Canmore, a former sleepy mining town turned robust community, is a recreational paradise. It's a straight shot west of Calgary via the Trans-Canada Highway, one hour from the city and 90 minutes from the international airport.
In winter, the splendid cross-country trails developed for the 2010 Olympic Games remain the major draw. Officially called the Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park, it boasts more than 40 mi/65 km of groomed trails for classical skiing and also skating lanes. Rental gear and lessons are available.
The venue still hosts Canadian and international ski races, including the Haywood Ski Nationals.
In summer, the site morphs into an 18-hole disc golf course, four orienteering courses, more than 62 mi/100 km of single- and double-track mountain bike and hiking trails, nearly 4 mi/6 km of paved roller-ski trails and a mountain bike skills park.
Several annual events also take place in Canmore, including the Canmore Folk Music Festival and Highland Games.