Calgary, a skyscraping city of 1.2 million people, seems an unlikely destination for dirt bike riders. But it is here, just minutes from city centre, that one of the best off-road motorcycle parks in Alberta can be found—namely Blackfoot Park.
First, a little history. Blackfoot Park was built on city land back in the 1960s. Over time, the small group that looked after it disbanded and dirt bikers almost had to look elsewhere to ride. In 1984, however, the Wild Rose Motocross Association (WRMA) was formed and a new agreement with the city and neighbours was made. Plans to rejuvenate the park were also set in motion.
Today, Blackfoot Park is home to three full-sized motocross tracks, as well as a beginner’s track, a peewee track, a minibike track and a trials riding or endurocross area. It also has a BMX park and an area for remote-controlled vehicles.
Blackfoot Park overlooks Calgary's city centre. — Martin Hansen photo
- Features: The main motocross track is where the Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals are held, so the course features lots of jumps and fast, hard-pack soil conditions. The south hill track is also very fast but it features more natural terrain. Then there is the east track, which is tighter and curvier, but it has more novice-type jumps.
- Hours of operation: From May 1 to October 31, the park is open Tuesday to Friday from 4 p.m. to dusk. On weekends and holidays, it is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Track passes: Annual memberships and day passes can be purchased at the front gate. A day pass costs $25 for adults and $15 for kids and women. Five-day passes are available as well. More info can be found on the WRMA website.
Local dirt bike club
Blackfoot Park is run by the WRMA, a volunteer-based group of about 400 members. Dustin Heikkinen is the current president, and he has been involved with the club since Day 1.
“I started riding when I was 10 and racing motocross when I was 12,” he said.
Now, Heikkinen has a young boy who is involved in the local motocross scene. He said the park is set up to accommodate everyone who rides and that events organized by the WRMA really encourage family participation.
“We get lots of dads and kids racing the Super Series,” said Heikkinen.
- Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals - Blackfoot Park has been on the CMRC national calendar since 2001. With some of the best riders in Canada and the U.S. coming to compete, this event brings thousands of spectators to the park.
- CMRC Alberta Motor Sports Association MX Series - This event is part of a nine-round provincial series. Also known as the CMRC Amateur Day, it usually takes place on the same weekend as nationals. The event is open to anyone who holds a CMRC licence.
- WRMA Spring and Fall Super Series - A great event for local riders, the WRMA Spring and Fall Super Series takes place in April and May and then again in September.
- Red Bull Rocks and Logs - A two-day urban endurocross challenge, the Red Bull Rocks and Logs event sees racers from B.C. and Alberta beat their bikes up on a super-challenging course filled with a variety of natural and man-made obstacles.
- Tuesday Night Mini Motos - From the middle of April to the end of September, the WRMA holds Tuesday Night Mini Motos. With no scorekeeping, these are fun races designed to introduce youngsters to the sport of motocross.
- Turkey Scramble - This event, which takes place at the end of the season, is a great opportunity for off-road riders to come and beat up on the motocrossers on their home turf. It’s a two-hour cross-country style race that takes in various elements of the park.