This is easily the best mountain bike ride you can do directly from Banff (town). It combines three stretches of trail as designated by the parks service: the easy Tunnel Bench, the hard Toe and the moderate Bow Falls, all described here. It includes several of the town’s sights such as Bow Falls and the Hoodoos to make a scenic trail with some lovely flowing riding too.
This ride will challenge most recreational riders and satisfy most trail heads, and it’s easy to miss out black or blue-graded sections to make the trail much easier. Regular signposts and maps along the route make the process easy. A pdf map is downloadable here.
Start: From parking anywhere in central Banff head to the river then follow Buffalo Street (with the river to your right) to the recommended start point (see map among photos for this entry) at the Bow Falls viewpoint.
Directions: Climb Tunnel Mountain Drive, then watch for signposts that direct you from the main road to behind the Tunnel Mountain Campground. Follow signs in a loop until you return to this point again for the final stretch of the ride – drop down to the river and return along it to the Bow Falls viewpoint and Banff.