Markin-MacPhail Westside Legacy Trail | Invermere, British Columbia
Bike, run or walk your way along the 25 kilometres of the world class Markin-MacPhail Westside Legacy Trail (MMWLT) located in the Columbia Valley, BC. The MMWLT is a paved trail that will take you through the heart of the Columbia Valley’s stunning natural landscapes. Whether you’re just out for a walk, or are looking for a challenge, the trail is functional for a diverse set of skills.
While it is still in the process of being completed, it is certainly still open for use. Once finished, the MMWLT will connect the communities of Fairmont Hot Springs and Invermere, BC. Currently, 15 kilometers have been completed from the Invermere end. By the end of summer 2019, the rest of the path will be cleared and gravelled, and will be walking or mountain biking friendly. The entire trail is expected to be completed by 2020.
The Trail is divided into seven segments with each one offering its own unique experience. At various locations along the Trail picnic tables and benches are provided. Restrooms are also available and there are multiple parking lots along the way. Restrooms and picnic tables are wheelchair accessible.
So far, the MMWLT has raised over $7.2 Million from the generosity of over 1,000 donors and has surpassed the first phase target of $5 Million.
The total project cost is $8.5 Million and volunteers are hard at work to secure grants and donations to complete the final phase of the project and reach the finish line.
Driving Directions from Nearest Town or Landmark
Access from Invermere:
Continue along 7th Avenue in Invermere until you come to a four way stop. Turn right on to 13 Street and continue until you arrive at the end of the road. From there, turn left onto 13th Avenue and continue along 13th Avenue. Eventually, it will become the Westside Road. Continue on the Westside Road. The trailhead is located 2.1 km after Castle Rock Estates. Parking is either to the left immediately after crossing a cattle guard or a few hundred meters ahead there is a parking lot to the right with restrooms, a trailhead kiosk and a bicycle maintenance station.
Access from Fairmont Hot Springs:
Construction on the Fairmont end of the MMWLT is beginning in summer 2019. To access the nearest parking lot to Fairmont Hot Springs travel south past Fairmont Hot Springs along highway 93/95. Before reaching the Hoodoos Gas Station, turn right on to Westside Road. Continue on Westside Road for 16 kilometers until you reach the nearest parking lot for the MMWLT located on the left side of the road.
Estimated Time it Takes to Experience this Trail
Varies depending on mode of transportation and distance traveled.
The Markin-MacPhail Legacy Trail is 25 kilometers long and is divided into seven segments each varying in length and difficulty. The Trail has three main parking areas: one in Fairmont Hot Springs, one in Invermere, and another located around kilometer 9 of the trail coming from Invermere. There are, however, three smaller but unofficial rest areas dispersed along the 25 km. Currently, the Trail has been paved 15 km from the Invermere end.
Placed along the trail are picnic areas, benches, restrooms, interpretive signage and parking lots. The entire trail and the facilities along the completed sections are all wheelchair accessible.
Each segment of the Legacy Trail is labeled as either easy, moderate or difficult depending on the amount of elevation gain. Each segment has its own unique landscape as well, with a diversity of scenery ranging from open grassland to mountain lookouts. To receive a more in depth description about each trail segment, visit: https://ourtrail.org/segments/
Highlights and Best Features of this Trail
No matter where you choose to access the Markin-MacPhail Westside Legacy Trail, you will be greeted with stunning views of the Columbia Valley. Whether you’re out for a walk with your family or are looking for a physical challenge, the Trail offers a diversity of experiences depending on which segment of the trail you choose to complete. The MMWLT is wheelchair accessible and is welcoming to all types of non-motorized transportation including bikers, e-bikers, rollerbladers, walkers and more. The MMWLT also provides picnic tables and benches that are a perfect place to stop and admire your surrounding. Best of all, unlike many paved trails, the Trail is mainly secluded from the sounds of traffic and the smells of exhaust and is instead filled with fresh air and the sounds of nature.
Trail Vertical Gain or Loss
155 m Elevation Gain