Ride Difficulty Rating – Intermediate
Distance – 58.7 km
Elevation Gain – 470 km
Maximum Grade – Uphill grade 3.3% at km 19.3 , downhill grade 3.2% at km 52.6 just before you turn south off Twp Rd 292 onto RR 35
Park in Madden at the Madden Community Centre just south of the Beaver Dam Golf Course and RV Resort on AB-Hwy 772.
Points of Interest
Heading west the views open up to the Rocky Mountains with gentle rolling hills mainly on smooth pavement. At km 16 you descend and cross the sometimes busy Hwy 22 (Cowboy Trail) after which you will begin a slow and gradual climb to the Water Valley Golf Course which is at the highest elevation and up hill grade in this ride.
At km 28.9 you will encounter the four way stop in the Town of Water Valley. Just off to the west is the historic Water Valley General Store that is always worth a stop for supplies and washrooms. A good place to pick up some local honey.
As you continue north of Water Valley you will descend steeply into the Little Red Deer River valley. Exercise caution as at the time of writing (Oct, 2016) there was a short gravel section here due to bridge and road repair work being down to repair damage after the 2013 flood. You will cross the river again at km 40.4.
Enjoy the return trip as you wind your way through the industrial town of Cremona while watching for large vehicles, down picturesque RR 35, along the smooth pavement of Twp Road 292 and back to Madden.
Comments from our test riders:
Beginner Road Cyclist – ‘Very long ride, very hilly past Water Valley.’
Intermediate Road Cyclist – ‘Such a great ride with little traffic. ’
Expert Road Cyclist – ‘A great training ride. Definitely stop at the General Store in Water Valley and stuff your pockets with candy!’
What to expect from this ride
We love cycling in this area!
This ride is a shorter version of the Madden-Water Valley-Cremona route but still has the thrill of travelling through the open country roads. The ride is rated Intermediate due to the busy 3.9 km section along the Cowboy Trail Hwy 22. At a distance of just over 50 km, with scenic vistas, gentle grades on good quality paved roads, this route has something for everyone. The maximum uphill grade is only 3.3% and downhill grade of 3.2%. At the halfway point you pass through the town of Water Valley which is a great spot to experience historic Alberta. Please ride single file on this route and use extreme caution when crossing or travelling along Hwy 22.
This route is one of our favourite rides due to the light traffic, views and road conditions. We have cycled this area on both weekdays and weekends with very little difference in traffic flow and volume. Part of the route is along the ‘super smooth’ asphalt Twp Rd 292 which is a pleasure to ride with plenty of rolling hills to keep even the most hard to please rider interested. The drive to Madden is approximately 30 minutes (42 kms) from the west limits of Calgary. This ride is recommended for calm, warm days. For a longer distance ride in this same area check out the Madden-Water Valley-Cremona route. For a even shorter version check out the Madden – Dog Pound route.