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Canmore via Shutterstock     Photo: Michael Shake

Q:

The Best Canadian Mountain Towns: Canmore, Alberta

I’d like to head up north for some outdoor fun. What are the best Canadian mountain towns for active, adventurous travelers?

A:The site of the Nordic skiing events for the Winter Olympics in 1988, Canmore has come a long way from its days as a coal-mining depot. Located 90 miles from Calgary, the town rests at the edge of Banff National Park, and serves as a hub for hiking throughout the expanses of parks and preserves. Locals are especially passionate about mountain biking: in the summer and fall, the Nordic Center’s trail network converts to double- and single-track, and hosts a slew of national and local races. The highlight: the 24 Hours of Adrenalin race held every July.

STAY: The cozy, five-room Paintbox Lodge in town is owned by an Olympic silver medalist Nordic skier and her World Cup alpine skier champion husband. Though the rooms aren’t cheap, the modern, outdoorsy vibe—and the chance to swap stories with two world-class athletes—is worth the splurge. Rooms for $250 per night.

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