Located southeast of Banff townsite near Lake Minnewanka, the Cascade Trail runs up the protected Cascade River Valley, a wildlife corridor for mountain lions and wolves. The first 14 km of this rolling fire road are nicely groomed for skate and classical skiing. The views of nearby peaks are breathtaking at every turn. This popular trail can get crowded daily by 10 a.m. so start early.
To reach the cross-country skiing trailhead from Banff, follow Banff Avenue east under the TransCanada Highway. Continue up a series of turns for several miles to the end of Lake Minnewanka Road and the trailhead parking area.
Looking for more adventure in the Lake Minnewanka area, then try the 8.2 km loop around Johnson Lake off Two Jack Road -- its got plenty of divesity with downhill runs and winding stretches. Or, check ou the Fourty Mile Creek Trail (8.9 km) starting from Lot 3 of Norquay Ski Area and heading towards Mystic Lake.
Overall, Cascade Trail is the 22nd most popular cross country ski area of all 37 Nordic ski destinations in Alberta.