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Popular Ha Ling Peak trail reopens after year-long closure

Ha Ling Peak trail near Canmore, Alta., has reopened after a year-long closure.

Hundreds of people hike the Kananaskis Country trail every day in peak season

Ha Ling Peak trail reopened Saturday. It was closed since last summer to allow for blasting and construction. (Helen Pike/CBC)

Ha Ling Peak trail near Canmore, Alta., has reopened after a year-long closure.

Alberta Parks closed the popular hiking trail in Kananaskis Country for some major work, including stabilizing the path that was eroding after years of heavy use and fixing areas that were too steep.

"There was no structure to hold the amount of foot traffic it was getting," said Jeff Cook of Lifetime Outdoor Inc., the primary contractor on the construction project.

Cook's company put in hand railings, ladder staircases and more than 400 overlapping rock steps.

The slope has been changed in some parts of the trail, with some steps and railings added. (Helen Pike/CBC)

The refresh also made the slope more scenic, clearing out some trees and putting in benches at viewpoints along the route.

The route sees hundreds of hikers climb the steep, three-kilometre hike during high season each year to summit Ha Ling Peak which has a stunning view of Canmore.

Canmore resident Martin Lesperance was out on the trail on Saturday, the first day it was open.

He's been up the trail dozens of times and was pleased to see the new infrastructure. 

"The trail's a lot wider in parts, they've kind of made it less steep in parts," he said. "I'm just totally impressed with what they've done."

With files from Helen Pike

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