Among five revised Gem Trek maps released last month is a new, much-expanded 1:50,000 sheet for Bragg Creek & Sheep Valley—a core area for outdoor recreation in Kananaskis Country.
Gem Trek has long provided the best recreational maps for Kananaskis Country, and this new edition is filled with information and details that hikers, bikers and horseback riders will find invaluable. And like its other 1:50,000 scale maps, this edition is printed on waterproof material, relief-shaded, and displays contours at an interval of 25 metres.
While my own travels in that quadrant are limited to several jaunts up Moose Mountain and a short hike on Sibbald Flats many years ago, I’m a bit stunned by the amount of recreational trail development that’s taken place there since the 4th edition of this map in 2003 (I missed the 5th edition in 2008).
Most obvious are new multi-use trails just west of the community of Bragg Creek, created by the appropriately-named West Bragg Creek Trails Association, and the network of biking trails at the southern end of Moose Mountain ridge built by the Moose Mountain Bike Trails Society.
The Moose Mountain bike trails sport colourful names like Pneuma, Special K, Race of Spades, Toothless, and Billy Dog, but hikers who enjoy the long ascent through flower-filled meadows to the Moose Mountain Fire Lookout will be pleased to see that all of these cycling trails stay south of this popular hiking trail.
“There are a lot more multi-use trails than previously,” says Gem Trek owner Donna Nelson. And nearly all of these multi-use trails are described in detail with text and photos on the back of the map. (An insert map covering the adjacent Elbow Loop and Sheep Valley is also provided.) In typical Gem Trek fashion, nothing has been spared to insure accuracy (nearly all trails have been GPS’d by Gem Trek contributors).
If you use this area for hiking, biking or skiing, you really need a copy of this revised map, which adjoins three other Gem Trek 1:50,000 sheets to provide complete coverage of Kananaskis Country. The map can be purchased for $14.95 at a variety of southern Alberta retail outlets or directly from Gem Trek’s retail partner Map Town.