The cross-country ski season is often fickle, so we advise you keep your skis in your car to be ready for every skiing opportunity. Here’s where you can ski in or close to Calgary when you’re on a time crunch. The best part: all of these places are free of charge.


West Confederation Park

skiing cross country explore adventure outdoors funFoothills Nordic Ski Club

A favourite on Calgary’s urban ski scene, Confederation Park in the northwest is operated and maintained in winter by Foothills Nordic Ski Club. Various loops make up approximately six kilometres of classic and skate trails suitable for beginners and more advanced skiers. A lap around the outer edge of the park will take you 3.5 kilometres. You can also ski through part of the Lion’s Festival of Lights, a magical holiday spectacle, nightly from 5:30 p.m. until midnight. The car park closes at 9 p.m. on weekdays and 6 p.m. on weekends.


Maple Ridge Golf Course

outdoors winter sportsSharon Crowther

In the southwest of the city, Maple Ridge Golf Course is a hidden gem for classic skiers seeking a quiet ski on rolling terrain. Maintained by the City of Calgary and trackset on a Tuesday, Maple Ridge features a five-kilometre classic loop plus some internal trails. It’s suitable for all levels of skiers. The second half of the outer loop includes a fun descent to the bottom of the golf course followed by a short and steep climb back to the car park.


South Glenmore Park

classic ski trailsSharon Crowther

South Glenmore Park on the Glenmore Reservoir in southwest Calgary has classic ski trails that are trackset by the City of Calgary. It’s a great spot to take a lap around an easy 2.2-kilometre loop between the playground and the pump track. It can get pretty windy on this side of the reservoir, so dress accordingly and enjoy the igloo shelter at the end.


Lakeview Golf Course

snow gently rolling terrainSharon Crowther

On the other side of the Glenmore Reservoir, you’ll find various classic ski loops around the Lakeview Golf Course. This gently rolling terrain is a fun place for beginners, with great views of the reservoir and the Glenmore dam.


Bowness Park

beautiful wintery sceneSharon Crowther

Few places in Calgary are as festive in winter as Bowness Park. In addition to a short, 2.5-kilometre flat classic ski trail, there’s also a sprawling open-air ice rink, a meandering ice trail, plentiful warming pits and thousands of twinkling lights. Ski rentals are available at the Bowness Park Skate Shop.


East Village

Nordic Loop, ALake photoCalgary Municipal Land Corporation

The most recent addition to Calgary’s Nordic ski scene is this downtown one-kilometre classic ski loop in the East Village. Short but sweet, it’s the ideal way to get your heartrate up just a snowball’s throw from downtown. There’s also a Hygge warming hut for chilly days. The loop is open from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m.


Shaganappi Point Golf Course

stunning classic and skate ski trailsShaganappi Nordic Operations Club

Maintained by the Shaganappi Nordic Operations Club (SNO), Shaganappi’s south-central location means it also has the best views of the downtown skyline. In the 1970s, there was a T-bar to pull skiers from the river all the way up to the clubhouse in winter. Today it’s home to seven kilometres of stunning classic and skate ski trails and eight kilometres of fat bike and snowshoe trails.


Bragg Creek

get outside and explore in winterSharon Crowther

While not in Calgary, Bragg Creek is just a 45-minute drive from the city and offers 60 kilometres of groomed trails for classic and skate skiing in an enchanting winter wonderland. It’s the ultimate playground for skiers of all levels. When conditions are good, you can guarantee that Bragg will be busy with skiers, bikers, runners and hikers. Head out for a short five-kilometre loop on Crystal Line East and West or ski Moose Loop for ten kilometres of undulating fun. Those with more time should check out Telephone Loop or Iron Springs. After dark skiing is also popular here, so take a headlamp and enjoy the solitude of the forest. Bragg Creek trails are groomed and maintained by the incredible Bragg Creek Trails Association.


More Winter Adventures in Alberta: