rundle Forebay Path

The Rundle Forebay Reservoir, or Canmore Reservoir as locals call it, is a Canmore favorite and known as a fantastic place to canoe, SUP, kayak, and even swim in the summer.

It is a practical place to visit, but it’s also a great place to walk and take in the views. On the left-hand side of the Reservoir is a gravel path that skirts the body of water and will take you to the end right under Ha Ling Peak. If you look to your left while walking, you’ll get great views of the Little Sister.

Once at the end of the reservoir, you can either turn around or take the Powerline Trail for a longer walk. The Powerline Trail will eventually connect you to Quarry Lake or take you further and walk to the Three Sisters Mountain Village.

Powerline Trail

cameron riding his bike on the Powerline Trail in canmore
Cameron riding his bike on the Powerline Trail

In all honesty, this isn’t the best area for hiking and is mainly used by bikers and trail runners. It connects the Canmore Reservoir to the Three Sisters Mountain Village, with different paths leading up to the Peaks of Grassi neighborhood area and Quarry Lake. There are also nice connectors to Fun Forest and Lokis Trail (two Canmore mountain biking trails). The path follows a powerline, hence the name.

Larch Island Interpretive Trail

Larch Island comes from the trees along the creek and Bow River shoreline. To reach the island interpretative trail, continue past the Engine Bridge along the Bow River. It’s one of the best Canmore walks for everyone.

The trail is often quiet along the shoreline, so you’ll find a peaceful slice of nature. Turn left across a short footbridge that moves around the small island. In the summer, you’ll see wildflowers and birdlife, while it’s a great trail to spot larches in the fall.

Horseshoe Loop

I usually bike the Horseshoe Loop

If you’re near the Cougar Creek area of Canmore, this is a nice multi-purpose trail that gives fantastic views of the Three Sisters. As it’s one of the best biking trails in Canmore, you’ll see mainly mountain bikers here in the summer, but it’s also popular for walkers year round and those on horseback (although I have personally never seen horses back here).

There’s a parking lot on Elk Run Blvd where you can park and get ready for your walk. Note that there is about 150 meters of elevation gain here, and the terrain is a mixed bag, so it’s best to leave the strollers at home.

Benchlands Ridge Trail and Canmore Hoodoos

benchlands trail
Benchlands Trail on a nice winter day

The Benchlands Ridge Trail can be accessed from Downtown Canmore, but it does require walking over the busy highway overpass and up to Cougar Creek. The most pleasant experience would be to start from the Cougar Creek parking lot opposite the dog park. It’s a nice path that moves along a large bench and offers fantastic views across the Bow Valley to The Three Sisters.

Although it is over the TransCanada, the panoramic views are tough to argue with, so expect a little road noise. At the end of the ridge are a few small hoodoos that are worth checking out. For the best experience, combine the trail with the Montane trail to make a loop.

Quarry Lake Loop

quarry-lake in canmore
Walking around Quarry Lake in the fall

Quarry Lake is the former site of the Canmore mine and a successful revitalization project beloved by the town’s residents. Now, it’s a small lake and one of the most popular local hangouts, especially in the summer.

It’s where visitors and locals alike head on weekend summer days to swim and enjoy the warm weather. There’s a nice walking trail around the lake, which just takes 15 minutes to make the full loop. There are views in every single direction. Along the trail, you’ll see other trails where you can break off if you want a longer walk – like to the Powerline Trail.

Quarry Lake has ballooned in popularity, especially on weekends, and it’s been tough for even locals to find parking there anymore. So much that paid parking is now in effect here year-round, so please keep that in mind. They do monitor and will issue tickets.

If you are visiting with a dog, this is a popular place for doggos. An off-leash dog park neighbors Quarry Lake, perfect for a game of fetch. However, it’s important to note that dogs are not allowed off-leash at Quarry Lake and are not allowed in Quarry Lake. If you want an extended walk with the pup, keep walking the Quarry Lake Dog Pond Trail!

Three Sisters Pathway

Three Sisters Pathway
We bike the Three Sisters Pathway often

This is our favorite walk in Canmore and a great option for bikers and runners. The trail is a mix of paved paths that follow the Bow River downstream to the Three Sisters. As the trail moves alongside the river, it passes several meadows, creeks, and forests, as well as the bright blue Canmore Sulphur Pond.

We’ve seen a lot of wildlife along the trail, particularly birdlife in the river. There is also a good chance you’ll come across some elk, as they’re plentiful, especially in winter.

Grassi Lakes

Grassi Lakes Natasha
Grassi Lakes in the summer

Grassi Lakes is the trail we’ve probably done the most in the area, as we live very close to the trailhead, and our family and friends love it. The mesmerizing colors of the water at Grassi Lakes are remarkable and easy to reach on a short hike. Though it’s not the most thrilling trail in the Rockies, it is accessible for most and brings hikers to two blue lakes in about a 30-minute walk with about 160 meters of elevation gain.

grassi lakes in winter

The trailhead is about five kilometers south of town, past the Canmore Reservoir. Once at the trailhead, you can begin your walk. There are two options: an easy trail, which sees gradual elevation gain, and a hard trailhead, which is slightly steeper but passes a stunning waterfall.

Both trails end at Grassi Lakes and provide a scenic spot to sit and enjoy the surroundings under Ha Ling Peak. Head to the viewpoint, where you can see the Canmore Reservoir below you and the entire town of Canmore. This is one of the “harder” trails on this list, but it’s one of the easiest trails in the Rockies that most people can easily complete.

Grotto Canyon

grotto canyon in winter
Grotto Canyon in April

For an easy Canmore hike that’s good year-round, look no further than Grotto Canyon. In the summertime, it’s popular with families seeking to enjoy the narrow slot canyon and climbers looking to scale its walls. In the winter, this famous canyon with rock art is accessible by walking along the frozen creek where you can see frozen waterfalls everywhere.

This is a nice hike that is less than 6km in length, depending on how far along the canyon you feel like walking. It has minimal elevation gain and can be completed in under two hours round trip. You’ll need a car for this one as the trailhead is about 10 minutes outside of town near Exshaw. Grotto Canyon is not suitable for strollers and requires surefootedness, especially in the winter.

Looking for a Bit More Challenge?

Summit of EEOR
On the summit of the East End of Rundle

These are some of the easiest walking trails in the Canmore area; however, there are many more hikes to enjoy within a 20 km radius. If you want some more challenging hikes that involve hiking higher and further, we break down our favorite Canmore hikes here, as well as the best hikes in Kananaskis. If you want a few more easy objectives, check out our favorite easy hikes in Kananaskis and our favorite easy hikes in Banff.

Do You Need a Pass for These Walks?

For most of the walks around the town of Canmore, you do not need a special pass. However, Grotto Canyon and Grassi Lakes require a Kananaskis Conservation Pass.

Should You Carry Bear Spray?

During the summer we carry bear spray on nearly every hike, bike, and walk. Bears live in the area, and are spotted frequently around Canmore. That being said, it’s pretty unlikely you’re going to see one frolicking down Main Street. Like an old grumpy man, bears don’t like loud noises and busy places. We would recommend bear spray on every hike in the Rockies, but it’s unlikely you will see them on some of these walks. Mainly the Policeman’s Creek Boardwalk, around the Engine Bridge, or within the town limits.

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About Natasha

Natasha calls Canmore, Alberta home. After traveling across seven continents and 90 countries with Cameron, she settled down in the stunning Canadian Rockies. She loves to help others travel and make their planning easier. She is a winter enthusiast and loves to snowboard, ice skate, and snowshoe and enjoy all the fantastic summer opportunities in Banff like hiking, scrambling, and biking. You can find her in the mountains or enjoying a coffee by the river. Learn more on the about us page!

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