Hinton Bike Park

Five free summer adventures in and around Hinton

Michael Hingston

Travel Alberta

Mar 22, 2019 - 4 minute read

Vacations take planning, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to have a good time when you’re in Alberta. Here are five free ways to make the most of a summer day just outside of Jasper National Park.

Hinton Bike Park

1. Pop a wheelie at the Hinton Bike Park

When this 37-acre park opened in 2008, it was the first municipal bike park in Alberta. Since then, several other communities have followed suit — but the Hinton Bike Park, which has a skills area, dirt jumps, pump track, drop zone, and a variety of forested trails, remains one of the largest in the country, as well as one that’s totally free to the public from dawn to dusk. Plus, the whole course is progression based, so the moves you perfect in the skills area can then be put to use down the hill in the woods below.

2. Toss a hole-in-one at the Hinton Disc Golf Course

When you’re done at the bike park, head across the road to Hinton’s newest outdoor attraction, which opened in 2017. This 18-hole disc-golf course uses its forested setting to its advantage, building the natural landscape and scenic Alberta topography into the course itself. Bring the whole family, and to save time, remember to pick up your discs ahead of time from the town’s information centre (a small deposit is required).

Sundance Provincial Park

3. Take in the “hoodoos of the north” at Sundance Provincial Park

Think hoodoos are only found in southern Alberta? Think again. Take a quick drive east of Hinton, turn north on Highway 16, and from there it’s just a one-kilometre hike along the Wild Sculpture Trail to see these rare, stunning sandstone formations, which were caused by differential erosion patterns when glacier melt formed the Sundance Valley thousands of years ago. A true Alberta hidden gem. Plus, once you’re in the park, you can keep trekking into the valley or set up camp at Emerson Lakes, a nearby network of seven gorgeous lakes.

4. Fawn over fauna on the Beaver Boardwalk

In the mood for wildlife? There’s no better place to see it than the Beaver Boardwalk, which was built to commemorate the town of Hinton’s 50th anniversary in 2006. This unique wooden pathway lets you get up close and personal to a variety of amphibians, waterfowl, wetland plants, and, yes, beavers, on a path that winds along Happy Creek, up through some of Hinton’s famed trail network, and back to the waterfront around Maxwell Lake. A series of interpretative signs give more details about the different species in the area and remind us how we can all make sure wetlands like this remain intact for generations to come.

5. Take the scenic route on the Historical Driving Tour of Hinton

Maybe you aren’t looking for something physically demanding. If so, Hinton’s got you covered there, too — just pick up a free copy of the town’s driving-tour brochure and take a self-guided trip through the history of the town from the comfort of your vehicle. What better way to learn about the original homesteaders and ranchers than to see their old properties for yourself? Learn about vital historical industries at the Coal Branch Archives and Hinton Station, and make sure to leave time for a picnic lunch at the Green Square, where you can have any lingering questions answered at the distinctive Visitor Information Centre.

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