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Camping sites exclusive to hikers and cyclists being installed in Kananaskis Country

New camping sites intended exclusively for hikers and cyclists are now available in Kananaskis Country.

Alberta Parks now has 4 of the camping sites ready for overnight use

Albertans heading out to Kananaskis Country can now take advantage of four sites reserved exclusively for hikers and cyclists. (Dave Gilson/CBC)

New camping sites intended exclusively for hikers and cyclists are now available in Kananaskis Country.

These sites are intended for those visitors who travel through the Kananaskis region under their own power, without the support of a motorized vehicle.

Julie Schmitt, supervisor of the Kananaskis Visitor Information Centre, said the four new sites are intended to satisfy demand.

"[This way], they don't have to do a large ride all in one day," Schmitt said. "Also, we're trying to encourage folks to access the park in ways that are non-motorized ways."

The camping areas are located along the High Rockies Trail.

The sites involved are the Spray West Campground, the the Pocaterra Overflow Campground, the Buller Pond day use area and the Sawmill Trail day use area.

The length of stay varies for each site, but facilities at the sites may include food storage lockers, washrooms and self-registration kiosks.

Jeff Gruttz, former chair of the Friends of Kananaskis Country volunteer group, has been advocating for bicycle touring camping sites for more than 15 years. 

He said there has long been a lack of overnight facilities to match the number of Albertans who enjoy self-supported cycling and hiking.

"My intent is to not only have hiker/biker sites only at Kananaskis Country, but to work with Alberta Parks, to create hiker/biker sites in other provincial campgrounds and eventually at municipal and private facilities elsewhere around the province," Gruttz said. 

"And who knows? [Maybe] across the country as well."

Hikers and cyclists can always stay at other campgrounds. Some campgrounds are on the reservation system, while others are first-come, first-served.

With files from Rick Donkers

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