Banff Snowshoe
Credit: Banff Lake Louise Tourism / Globetrotte

Whistler/Blackcomb, BC

Best Cross-Country Skiing

See if you can hack the relentless climb of Wild Spirit at the Callaghan Country trail network, connected to the Whistler Olympic Park. It’s one of the steepest trails in North America and scary fast on the way back down. (callaghancountry.com)

Best Snowshoeing

The trip up to Rainbow Lake provides a unique perspective of the village and the ski hills from across the valley.

Banff, AB

Best Cross-Country Skiing

Michael Turcot, guide for White Mountain Adventures, likes the trackset Pipestone Loop, near Lake Louise: “I usually have it to myself.”

Best Snowshoeing

Drive up the Icefields Parkway to Bow Lake to make tracks. For an alpine guided experience, connect with White Mountain Adventures for their Sunshine Meadows trip, the easiest way to romp in the alpine. (whitemountainadventures.com)

Collingwood, ON

Best Cross-Country Skiing

Everyone agrees Scenic Caves Nature Adventures’s 27 km of groomed and track-set trails are the best. (sceniccaves.com)

Best Snowshoeing

Iron Man Trail at Scenic Caves. Like its name suggests, it’s a good workout. The great views help with the motivation (sceniccaves.com). Or, for snowshoe runners, Robyn Allen, owner of local Two the Core Fitness & Physiotherapy, likes the tough lollipop route that begins at the Craigleith Ski Club, climbs the Switchback Trail to meet up with the Bruce Trail at the top, traversing to the Loree Forest Loop, then returning. Get a map at the Craigleith ticket window. (craigleith.com)

Tremblant, QC

Best Cross-Country Skiing

Ski de Fond Mont Tremblant’s web of trails cover the whole valley, but the best are among the quiet forest, meadows, hills and streams of Domaine Saint-Bernard. Warm up along the Riviere du Diable then loop up and over Mont Saint-Bernard for good views of the ski runs and valley. (skidefondmont-tremblant.com)

Best Snowshoeing

Local photographer and videographer, Daniel Cooper, likes the Tour du Timber, a challenging romp that starts from the summit of the ski hill and loops out along a ridgeline with plenty of lofty views. For a real wilderness experience, Luc Des Rochers, local climbing guide at Roc et Glace Escalade, suggests driving east on Highway 117 to La Montagne D’Argent, a climbing park, and hiking a loop up le sentier du Sommet past several ice climbing areas and five open viewpoints. (montagnedargent.com)

Quebec City, QC 

Best Cross-Country Skiing

The Mont-Sainte-Anne Cross Country Ski Centre’s 200 km of trails make it the largest nordic area in North America. Olympian Alex Harvey’s favourites are the #24 and #23 trails. (mont-sainte-anne.com)

Best Snowshoeing

Drive to Vallée Bras du Nord, an outdoor mega-playground one hour north of the city, and sweat up Sentier des Falaises, a 15-km grunt leading to Cap Bedard — a viewpoint looking out over the valley. (valleebrasdunord.com)

This article originally appeared in our Winter 2014 issue.

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