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Thursday, June 20, 2024

10+ Stops to Make on a 2-Day Lacombe County Bike Journey

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Stunning Lacombe County is in Alberta’s picturesque heartland – roughly midway between Calgary and Edmonton. The county is house to scenic multi-use trails, principally quiet backroads, together with a heavy dose of rural attraction and exceptionally pleasant folks.

When you’re after a peaceable escape, I like to recommend a two-day bike journey in Lacombe County with stops in Lacombe and Bentley, Aspen Seaside Provincial Park, and at a number of native companies alongside the way in which.

You’ll discover a lot to like in Lacombe County. From my expertise, I like to recommend you pack an empty bike pannier, so you’ll be able to fill it with native produce, honey, candles and different treasures you discover from exploring Lacombe County.

For these of you dwelling within the Calgary – Edmonton hall, I feel you’ll discover Lacombe County to be a handy getaway. Aside from conventional rural scenes dominated by farmland, cycle previous each small and enormous lakes, seashores, and thru woodlands. Plan to cease at native cafes or one the various farmer’s markets to refuel.

There are a number of choices for in a single day stays together with a few tenting choices. When you want a roof over your head and a scorching bathe, there are a number of resorts to select from.

This submit contains some affiliate hyperlinks. When you make a qualifying buy by way of considered one of these hyperlinks, I’ll obtain a small share of the sale at no further price to you. Thanks very a lot in your assist.

Getting started on the Lacombe County Trail just outside of BlackfaldsGetting started on the Lacombe County Trail just outside of Blackfalds
Getting began on the Lacombe County Path simply outdoors of Blackfalds

My Lacombe County 2-day bike trip

I used to be pleasantly stunned to seek out a few multi-use trails in Lacombe County. The well-signed Trans-Canada Path, between Blackfalds and Lacombe showcases the various landscapes you’ll discover within the county together with ponds, lakes, farmer’s fields and neighbourhoods.

One other quick (6 km) multi-use path stretches from Aspen Seaside Provincial Park to Bentley. It’s particularly good for any bicycle owner tenting within the park. What a straightforward approach to get pleasure from a car-free go to to Bentley ! The path features a scenic stretch of boardwalk overlooking Gull Lake.

There will probably be occasions you need to cycle quick stretches of freeway or nation roads in Lacombe County – however all have good shoulders.

I ended up on some filth roads by mistake. They have been quiet, however when a automobile handed, I used to be enveloped in a cloud of mud. My recommendation – follow the paved roads.

There was one quick stretch of highway main as much as Freeway 2 and the on-off ramps resulting in Calgary and Edmonton the place you need to cycle beside a barrier. It’s a tad dodgy as there is no such thing as a shoulder in any respect. Train excessive warning for the 30 seconds it would take you to get by way of it. I discovered that all over the place else on my Lacombe County bike tour was utterly nice.

If you don't mind a little dust and some tough biking, choose one of the quiet dirt roadsIf you don't mind a little dust and some tough biking, choose one of the quiet dirt roads
When you like mud and hard biking, select one of many quiet filth roads – in any other case keep away from them

Day 1 biking in Lacombe County

On my first day of biking in Lacombe County, I put up with 50 km per hour wind gusts – not preferrred as you’ll be able to admire, particularly I needed to bike 30 kilometres to the Gull Lake Honey Firm the place I deliberate to spend the evening. However the place there’s a will, there’s a approach – even when it’s a dusty approach.

Keep an eye out for local farm stands on the back roadsKeep an eye out for local farm stands on the back roads
Hold an eye fixed out for native farm stands on the again roads

Location map with stops in Lacombe County

Cease #1 biking in Lacombe County – Rose & Holly

I parked my automobile in Blackfalds for the evening on the Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Blackfalds (with permission) and cycled all of 600 metres to my first cease in Lacombe County – Rose & Holly.

The proprietor, Robyn, is smitten with vegetation (I as soon as had a flower store in Niagara-on-the-Lake, so I get it) and supporting locally-owned small enterprise. To her credit score, the shop showcases items from over 100 native companies.

Aside from all of the vegetation, I liked her choice of playing cards, mugs with sayings that made me snigger out loud, jewelry, clothes, child’s stuff and a hand lotions with catchy names. You possibly can simply spend an hour right here and I assure you received’t stroll out empty-handed.

Don't miss a stop in Rose & Holly in BlackfaldsDon't miss a stop in Rose & Holly in Blackfalds
Don’t miss a cease in Rose & Holly in Blackfalds
You'll find over 100 artisans and makers showcased at Rose & HollyYou'll find over 100 artisans and makers showcased at Rose & Holly
You’ll discover over 100 artisans and makers showcased at Rose & Holly
Head to Rose & Holly for some retail therapy Head to Rose & Holly for some retail therapy
Head to Rose & Holly for some retail remedy

Biking from Blackfalds to Lacombe

From Rose & Holly, the plan was to hop on the Trans-Canada Path (TCT) and cycle to Lacombe. I discovered TCT path signage close to the intersection of Willow and Westbrooke Roads in Blackfalds.

As soon as on the Trans-Canada Path it was straight-forward biking all the way in which to Lacombe. I ended quite a few occasions to take images – and sure even to catch my breath. There have been a number of quick, steep hills and with a totally loaded bike, going into the wind, I acquired a exercise.

As you method Lacombe it’s good to cycle down residential streets to achieve Freeway 12. I discovered one other path parallel to Freeway 12 on the south aspect of the highway that took me proper as much as the advanced of buildings that features a few resorts, a Petro-Canada and Tollers Bistro.

Good signage for the Trans-Canada Trail leaving BlackfaldsGood signage for the Trans-Canada Trail leaving Blackfalds
Good signage for the Trans-Canada Path leaving Blackfalds
Biking the Trans-Canada Trail out of BlackfaldsBiking the Trans-Canada Trail out of Blackfalds
Biking the Trans-Canada Path out of Blackfalds
There's a long history of farming in Lacombe CountyThere's a long history of farming in Lacombe County
There’s an extended historical past of farming in Lacombe County
Stopping to say hello to a horse across from Kuhnen ParkStopping to say hello to a horse across from Kuhnen Park
Stopping to say howdy to a horse throughout from Kuhnen Park
A nice section of boardwalk to bike between Blackfalds and LacombeA nice section of boardwalk to bike between Blackfalds and Lacombe
A pleasant part of boardwalk to bike between Blackfalds and Lacombe

Cease #2 – Tollers Bistro in Lacombe

Tollers Bistro – named for the proprietor’s two Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers, is positioned simply off Freeway 12 as you head west out of Lacombe. A motorcycle path parallel to the busy highway takes you many of the approach to the restaurant.

The bistro is a good spot to cease for a meal – with a lot of burgers, pastas and bowls made with domestically sourced components from farmers markets, the place potential. In addition they have fairly a pastry choice that you may pack up and take with you, must you want a sugar jolt whereas biking.

Delicious mango chicken tacosDelicious mango chicken tacos
Scrumptious mango hen tacos

Biking from Lacombe to Gull Lake Honey Firm

After a scrumptious meal at Tollers Bistro, and with a chunk of cheesecake packed in my bag for dessert later that evening, I headed west alongside Freeway 12 previous the Freeway 2 on and off ramps for Calgary and Edmonton. As I discussed earlier, this was the one gnarly a part of the bike trip in Lacombe County.

I continued west to the primary major intersection Vary Highway 273 (RR273) – which isn’t paved. Don’t make my mistake and proceed as a substitute on Freeway 12 till you discover a highway to the proper that’s paved. The biking is a lot simpler on the paved roads and there are good shoulders.

It was sluggish going for me with a lot of deep filth on RR273, however at the least I solely noticed a couple of automobiles. I continued, weaving my approach on backroads to achieve paved Freeway 792. What a deal with to roll relatively than bounce. From there it was fast and simple biking to achieve the Gull Lake Honey Firm.

A picturesque landscape with brown fields, vibrant green grass punctuated with dandelions, and a clear blue skyA picturesque landscape with brown fields, vibrant green grass punctuated with dandelions, and a clear blue sky
A picturesque panorama with brown fields, vibrant inexperienced grass punctuated with dandelions, and a transparent blue sky
The entrance to the Gull Lake Honey CompanyThe entrance to the Gull Lake Honey Company
The doorway to the Gull Lake Honey Firm

Cease #3 in Lacombe County – Gull Lake Honey Firm

I rolled into Gull Lake Honey Firm and was warmly welcomed by Alida Prins. After being proven a spot to camp for the evening – we acquired all the way down to enterprise. I needed to know the way she and her husband Lorne had made the transition from working in development to working an organization with 2,400 producing colonies of bees and 6 full time workers.

A plan to maneuver again to the household farm from Vancouver was fast-forwarded a number of years when a buddy of Lorne’s dad and mom inquired as as to whether any of the youngsters have been fascinated by buying a beekeeping operation. The remainder as they are saying is historical past.

Whereas honey manufacturing is crucial, the couple have additionally moved into the enterprise of breeding queens – each to promote and to overwinter to allow them to exchange any of their bee colonies that die.

In addition they run a farm retailer – with over 40 native companies represented – one thing that got here out of COVID when collaboration turned extra essential that competitors.

Instantly adjoining to the property is a bison operation run by one other member of the family (I may see the bison herd from my tent). On the property there’s one other space with giant wire cages that home eight completely different species of unique pheasants, together with loads of hens and roosters. I fairly loved a night go to to see them.

The Gull Lake Honey Firm is rather more than a spot to come back to replenish your honey provides. See the underside of the weblog for hyperlinks on find out how to ebook an evening on the farm.

Colourful beehives not in use at Gull Lake HoneyColourful beehives not in use at Gull Lake Honey
Vibrant beehives not in use at Gull Lake Honey
Scenes from the Gull Lake Honey CompanyScenes from the Gull Lake Honey Company
Scenes from the Gull Lake Honey Firm

Biking from Gull Lake Honey to Aspen Seaside Provincial Park

I woke to sunshine and quiet. The wind was lastly gone! By 7 AM I used to be on my bike, retracing my steps to Freeway 792. From there I continued south to achieve Freeway 12, having fun with the dearth of automobiles on a Saturday morning.

I turned proper onto Vary Highway 282 after simply 2 km. There have been two stops shut collectively to make – together with one for breakfast earlier than I continued one other 2 km to achieve the provincial park.

Highway 792 in Lacombe CountyHighway 792 in Lacombe County
Freeway 792 in Lacombe County

Cease #4 in Lacombe County – Pik-N-Pak Produce Ltd.

Pik-N-Pak Produce Ltd. could sound like an uncommon early morning cease to make, however the retailer is open 24/7. One other couple have been in there making their self-serve buy whereas I seemed round.

The store focuses on domestically grown greenhouse greens which can be obtainable yr spherical – however there have been loads of issues to enhance their choices.

Within the freezer there are pizzas, pot pies, gelato and baked items. Cabinets close to the checkout are loaded with relishes, coffees, pickles, flour, honey and much more. It’s all self-serve and from what I noticed the recent produce seems superb. It’s clear and properly saved up, and likelihood is excessive you received’t see one other human.

The entrance to Pik-N-Pak Produce in Gull LakeThe entrance to Pik-N-Pak Produce in Gull Lake
The doorway to Pik-N-Pak Produce in Gull Lake
At Pik-N-Pack Produce you'll find local vegetables, fruits, cheese, honey, frozen dishes and more - and it's open 24 hours a day in Lacombe CountyAt Pik-N-Pack Produce you'll find local vegetables, fruits, cheese, honey, frozen dishes and more - and it's open 24 hours a day in Lacombe County
At Pik-N-Pack Produce you’ll discover native greens, fruits, cheese, honey, frozen dishes and extra – and it’s open 24 hours a day

Lacombe County Cease #5 – The Wood Shoe

After I rolled into The Wood Shoe at about 7:45 AM, the restaurant was buzzing. Appears, this can be a fashionable place with the native crowd. The truth is, one group of 10 meets twice per week for playing cards, espresso and breakfast.

From the skin it doesn’t seem like it will do a hopping enterprise. However stroll by way of the doorways and also you’re greeted with smiling faces, an ideal choice of grocery objects, together with a lot of Dutch imports, together with the restaurant that opens each day at 6 AM.

We’re not speaking fancy right here – however you’ll be able to order breakfast all day! There are Dutch specialties on the menu must you be searching for lunch or dinner together with the same old burgers, fries and sandwiches. After I cycled previous later within the day, it seemed just like the car parking zone was stuffed with the ice cream crowd. It is a native scorching spot in Lacombe County you shouldn’t miss.

Appearances are deceiving. The Wooden Shoe is a busy spot with a huge number of regulars dropping in for meals.Appearances are deceiving. The Wooden Shoe is a busy spot with a huge number of regulars dropping in for meals.
Appearances are deceiving. The Wood Shoe is a busy spot with an enormous variety of regulars dropping in for meals.
I cycled 30 minutes from Gull Lake Honey in Lacombe County to have breakfast at The Wooden ShoeI cycled 30 minutes from Gull Lake Honey in Lacombe County to have breakfast at The Wooden Shoe
I cycled half-hour from Gull Lake Honey in Lacombe County to have breakfast at The Wood Shoe

Cease #5 – Kayakomat in Aspen Seaside Provincial Park

After breakfast the plan was to go kayaking on Gull Lake. As I cycled into Aspen Seaside Provincial Park, I couldn’t miss the Kayakomat signage from afar. It’s an automatic, self-service enterprise with places throughout Europe along with a number of places in Ontario and Alberta.

It’s fairly the enterprise mannequin. All I needed to do as I stood in entrance of the kayaks was log onto the Kayakomat website, discover Aspen Seaside Provincial Park within the location menu, and decide a date and a time for a kayak rental. After coming into my bank card particulars, I used to be despatched a code that unlocked a kayak. It took me lower than a minute. The kayak rental features a PFD and a kayak paddle hooked up to a leash.

After locking up my bike and stashing my valuables within the hatches, I dragged the kayak to the water’s edge. Gull Lake could be very shallow right here, so I needed to wade to discover a place that was deep sufficient to paddle. From there I loved a mellow 90 minutes of paddling – having fun with the breeze, the chicken life and easily being on the water.

Rent kayaks via your phone on the shore of Gull Lake in Lacombe CountyRent kayaks via your phone on the shore of Gull Lake in Lacombe County
Lease kayaks by way of your telephone on the shore of Gull Lake in Lacombe County
I locked my bike and stuffed my valuables into the kayak - and then enjoyed a beautiful morning paddle on Gull LakeI locked my bike and stuffed my valuables into the kayak - and then enjoyed a beautiful morning paddle on Gull Lake
I locked my bike and stuffed my valuables into the kayak – after which loved a ravishing morning paddle on Gull Lake
Easy kayaking on Gull Lake - and so easy to organize with KayakomatEasy kayaking on Gull Lake - and so easy to organize with Kayakomat
Simple kayaking on Gull Lake – and really easy to prepare with Kayakomat

Biking from Aspen Seaside Provincial Park to Bentley

After kayaking, I hopped again on my bike and headed for Bentley. Whereas kayaking I had noticed the boardwalk however didn’t admire that it was a part of the path to Bentley. To succeed in it you need to bike by way of the campground near the water. There’s signage so it’s all apparent.

I want the boardwalk went on endlessly. What a beautiful a part of the bike trip it was. It ends in a campground and from there you’ll should perform a little sleuthing and asking round to seek out the path to Bentley. On the return, it’s simple however the part within the campground is just not as properly signed correctly.

As soon as out of the campground search for the path that parallels fiftieth Avenue. Cycle previous farmland, crossing the occasional highway on path to Bentley. It’s solely 6 km lengthy, so that you’ll be there in 20 minutes!

Pick up the Gull Lake Trail in Aspen Beach Provincial Park - and cycle off road all the way to BentleyPick up the Gull Lake Trail in Aspen Beach Provincial Park - and cycle off road all the way to Bentley
Choose up the Gull Lake Path in Aspen Seaside Provincial Park – and cycle off highway all the way in which to Bentley
The multi-use trail I biked from Aspen Beach Provincial Park to BentleyThe multi-use trail I biked from Aspen Beach Provincial Park to Bentley
The multi-use path I biked from Aspen Seaside Provincial Park to Bentley
Welcome to the Town of Bentley in Lacombe CountyWelcome to the Town of Bentley in Lacombe County
Welcome to the City of Bentley

Cease #6 – The Murals of Bentley

There are two fabulous murals in Bentley – one you’ll be able to’t miss in case you’re on major road and planning to buy at Merry’s Mercantile. What a distinction a little bit color makes to the constructing.

The opposite mural is only a block and a bit off the principle road on the Bentley Municipal Library. I feel it makes the library come alive.

This mural is on the Merry's Mercantile building in Lacombe CountyThis mural is on the Merry's Mercantile building in Lacombe County
Mural on the Merry’s Mercantile constructing
Take a walk by the Bentley Municipal Library to see this muralTake a walk by the Bentley Municipal Library to see this mural
Take a stroll by the Bentley Municipal Library to see this mural

Cease #7 in Lacombe County – The Drop Espresso & Tea Store

Don’t miss a cease at The Drop Espresso & Tea Store. It’s the right place to loosen up with a latte and considered one of their freshly made baked items – although additionally they provide premade salads and sandwiches.

The Drop Coffee & Tea Shop in Bentley is a great place to refuel and offers both indoor and outdoor seatingThe Drop Coffee & Tea Shop in Bentley is a great place to refuel and offers both indoor and outdoor seating
The Drop Espresso & Tea Store in Bentley is a good place to refuel and presents each indoor and outside seating

Cease #8 in Lacombe County – Bentley Cycle

Bentley Cycle presents a formidable choice of bikes, equipment, automobile racks, bike components and bike attire. An onsite service store will probably be welcome information to anybody with a urgent bike downside.

In chatting with the proprietor, I used to be wowed by how a lot of the enterprise they do is expounded to ebikes – round 50%. They solely carry respected manufacturers – Dice, Electra, and Trek – one thing to remember if you’re purchasing. She tells me they will’t repair any of the cheaper Chinese language-made bikes for insurance coverage causes.

Not into bikes? That’s okay. Head upstairs and take a look at The Weekender a girls’s clothes retailer.

An incredible selection of both ebikes and regular bikes at Bentley Cycle Inc.An incredible selection of both ebikes and regular bikes at Bentley Cycle Inc.
An unbelievable choice of each ebikes and common bikes at Bentley Cycle Inc.

Cease #9 – Merry’s Mercantile

In accordance with Merry Kuchle – the proprietor of Merry’s Mercantile, the concept behind the shop is that “it’s a one cease store the place vacationers can discover one thing, something to take house.

It’s not onerous to seek out one thing you want or need in Merry’s Mercantile – and I’m not an enormous shopper. The shop is stuffed to the brim with a mixture of antiques, classic and new objects. You’ll discover girls’s clothes, bathtub and sweetness merchandise, furnishings, house decor merchandise, playing cards, and a complete lot extra. I can’t think about counting stock at year-end!

It’s a kind of uncommon retailers that basically is definitely worth the drive from Purple Deer, Calgary or Edmonton.

Merry's Mercantile is an a friendly place with a great mix of old and new merchandise - impressive for a town of 1,000!Merry's Mercantile is an a friendly place with a great mix of old and new merchandise - impressive for a town of 1,000!
Merry’s Mercantile is an a pleasant place with an ideal mixture of outdated and new merchandise – spectacular for a city of 1,000!
Merry's Mercantile in Bentley, Lacombe County is packed to the gills with everything from clothes to cards, antiques and home decor items Merry's Mercantile in Bentley, Lacombe County is packed to the gills with everything from clothes to cards, antiques and home decor items
Merry’s Mercantile is packed to the gills with every thing from garments to playing cards, antiques and residential decor objects

Cease #10 – Queen Bea Clothes Market

Consumers who love clothes made out of pure fibres will need to make a beeline to Queen Bea Clothes Market. In enterprise for 10 years, proprietor Sheila Kelba-Warawa states that 90% of the clothes and niknaks within the retailer is made with pure fibres. She additionally states that “she chooses Truthful Commerce and Canadian designers the place potential.

You’ll be able to’t miss her location on the principle road. Good luck leaving empty-handed.

The compelling entrance to Queen Bea ClothingThe compelling entrance to Queen Bea Clothing
The compelling entrance to Queen Bea Clothes Market
A great selection of natural fibre clothing and accessories at Queen Bea Clothing Marketplace in Lacombe CountyA great selection of natural fibre clothing and accessories at Queen Bea Clothing Marketplace in Lacombe County
A terrific choice of pure fibre clothes and accessories at Queen Bea Clothes Market

Cease #11 – Cabin-ish Customized Wooden Works

You’ll discover Cabin-ish Customized Wooden Works – a backyard furnishings store, on the western finish of Bentley. When you’re out there for rustic outside swings, rockers, chairs or tables, you’ll have to return together with your automobile. Birdhouses although you could possibly pack in your bike.

You'll mostly find wooden chairs and swings at Cabin-ish Custom Wood Works but you could pack one of these colourful bird houses on your bikeYou'll mostly find wooden chairs and swings at Cabin-ish Custom Wood Works but you could pack one of these colourful bird houses on your bike
You’ll principally discover wood chairs and swings at Cabin-ish Customized Wooden Works however you could possibly pack considered one of these vibrant chicken homes in your bike

Bentley Farmer’s Market – Cease #12 in Lacombe County

The Bentley Farmer’s Market runs on Saturday from 2 – 4 PM staring the Could lengthy weekend till the September lengthy weekend. It’s one of many should dos in Lacombe County.

There’s a variety of breadth as to what’s supplied together with perennials and annuals, home made beef jerky, flavoured meads from Gray Owl Meadery, Sylvan Star Cheese, vodka and gin from White Lightning Distillery, my private fave – poppy seed cake, beer from Snake Lake Brewing Firm, together with loads of recent treats like churros and baked items. There’s an inside market too with clothes, jewellery, candles and gourmand meals corporations.

Your further pannier will turn out to be useful right here.

There's lots to choose from at the Bentley Farmers Market in Lacombe CountyThere's lots to choose from at the Bentley Farmers Market in Lacombe County
There’s heaps to select from on the Bentley Farmers Market in Lacombe County

The bike trip again to Blackfalds

After spending a couple of hours in Bentley, I merely retraced my steps – save for the Gull Lake Honey detour, all the way in which again to Blackfalds. With out stops, it took me simply over two hours.

Biking by way of Lacombe County is a singular and enjoyable approach to expertise this a part of Alberta.

The place to in a single day in Lacombe County whereas biking

When you’re fascinated by tenting in Lacombe Nation, you’ll discover a few choices.

Gull Lake Honey Farm

I camped on the deck behind a constructing at Gull Lake Honey Farm. As you’ll be able to see, it was nothing fancy, however I did get pleasure from a view over to a area filled with bison. I had entry to flush bogs, scorching water – and I may have had a bathe however I handed.

You’ll want to wander the property after hours as there may be an space stuffed with hens, roosters and eight varieties of unique pheasants which can be fairly a sight to see.

You’ll be able to ebook a stick with them by way of HipCamp, Harvest Hosts and Terego.

I put up my tent on a deck at the back of the Gull Lake Honey buildingI put up my tent on a deck at the back of the Gull Lake Honey building
I put up my tent on a deck behind the Gull Lake Honey constructing

Aspen Seaside Provincial Park

There’s a great deal of tenting – a lot of it near the seaside in Aspen Lake Provincial Park. There are firepits, showers, flush bathroom, faucet water and you should purchase firewood. Ebook on-line as much as 90 days forward of time. There are tent solely campsites obtainable too.

One of the nicely treed campsites I saw in Aspen Beach Provincial ParkOne of the nicely treed campsites I saw in Aspen Beach Provincial Park
One of many properly treed campsites I noticed in Aspen Seaside Provincial Park in Lacombe County

Roofed lodging in Lacombe County

There are a number of resorts between Blackfalds and Lacombe.

Rated good is theMicrotel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Blackfalds. A keep comes with a scorching breakfast.

In Lacombe, there may be theGreatest Western Plus Lacombe Inn & Suites– rated fabulous.

Travelodge by Wyndham Lacombeis rated superb and comes with breakfast.

Thanks to Lacombe Regional Tourism for internet hosting my keep. As all the time, all ideas and opinions are mine alone.

Considering exploring extra of Alberta?

Click on on the photograph to bookmark to your Pinterest boards.

10+ stops to make on a Lacombe County bike trip10+ stops to make on a Lacombe County bike trip



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