When the snow falls, don’t let the cold weather deter you from exploring all that Southern Alberta has to offer. Towering mountain peaks, pristine frozen lakes and endless fields of sparkling white snow are a short drive away. Pack up your snacks and snowshoes and check out these ten trails near Calgary, AB.

photoJohn Johnston Flickr cc by 2.0

Wedge Connector Trail

Kananaskis Country

Length: 2.4 km one-way
Time: 1 - 2 hours

Escape the city and get into the snow with this forested cross-country ski trail. Perfect for those looking for a light and easy half-day trip, this year-round trail connects Bill Milne Paved Road and Evan-Thomas Fire Road.

Where can I find this trail? This trail starts at the Wedge Pond Day Use Area.

Read more: albertaparks.ca

Boundary Ridge

West Bragg Creek

Length: 5.2 km one-way
Time: 2 - 3 hours

Boundary Ridge Trail, located in West Bragg Creek, is sure to satisfy those looking for a full-day adventure. This out-and-back trail is a bit over ten kilometres total.

Where can I find this trail? This trail is located west of Calgary in Bragg Creek.

Read more: albertaparks.ca 

 

Troll Falls

Kananaskis Country

Length: 3 km
Time: 1 hour
Elevation Gain: 50 m

Open year-round, the Troll Falls trail becomes particularly beautiful in the wintertime. Beginning within the trees, this trail follows a cross-country ski route before coming upon the frozen waterfall. Stop here to take some pictures before looping back, or continue along the river to make this trail longer.

Where can I find this trail? You can find this trail along Nakiska road off of highway 40. The trail begins at the “Stoney Trailhead” sign.

Read more: tourismcanmore.com

 

Rawson Lake

Kananaskis Country

Length: 3.9 km one-way 
Time: 3 hours
Elevation Gain: 320 m

This trail will get your blood pumping. With most of the elevation gain at the end of the trail, make sure to pace yourself at the start. The hard work will be worth it once you come up to the stunning views of the towering mountain peaks disappearing into the deep blue waters of Rawson Lake itself.

Where can I find this trail? This trail is located at the Upper Kananaskis Lake parking lot.

Read more: albertaparks.ca

photoSabaSabati Flickr cc by sa 2.0

Hogarth Lakes Trail

Peter Lougheed Provincial Park

Length: 3.9 km
Time: 1 - 2 hours
Elevation Gain: 30 m

Ideal for beginners or anyone looking for a light and easy trail, Hogarth Lakes is located just south of Canmore. This loop trail takes you toward the base of two large lakes, featuring dramatic views of the mountain valley.

Where can I find this trail? This trailhead is at the Burstall Pass Day Use Area.

Read more: albertaparks.ca

Chester Lake

Kananaskis Country

Length: 10 km roundtrip
Time: 3 - 6 hours
Elevation Gain: 300 m

If there were ever a snowshoe trail that looked good enough to put on a postcard, it would be Chester Lake. With a decent elevation gain right from the start, this trail will have you sweating. Enjoy spectacular mountain views on either side for most of the route before eventually coming up to the grand Chester Lake.

Where can I find this trail? Follow along Spray Lakes Road for 40 kilometres until you come across the Chester Lake parking lot.

Read more: tourismcanmore.com

Nose Hill Trail

Nose Hill Provincial Park

Length: 11 km²
Time: 2 hours

Escape the city without having to go too far. Nose Hill park on the northern outskirts of the city offer endless trails to explore with stunning views of Downtown Calgary. One of the largest urban parks in North American, it's the fourth largest urban park in Canada.

Where can I find this trail? The parking lot to Nose Hill park can be found at 5620 14 St. N.W.

Read more: calgary.ca 

Paradise Trail

Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area

Length: 8.6 km roundtrip
Time: 3 - 4 hours
Elevation Gain: 243 m

With a name like Paradise Trail, you can’t go wrong. This trail takes you through the rolling prairie fields of southern Alberta—and up five hills. Trek through tall aspen trees and say hello to some friendly roaming cows as you soak up the sunshine.

Where can I find this trail? Start at the Welcome Kiosk by the parking lot in the The Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area.

Read more: crossconservation.org 

 

Prairie Mountain

Kananaskis Provincial Forest

Length: 7.2 km roundtrip
Time: 4 - 5 hours
Elevation Gain: 700 m

Although you only have to trek three kilometres to reach the top of this trail, the route is quite grueling. With an intense elevation gain right from the get-go, this is the perfect trail to help you stay in shape in the winter seasons. All the strenuous switchbacks are matched with a beautiful view of the valley at the top, so you will be rewarded for your hard work.

Where can I find this trail? This trail head is located west of Calgary along Highway 66 roughly 200 metres past Elbow Falls.

Read more: bckor.ca/prairie-mountain 

 

Johnston Canyon

Banff National Park

Length: 2.7 km
Time: 2 - 3 hours
Elevation Gain: 130 m

Often extremely busy in the summertime, Johnston Canyon becomes a quieter route once the snow falls. Trek on the elevated boardwalks between the frozen waterfalls and above the rustling creeks before coming up to the Lower Falls. Don’t stop here. After admiring the waterfall, follow the signs towards the Upper Falls for a second cascade.

Where can I find this trail? Johnston Canyon parking lot located on the Bow Valley Parkway.

Read more: albertawow.com 

    

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