This 6-mile trail follows the crest of the Columbia River Valley with spectacular views of the Columbia Wetlands, an internationally recognized wetland and the largest contiguous wetland in North America. The trail traverses wetlands, grasslands and Douglas fir forests that are home to a diverse range of wildlife including great blue herons, bighorn sheep and painted turtles. The trail is an out and back layout, but will eventually be part of a 100 mile greenway linking the communities of Canal Flats and Donald.
Trail Vertical Gain or Loss100 feet
Highlights and Best Features of this Trail
The trail traverses glaciolacustrine silt terraces that are home to the Radium Stoddart herd of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and grassland plateaus overlooking the Columbia Wetland. The wetland is home to a diverse ecosystem including dragonflies, painted turtles, the Ruby-Crowned Kinglet , ospreys, eagles, hawks, and the Great Blue Heron. This area is a key link in the Pacific Flyway a waterfowl migration route which stretches from nesting areas on the Arctic Ocean to wintering grounds in South America.
Full Description of this Recreation Trail
This trail can be busy depending upon the time of year and time of day. In the spring and fall you will likely have this trail to yourself. In the summer you may encounter a few groups of hikers and mountain-bikers along the 6 mile length.
Watch for erosion gullies in the spring and stay to the upslope side of the trail while biking and hiking.
The trail varies from grassland plateaus to cutslopes of glaciolacustrine silt and varies from areas with open exposure to shaded portions within forested areas. The trail is gently rolling and includes descents to the wetland edge in a few locations.
The trail is a former settler transporation route and is generally one vehicle wide and gravel surfaced. In the spring-time erosion gullies may form in some of the steeper areas.
Trail Distance6 miles (trail networks are under construction that will extend 100 miles from Canal Flats to Donald)
Type of Trail ExperienceOut-and-Back
Estimated Time it Takes to Experience this Trail3 hours
Driving Directions from Nearest Town or Landmark
The Old Coach Trail Greenway is located on the south end of the Village of Radium Hot Springs, approximately 2.5 hours southwest of Calgary and 1.5 hours north of Cranbrook. Trail work is currently proceeding to connect the north trailhead to the corner of Main and Edelweiss within the Village. The southern trail head is accessed by heading south on Highway 93/95 from the Village and turning right (west) on the access road across from Eacrett Road. A timber framed sign kiosk adjacent to a parking area marks the trailhead visible from the highway.