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The Banff Legacy Trail only reaches the national park's east gate. (Parks Canada)

Two Alberta mayors are lobbying for provincial cash to extend a popular biking trail in Banff National Park right into Canmore.

The paved Banff Legacy Trail, which opened two years ago, runs alongside the highway from the park’s East Gate to the Bow Valley Parkway.

The trail doesn’t go as far east as Canmore, so the mayors of Banff and Canmore have proposed a 4.5-kilometre extension. The town councils have contributed $350,000 each to the project, and are asking the province for the remaining $2 million.

Banff Mayor Karen Sorensen said the trail has become a popular commuter route for cyclists in the area.

Cyclists, including those pulling young children in trailers, have been crossing three lanes of the Trans-Canada Highway to access the trail, added Canmore Mayor John Borrowman.

"It's a very dangerous access to start the trail," he said. "It's not just Banff visitors or international tourists. It's really well used by regional visitors, it's very well used by Canmore and Banff residents to go back and forth."

The trail, built to mark the park’s 125th anniversary, is used by cyclists, in-line skaters and skateboarders.