Ride Difficulty Rating: Beginner to Intermediate
Distance: 47.3 Km
Estimated time: 2.5 hrs (based on cycling speed of 20 km/hr)
Elevation Gain: 481 m
Maximum Elevation: 1374 m
Maximum Grade: 4.9 %
Best Parking Option: The Brown-Lowery Provincial Park Parking lot
Points of Interest: The Brown-Lowery Park is located in the middle of beautiful foothills terrain so the scenery is gorgeous throughout the ride. At the end of the out and back section there is a particularly nice high point with a vista of the mountains. The Millarville Market on Saturdays is another highlight (check the market schedule to make sure of the timing).
Amenities: There are outhouses in the Brown-Lowery Parking lot. In addition, the Millarville General Store is a nice spot to stop and eat and has provisions. The Millarville Market on Saturdays would be a great place to visit first if you wanted to stock up on delicacies before heading out.
Comments from our test riders:
Beginner Road Cyclist: A very good challenging ride on quiet back country roads
Intermediate Road Cyclist: This was a relaxing ride with many good hills for training and stunning scenery.
Expert Road Cyclist: I could do this loop and then connect to do “The Road to Nepal” via Twp road #242 for a great day trip.
What to expect from this ride
This cycle trip features the ranch-lands and foothills Southwest of Calgary. There are many vistas to admire along this route and only one small section near Millarville encounters busy traffic.
This ride can be experienced in many different ways but if you proceed counterclockwise from the Brown-Lowery Provincial Park you will get the major hill over with while you are fresh. The loop traverses exceptional countryside and the Southernmost section is like cycling through a park. The short out and back section allows the cyclist an incredible view of the Rocky Mountains.
To begin, make a left hand turn onto Plummer’s Road which intersects the busier secondary road # 762. Turn left and follow the #762 South. Continue South when you reach the intersection with the #562 (where it becomes 320th St. West). Now make another left when you reach the T intersection with Twp Rd 204 and enjoy the tranquil surroundings. When you reach the next intersection you have the choice of doing the out and back section on Range Rd #35 which gets you up higher for a stunning view of the mountains. The pavement on the out and back portion is not as smooth but is still reasonable. To complete the loop veer right after coming back out and you will merge onto Twp Rd 210 (338 Ave). Now comes the only tricky section. Turn left onto Hwy 22 and travel roughly 0.8 Km before making another left onto Hwy #549. Take your time and choose a moment when the traffic is clear and wear your florescent coloured safety vest. The Millarville General store is located just off Hwy #549 (Main Str. NW Millarville) and is a perfect spot to take a break. Finally you take #549 West and make a right on to Range Rd. #33. Keep left at the next intersection to intersect Plummer’s Rd and make the left to ride back to the Brown-Lowery Parking lot. If you want a longer ride you can make a right at that last intersection to stay on Rg Rd #33 and then head East at the junction with Twp Rd #242 to join the “Road to Nepal” circuit for a longer ride.