Fantastic news re: Ribbon creek

– A newly completed section of Ribbon creek. – 

One of my favourite trails, Ribbon creek, is reborn after being destroyed by the 2013 floods. Thanks to Alf for this report, and thanks to all the volunteers who are helping to bring this wonderful trail back to life. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to hear this. More photos from Alf 

Good news for anyone who enjoyed the Ribbon Creek Valley. The re-building of the Ribbon Creek trail in now underway and we should be able return again for hiking this fall and skiing this winter!

Removing stumps and roots

Removing stumps and roots on the new Ribbon creek

Work is currently happening on the narrower part of the trail from the Kovach Link junction to Ribbon Falls. The lower section requires bigger machinery and several huge bridges…and Fisheries regulations do not permit work in/along the stream until mid-August.

There is currently a big Parks trail crew, 3 track hoe excavators and teams of Friends of Kananaskis Country volunteers working on the trail re-build. Most of the trail is being re-routed onto higher, drier ground. It sure looks as if it will be a more aesthetic and sustainable trail. 

13 Comments:

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  1. Does anyone know if the trail up to Memorial Lakes has been demolished? Great to see a major part of the Ribbon Creek trail has been rebuilt!

    • It’s doable but in some spots gone or in poor condition. Lots of detours around landslides and past the first lake hard to find. Expect a long day!

      • Thanks Pete! Also, thank you for your efforts to help rebuild the trails! I’ll be heading out there this weekend.

      • Pete,
        I think you mentioned it below but I’d just like to confirm that you can bike the new trail? ie) Kovach, link and new ribbon creek trails are all bikable?

        • Yup it’s bikeable! Someone had biked it the day my friend and I hiked memorial lakes. It would save you the extra walking time too. As Jeff mentioned ribbon’s not officially open. Online and signage mentions it’s closed during the week for trail work but open weekends with a “travel at your own risk” mentioned.

  2. As of August 15th, the Ribbon Creek trail has been essentially finished by hard working Parks staff with support from Friends of Kananaskis volunteers. It now needs foot traffic to stabilize the bed. But it most certainly was designed with XC ski traffic in mind — though it is not as wide, it can be skidoo trackset. It will be a VERY different experience than the old fire road, but in many ways better.

    Update: The above comment refers to the trail beyond the Link junction. There is still no trail leading directly from Ribbon Creek parking lot. See comments below from Pete for further clarification. -Bob

    • I was at Ribbon creek parking lot looking for the new trail but couldn’t find anything except the start of the old trail which gets washed out in 10 metres. Are you sure there’s a new trail?

      • There’s definitely a new trail because I worked on it! The new trail starts off the “link” trail at the top of “kovach” trail.It starts off the there to avoid the mass destruction in the lower section (where you hiked). Best way to get there is walk or better yet bike from ribbon creek parking lot over the bridge that crosses ribbon creek at the west end of the parking lot. Continue on “terrace” trail on the other side uphill to the junction with “kovach” trail. Continue on “kovach” to the “link” trail that connects back to the ribbon creek trail. Its well signed along the way. The new ribbon trail begins with a stump with an old man’s face carved into it. The original lower section of ribbon is passable but not recommended! Lots of creek crossings and route finding. It took my friend and I a while to get through that section (awe inspiring flood damage!). Its unlikely that the lower section will be fixed this summer. I believe the government has to hire contractors with large machinery to repair that section. Its also possible to park at kananaskis village and make your way to ribbon creek trail throughout the ski trail network.

        • Forgot to mention that according to Jeff of Alberta Parks he’ll be able to track set the new trail this winter off the “link” trail. The trail is also hikeable and bikeable at the moment. It just needs traffic to pack it down! Also if heading to Memorial lakes off the new trail its the first obvious side trail on your right you pass. Be forewarned though! Memorial lakes trail also received significant damage and some sections are now exposed and treacherous due to washouts and landslides. Be prepared for a long day with plenty of challenges! My friend and I made it to the third lake so it is possible.

  3. A word of caution…I’ve been informed that the ski trail is not a “done deal” for this winter. Maybe, maybe not. The hiking trail, which should be done this summer, may not be suitable for skiing and may require further work which could take until next year(2015). We’re all hopeful and excited to know we’ll have Ribbon creek for skiing whenever it may be.

  4. Great news!

  5. This is great news one of our favorite trails…thanks for the update and photos

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