The Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association has been working hard to make this into a year-round outdoor recreation centre. This area was intended to be a cross-country ski centre, but they built some of the best trails you will find anywhere for mountain biking. And, they did it while the loggers have been conducting a full-scale commecial logging operation. It’s a bit wierd actually; West Bragg is ground zero for the struggle over the multi-use designation of Kananaskis. Loggers, Ranchers, Recreation users and the energy industry all lay claim to this area. The area is kind of the odd man out for Kananaskis. Compared to the Kananaskis Valley and the Elbow Valley it doesn’t get a lot of attention from the Kananaskis Administration, but it does get a lot of use.
West Bragg Creek isn’t a great place to bring your group for a picnic lunch. It is a staging area for cyclists, equestrians and cross-country skiers. It is very popular and the parking lot is usually full on the weekends. If the conditions are good you will find long lines of cars overflowing on to the road. It can even get crowded during the week, in the evening.
There are 8 tables here and no firepits. The tables are in the parking lot or on the edge and when you factor in the amout of traffic in the parking lot, it isn’t a great place for a picnic. There is one old style toilet. Several organizations (clubs) invite members to come out and join a group ride or ski. Those groups kind of take over the picnic tables to enjoy a bit of a party. Some groups even do a bit of tailgating. It can get pretty festive.
The flood had little impact here. The bridge over Bragg Creek suffered some damage and was closed for a couple of weeks, but apart from that and a few washouts, the recreational activities were relatively unaffected.
This map shows the Provincial Recreation Area boundary in West Bragg Creek. It was produced when someone installed a big ugly sign stating the law that dog owners face a $115 fine if they are caught with their dog unleashed in the PRA. The thing is, none of the PRAs have fences marking the boundary so it is impossible to know where the boundary is. It is safe to say that the boundary surrounds all PRA parking lots and dogs must be under control in them. As the area outside the boundary isn’t a park, you can let your dog run if it poses no risk to anyone.
During the spring of 2017, Alberta Parks upgraded the West Bragg Creek, Kananaskis parking lot.
West Bragg Creek, Kananaskis Provincial Recreation Area upgrades include:
– Parking lot expansion and paving with a total capacity of 485 including:
475 public parking stalls
Eight pull-through stalls in a separate equestrian parking area
Two designated bus stalls
Designated emergency lane
– Perimeter trail for easy access to the surrounding trailheads
– Enhanced trailhead amenities including:
Signage and kiosks
Designated meeting locations
Three washrooms (four vault toilet stalls/washroom)
Waste and recycling receptacles
Two 10×10 foot designated sites for event tents
– Maintenance compound and addition of electrical power for trail equipment storage and servicing
– Permanent location for the Trail Centre operated and funded by the Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association
– Designated instruction area for skills training and small-scale event staging
– No parking on the North side of the access road
A work in progress