Loading the bikes up into the bike trailer, heading out of town and finding a hidden gem is one of our favorite things. I mean, it’s not too often that you’ll find a place perfect for a day trip, with a trail loop that’s easy enough for children, still fun to ride, and has views and places to stop and cool off if you want to go for a swim!
Blue Ridge Recreation Area used to be gravel pits. Now, it’s a thriving natural area full of wildlife and a 5K trail loop with places to cool off, play in the water where it’s unlikely that you’re going to see more than a couple of people as you spend the day exploring.
To the left of the parking lot, you’ll find a trail. Follow this trail and you’ll gain access to the ponds and public beach area, with day use areas and fire rings to cook lunch. Pass an easy bridge, and the easy trail is gravel and a bit of grass, and was the place where Olivia learned to use the gears on her bike.
This time around, we didn’t do the full loop. We biked about 2km before the kids wanted to turn around and go back to the parking lot. You can keep going, and see more of the ponds and beaches and day use, or turn around.
If you turn around, head out on the right path (you can’t loop around from this path) and stop at the dock in the pond stocked with fish to jump off, into the water – and cool off. You can also swim at the public beaches, or any of the ponds. There are many places to explore around the natural area.
When you’ve finished exploring this area, you can explore Hard Luck Canyon, an easy trail for kids with an impressive finish and canyon to explore, or check out the River Slides in Whitecourt.