Oct 172012
Biking Happy Trails

The Happy Trails pathway system in High River Alberta reaches to every corner of town and it’s a great way to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Paved, with a few sections on the road, one can take a leisurely stroll, or a long bike ride. For my trip, I choose to do the latter.

You can enter the trail system nearly anywhere, but for my trip I started at the Sobey’s downtown with plans to make a loop back to this same point. Heading east here, the pathway follows an irrigation canal which sometimes skirts the edge of town. This is one of the quieter sections of the route.

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After a couple kilometres and some road crossings, you come to a park and school surrounded by number of lakes and a duck pond. You can go around either lake, but I choose to circle the larger Sunshine Lake. A couple times in fact. This was by far the busiest section of my trip, but even so it was not bad and everyone seemed be having a good time.

From here you hit the pavement, following some quiet residential streets. Heading south you reenter the Happy Trails system on 12th Avenue, a very busy street. The pathway parallels it for a time passing by many businesses (watch for cars entering or exiting these places). There are lots of auto dealers along here and by looking at their selection it’s clear that BIG trucks are king here in small town Alberta.

Soon after you pass by the Hitchin’ Post Drive In. It was closed on my visit, and while I like to try and eat reasonably healthy you can not beat a hamburger and shake from here. Yum!

After crossing the CPR MacLeod Subdivision branchline, abandoned but with track still in place, heading west you again skirt the edge of town. The route here is lined with massive Cottonwood trees and if the weather is clear there are good views of the mountains to the west. It was too hazy this day to see much of them.

Taking a right and now heading north, you enter a park and pass by what appears to be an old farm house. Made from sandstone it appears some work is being done to the cool-looking structure. There is also a hockey rink in the park.

Turning east now, we’re back on the road again. A few blocks later, it’s north and shortly after we join the Happy Trails pathway system once more. We’re along the Highwood River and it’s a scenic section with a large city park and campground nearby. It’s here my trip ended.

The town of High River has certainly done a wonderful job establishing this trail system. It’s a great way to get out and have some fun and exercise. This time I biked it solo, but Connie and I often walk it in the winter.

To see some other bike adventures we’ve done, follow these links…
Stoney Trail, a hellish journey.
Calgary to Chestermere (and back) canal pathway cycle.

If you wish more information on this trail, by all means contact us!

Date of adventure: September 2012.
Location: High River Alberta.
Distance: 12km for my loop.
Height gain from start: Negligible.
Height gain cumulative: Negligible.
Technical bits:
Notes: Bikes, joggers, walkers, strollers and bladers all use this trail – stay alert.
Reference: Happy Trails PDF Map compliments of Highriver.ca.

Happy Trails

You can enter the trail system nearly anywhere – I started at the Sobey’s.

Happy Trails cycle

On this section, heading east, you follow an irrigation canal.

High River canal

We’re skirting the edge of town here.

Happy Trails pathway

A quick pit stop and picture.

Happy Trails High River

The trails circles a man-made lake.

Sunshine Lake High River

Sunshine Lake.

Happy Trails Sunshine Lake

A pleasant ride…

Hitchin' Post High River

The Hitchin’ Post, a great place to get a shake or heart-attack burger.

CPR High River

The abandoned CPR MacLeod Subdivision branch.

Biking Happy Trails

Happy Trails!

Cottonwoods High River

Massive Cottonwoods line this section of the pathway.

Old house High River

I pass an old house.

Macleod Trail High River

MacLeod Trail, once a wagon route passing through the area.

Highwood River High River

A pleasant section along the Highwood River.

Loading bike on rack

Loading the bike up, my trip ends.


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7 Comments on "Happy Trails High River cycle"

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High River
High River

I’d love to be able to use use snippets of this article on the High River website. Can you let me know if this is okay? Caroline

Todd 1961
Todd 1961

I’ve biked this path too and it is great fun!


We’ve biked the Glenmore Reservoir in Calgary, which for us was a little long. Is this comparable? We’d like to try something new. It looks like you ride a bit, what sort of bike do you have? We have some Supercycles (Cdn Tire) but I don’t think they are very good. BTW, we are in our early 70s.

Berend Heinz
Berend Heinz

With the flood damage in High River, it’ll be a while before anyone can bike this route. I’ve done it many times though, and it’s quite pleasant.