Trail Etiquette

/Trail Etiquette
Trail Etiquette2019-01-29T18:58:27+00:00

West Bragg Creek Trail Etiquette, Trail Types, User Recommendations and Safety

Welcome to West Bragg Creek Trails. This is a multi-use, non-motorized recreation area.

Thank you for your cooperation

Since this is non-motorized trails system that welcomes a wide variety of users we ask that you extend a  few common courtesies to your fellow trail users and respect the facilities that have been provided for your enjoyment.

Trailhead Parking and Perimeter Trail

  • There is plenty of parking at West Bragg Creek, with several washrooms handy throughout
  • The Trails Center building is open daily between 9 am and 5pm. It is heated, has maps and information and there is a cellular ‘hotspot’ located right at the entrance. This is also the location of the AED for those who are trained to use it. Cell service in WBC is spotty at best so utilize this hotspot for making emergency calls.
  • There is Equestrian Only parking in the SE corner of the Parking area. Please do not park there unless you are driving a truck and horse trailer.  Please review recommendations for equestrian trail usesection below.
  • A packed Perimeter Trail surrounds the parking area and provides access to all of the trailheads for all users. Please keep all dogs on a leash and remove all animal waste from this trail.
  • There is also parking with access to these trails from Fullerton Trailhead, located across Highway 66 from Allen Bill, on the road to Elbow Falls. There is an area for Equestrian parking located there, also.

Skiing

  • Please note that the designated ski trails are for use by classic XC and skate skiers ONLY during the period December 1 to March 31
  • Ski trails are groomed and trackset by volunteers as often as possible. Please do not walk, snowshoe, bike or ride horses on the groomed and trackset ski trails.
  • Please ski on the right, pass on the left and skate ski in the middle. Downhill skier has the right of way
  • Do not stop where you obstruct a trail or are not visible to others

Hiking and Biking

  • Use All Season trails (brown colour on map), Winter Multi-Use Trails (shared with snowshoers and some cases horses), Mountain Road
  • Please respect other users and follow the guidelines on the ‘Yield’ sign, shown below

Snowshoers

  • Use designated snowshoe trails (pink on map), Winter Multi-Use Trails, Mountain Road or All Season trails
  • Please respect other users and follow the guidelines on the ‘Yield’ sign, shown below

Equestrians (Horse back riding)

  • Equestrians are welcome on the All Season trails system, shown on maps in brown colour, EXCEPT those that are designated as ski trails from Dec 1 to March 31 annually
  • Where the access to these trails shares sections with ski trails, such as accessing Ranger Summit or Boundary Ridge from the Parking area, please stay to the far left, and ride single file so as not to impact tracks and grooming for skiers
  • The perimeter trail around the parking area is not trackset, but it is groomed. Please remove any manure from this trail to aid in the grooming work. A short, separate trail for equestrians leading from the hitching rails, across the perimeter trail then west to the kiosk on Mountain Road has been developed and will help separate horses and other users in this congested area.  Please follow the horse back riding trail signage.
  • All Season trail conditions vary with weather and trails may become very icy. Some trails are steep and narrow.  Use good judgement in choosing a trail. It is highly recommended that you consider asking your farrier to put ‘sharps’ (either borium or caulks on steel shoes) on your horse.  See photo for an example.

    Horse Shoe with “Sharps”

  • Do not leave manure in the parking area or throw it into the bush. Pick it up and take home in your trailer.  Please do your part to show we are responsible trail users.
  • For travel westward, please follow the new suggested route as indicated by signage. Then proceed single file in the corridor marked by pylons to access Snowy Owl (for 1.3 km) which continueson the south side of the pylons on Mountain Road. Please remove (shovelling is best) all manure from these trails.
  • Not all trails can be ridden as loops in the winter, due to the ski trails.
  • Certain Winter Multi-Use Trails will be shared with fatbikes and snowshoers
  • Many other trail users are not familiar with horses and may not know or understand how to safely pass. When conditions are such that other users, such as fatbikers, cannot easily move off the trail to pass, please move your horse into the deeper snow and let them pass on the trail.

Please be an ambassador and help educate other users so that we all enjoy the trails safely.

Stop for horses. Ask rider how to safely pass

Trail Etiquette

      • Please cooperate to help keep the trails safe and enjoyable for everyone.
      • Be respectful of other trail users. If you are considerate, the next users will return your favour.
      • To protect the local watershed and to avoid damaging the trails, do not use trails in soft or muddy conditions.
      • If you are making ruts in dirt or snow, please leave the trail system.
      • Mountain bikers yield to hikers, horseback riders, snowshoers and skiers.
      • Hikers yield to horseback riders.
      • All users please slow down at intersections and when passing other trail users.

Trail Users

 Mountain Bikers (MTBs) 

      • Mountain bikers may use any all-season trails (brown), except Fullerton Loop (Foot traffic only).
      • Biking, hiking and snowshoeing are permitted from Dec. 1 to Mar. 31 on East Telephone Loop, Mountain Road, using the non-trackset side of the trail.
      • Winter fat biking is also permitted from Dec. 1 to Mar. 31 on Snowy Owl, Snowy Shortcut, Whitetail, Old Shell Road, Snowshoe Hare (west only), and Lower West Crystal Line winter multi-use trails whenever there is snow on the ground and the trails are frozen.
      • Biking is not permitted on Snowshoe Hare (east) and Old Hostel Road at any time.
      • Try to anticipate other trail users as you ride around corners.
      • MTBs should announce their presence to others, using their voice or a bell.
      • MTBs travelling downhill should yield to anyone headed uphill.
      • Fat bikers must yield to skiers at all ski trail crossings.
      • Winter biking: Dec.1 to March 31: It is requested only “fat bikes” (with tires measuring 3.7 inches wide or wider and tire pressure that is 10 psi or lower) are used.  Bikes with regular mountain bike narrow tires leave deep ruts in trails, creating a hazard when frozen.

 Hikers

      • Hikers may use any trails except… Don’t walk on ski trails from Dec 1-Mar 31, when the ski trails are groomed.
      • Hike on Snowshoe Hare (east) only when snow covered and frozen.

 Horseback Riders

      • Horseback riding is permitted on all season trails whenever conditions allow.
      • Horseback riding is not permitted on XC ski trails from Dec. 1 to Mar. 31.
      • Horseback riding is not permitted on snowshoe only trails at any time.
      • Avoid riding when trails are soft or muddy. Ride only when impact is minimal.
      • Please see suggested winter horse routes on the winter horseback riding page. These are rated by difficulty based on rider experience and
        trail conditions.

 Snowshoers

      • Use the designated snowshoe trails (dashed pink on the map), winter multi-use trails (pink on the map) or the all season trails (brown on the map). See maps
      • Snowshoe Hare (east) is for snowshoers and walkers only.
      • Don’t walk on ski trails from Dec 1 to Mar 31, when they are groomed.

 XC Skiers

      • XC Ski trails (Green or Blue) are groomed whenever there is sufficient snow cover, typically Dec 1 to Mar 31.
      • Mountain Road and Telephone Loop are shared with other non skier users.
      • Downhill skiers have the right of way. Please yield to allow them to safely descend.
      • Step off of the ski trail when stopped.
      • Please only skate ski on trails that are wide enough to allow for this technique, without damaging track setting. Skate ski trails are identified with a dashed blue or green line.

 Dogs

      • Dogs are permitted on the West Bragg Creek Trails, but please be a responsible dog owner.
      • Dogs must be on-leash in the Provincial Recreation Area (PRA), including the parking lot and surrounding area, otherwise you could be fined.
      • Outside of the PRA, dogs must be under control at all times.
      • Do not allow dogs to harass livestock, wildlife (which is illegal) or other trail users.
      • If skiing with a dog on a leash, a short leash is recommended, as a long leash presents a safety hazard to yourself and other skiers.
      • Skijoring is becoming more popular and involves being pulled on skiis by a harnessed dog. The dog is attached to the skier’s belt by a 9 foot line to accomodate for ski length. With proper training, dogs should stay in line with the trail and not cross into the path of oncoming skiers. Consider stepping off the trail and bringing your dog into the heal position when in high traffic areas or to let skiers pass.
      • Canicrossing is the sport of trail running with a dog in harness attached by a short leash (6 foot) to a waist belt. Please bring dog into heal position when approaching other trail users.
      • Please remove your dog’s waste from the trail by flicking off the tread surface or by bagging it.
      • Please do not bag your dog waste unless you take it with you to the nearest garbage receptacle. NEVER leave bagged dog waste on or adjacent to a trail. Do not throw bagged dog waste into the woods!
      • Please see map of PRA boundary (dogs must be on leash within PRA boundary). Beige area on map shows the PRA area.

Cattle Grazing 

      • Cattle grazing season is June 15 to October 15 annually.
      • Please close all gates during grazing season.
      • Do not chase, herd or harass livestock, as it causes stress and economic loss.

 Risk Management

This is a multi-use area and not all trails are necessarily suited to all user types or skill levels. You should be aware that trail conditions can change depending on weather and other natural factors. Potential hazards include, but are not limited to, steep side slopes, ice, slippery conditions, unbridged watercourse crossings and the presence of wild or domestic animals. You must take personal responsibility for evaluating the safety of a trail for yourself (and your horse).

For further information, please contact the Kananaskis Country Visitor Information Centre at 403-673-3985

In case of emergency, call 911 and ask for Kananaskis Emergency Dispatch