Rocky Mountain House
You could spend a lifetime of winters in the Rocky Mountain House area and never exploring the vast number of trails.
Laura Button is an avid Nordic skier and program co-ordinator of the Rocky Mountain House Cross Country Ski Club. "Cross-country skiing in Rocky Mountain House is an exercise in adventure," she says. "We don’t have manicured trails or heated clubhouses, but we do have an enthusiastic crew of volunteer trail-setters and groomers that emerge after every snowfall!"
Here are her favourite places to clip into her skis:
The Rocky Mountain House Cross Country Ski Club maintains 7km of skate and classic trail at the Pine Hills Golf Club. Trails are groomed with the first snowfall and are kept in great shape all season. She loves the 7-km loop with several cut-backs and making for a great workout. Youth lessons run every Sunday afternoon. She describes the terrain as rolling, with a great chance of spotting deer and rabbit.
The Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site interpretive centre is closed to public in winter, but the grounds are open year-round for walkers, snowshoers and skiers. Skied-in and trackset tracks start just inside the gate at the Bison paddock. Two to 3-km loops wind through the fields and along the banks of the North Saskatchewan River. "This is where I have done all of my early season skiing this year," Button says, noting the trail is excellent for beginners as it is flat terrain with rewarding views of the river.
Three more Nordic skiing spot that Button recommends are. For more details on these spots, check out the Nordegg Community Association Facebook page.
- Pony Club/Twin Lakes Trail
- Crimson Lake Provincial Park
- Nordegg at both the Nordegg Golf Course and Shunda Creek Campground, about 90 kms from Rocky Mountain House.