The popular Legacy Trail bike path through Banff National Park is expanding past the park boundaries.

Canmore residents celebrated the opening of their own connection to Banff National Park today — a new stretch running from the town to the Banff park gates.

The province also announced another extension will be built through Canmore, saying the project is integral in helping the flood-ravaged town get back in business.

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Cyclists cruise down the Legacy Trail, a bike path that now connects Canmore to Banff. (CBC)

Canmore Mayor John Borrowman says the extension of the bike path opens Canmore to many of the benefits, including tourism and recreation.

"The physical connection of the Legacy Trail affirms and strengthens the connections that Canmore residents and our visitors feel to the national park," he said.

Transportation Minister Ric McIver says the extension also means cyclists won't have to venture onto the Trans-Canada Highway to make the trip.

"Safety will be looked after to travellers and locals and fun because ... quality of life matters — it matters to Albertans and it matters to people who visit here," said McIver. 

Another $14 million was also pledged to repave parts of the Trans-Canada Highway in the area, including sections damaged in the flood.

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The second phase of the Legecy Trail extension will extend the path into the Town of Canmore. For a better view, click on "MAP: Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail extension" in external links. (Government of Alberta)