Calgary has an extensive network of multi-user pathways (MUPs), which are reserved for pedestrians and cyclists, and on-street bikeways, which are streets designated as bike routes. Some bikeways are merely indicated by signs, some have wide curb lanes and bike sharrows, and some have painted bike lanes. The network of pathways and bikeways can be found in the City of Calgary’s Pathways and Bikeways map. The map is available in several formats:
The City of Calgary Parks Department publishes a printed pathway and bikeway map, available for free at the City’s Aquatic and Fitness Centres, at the City’s two Leisure Centres (Southland in the SE, Village Square in the NE), as well as the map’s sponsors
Bike Calgary usually also has maps available at info tables.
Other printed maps are available as well, both for Calgary and for the surrounding areas. Ask your local bike shop to see if they have some for sale.
Electronic Maps and Smartphone Apps
The official pathways and bikeways map can be downloaded as a (large) PDF file from the City of Calgary Parks website. The site also provides downloadable maps of specific areas, such as Downtown, Nose Hill, and Edworthy Park. An interactive map is also available.
Ride the City Calgary is the best cycing-specific routing website and application. It offers routing based on desired safety of the route, lets you save, print, and email routes, and rate routes and route segments to improve suggestions. It also comes with apps for both iPhone and Android. Both Ride the City and Bike Calgary volunteers take feedback on routes computed by Ride the City Calgary: instructions on how to improve Ride the City.
There are three apps for smarthpones:
- Ride the City iOs app
- Ride the City Android app
- City of Calgary pathway app published by the City of Calgary (free, no directions, iPhone only)
Ride the Cityis based on bike path and lane data in Open Street Map, an open alternative to Google and other commercial map providers. It can be freely edited by users, much like Wikipedia. The map data from OSM is also used by OpenCycleMap.org. For route planning based on OSM, an alternative to Ride the City is BBBike @ Calgary.
The data used for the City’s interactive map is also shared with Google Maps, and Google Maps has a “bicycling” option that displays bike routes and pathways in green. Google Maps will also calculate directions for cycling. You should check the city’s website in any case for closures and detours.
Google Maps is also useful for crowdsourced or shared cycling maps for specific areas or destinations, e.g.,
The City of Calgary Parks Department lists closed pathway and detours (with maps) on their Pathway Closures page. They are also available on the City’s iPhone app.
Pathways and bikeways are often not the best way to get from point A to point B, or it takes trial and error to find the best route. Take advantage of other cyclists’ experience by scanning or asking in the Bike Riding in Calgary forums. Check out Calgary cycling routes posted on Bikely.com or Mapmyride.com or map your own.
Questions or comments about maps? Post in the bikeway maps forum.