MAPS & TRAILS
Only a few kilometres from downtown Cranbrook, the Community Forest is open year round for your enjoyment. The trail system provides abundant opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, wildlife viewing, horseback riding, snowshoeing and simply enjoying nature.
Bears and cougar are occasionally seen in the Community Forest. Avoid encounters by travelling with friends and making noise, and carry bear spray just in case. Keep your dog under control at all times.
Note that several trails in the Big Tree trail area are on private land. Be especially respectful in this areas by staying on established trails.
The Cranbrook Community Forest is primarily non-motorized, with vehicle access limited to the Sylvan Lake road during summer only. The vehicle entrance is adjacent to the South East Fire Centre Base at the north end of Cranbrook. Turn off the highway onto 30th Ave. North and then immediately left on to Stahl Road. There is a gate that is open between 6:00 am and 10:00 pm daily and is permanently closed from November 1st to June 1st for environmental protection and public safety.
There are 5 trailheads for the south part of the Community Forest:
College of the Rockies trailhead - Head east past the College to a large parking lot and archway welcoming you to the Cranbrook Community Forest. Since this trailhead has the most parking, visitors to the forest are encouraged to start their journey here.
Trail information is regularly updated on the TrailForks app and is the best source of current information on trails.
Chief Isadore trailhead (north end of Cranbrook) - Turn off highway on to 30th Ave North, and then immediately left on to Stahl Road.
Stay left to the parking area.
2nd Street South trailhead - Head east on 2nd Street South past the Cranbrook Golf Course. Access this trailhead on foot or bicycle (no parking).
Lower Baker Mountain Road trailhead - Continue east past the 2nd Street South trailhead on Baker Mountain Road. Parking is limited.
Upper Baker Mountain Road trailhead - Continue a little furthereast past the previous two trailheads. Parking is limited.
For the north part of the Community Forest (Eager Hills), there are 2 trailheads:
Fraggle Rock trailhead - Travel north east out of Cranbrook on Highway 3. This trailhead is on the north side of the highway justpast the SPCA.
Eager Lookout trailhead - Continue on Highway 3 past the FraggleRock trailhead and up a hill. This trailhead is also on the northside of the highway, opposite the rest area pull out, off a steepgravel road. Parking is limited.
Kettle Loop (easy) 0.9 km - This interpretive trail starts at the Kettle Lake parking area and provides an easy walk around this lively area. Take the "guided tour” through the stations along the trail.
Windy Bluff (difficult) 2.1 km - The trail starts at the Kettle Lake parking area. A moderately steep hike up a north ridge to the rocky hilltop above the Four Lakes area, and then down the south face to connect with the Fence Line Trail near Four Lakes. For cyclists, this is best ridden in the opposite direction.
Fence Line (easy) 4 km - Paralleling the range fence, this trail provides a wide corridor running north and south through stands of Douglas Fir, Western Larch and Ponderosa Pine just east of the lakes and meadows. The trail runs from the Lower Baker Road trailhead in the south and to the Four Lakes area.
Juniper Lane (easy) 4.1 km - This section of trail extends from the Lower Baker Road trailhead along a juniper covered north-south ridge, across the Sylvan Lake Road and terminates in the Kettle Lake parking area.
Roller Coaster Trail (Moderate) 2.1 km - This fun, swoop trail connects Juniper Lane in the north and the College Trails in the south. The trail traverses through rolling gullies and ridges with stands of Ponderosa Pine, Larch, and Douglas Fir. This trail is primarily travelled downhill. Cyclists please check your speed and watch for hikers coming up the trail.
Axle Alley (moderate) 0.6 km - This short trail starts near Kettle Lake and proceeds east along a wooded bench next to a long marsh area to the power line area. This route can provide excellent wildlife viewing opportunities - be on the lookout for a black bear and her cubs!
Migor Trail (Moderate) 2 km - Accessed from Axle Alley/Upper Coaster, this trail parallels a dry creek gully and traverses the north facing slopes of Douglas Fir, Larch and scattered Ponderosa Pine. The trail circles back to Kettle Lake.
Chief Isadore Trail (Easy) 43.5 km - Part of Canada’s The Great Trail, this historical route follows the abandoned CP Railroad grade. The trail starts at the Chief Isadore trailhead. , travels east through Isadore Canyon, past the Twin Lakes or Rampart area along Hwy 3 and on to Wardner. More info available here - .
Gateway (easy) 1.2 km - Originating at the College of the Rockies, this gradual, wide trail leads up to Sylvan Lake and showcases recent ecosystem restoration treatments.
Upper Coaster/Yer Cheatin’ Heart (difficult) 1.5 km - Accessed from Axel Alley, Upper Coaster is a steep trail that provides stunning views of the Rocky Mountains. Return to Kettle Lake via Yer Cheatin’ Heart.
Eager Hills Trails (moderate) - Accessed from the Fraggle Rock trailhead, this area has several nested loops that can be walked or ridden individually or linked together.
Combine them all for the “Full Eagerhillada” (close to 30 km)! This area has stunning views of the Rocky Mountains, and an amazing diversity of wildflowers. This is a popular destination in the spring, since the south-facing
slope dries out faster than the rest of the Community Forest.
In January 2016, following 18 months of work and consultation, the Trail Committee and CCFS Board completed the Trail Plan for the Cranbrook Community Forest. This plan has been endorsed by Recreation Sites and Trails BC (RSTBC).
The Trail Plan provides an overview of the existing trails and will provide guidance regarding the maintenance and future development of the trail system. The trail plan prioritizes trail development work and allows the CCFS to pursue the required resources to support the maintenance and construction of trails.
With the approval by the CCFS Board and RSTBC, the Trail Committee will oversee trail projects once the required resources and funds are in place.
The Trail committee is actively recruiting members interested in representing the hiking community. If you are interested in assisting with guiding trail development, fundraising or managing work parties, we would like to hear from you. We are also interested in thoughts and ideas regarding this plan.
If you have any suggestions you would like to bring to the Trail Committee's attention, please contact: Cranbrookcommunityforest@gmail.com.