Snowshoeing over fresh snow is one of the most satisfying ways to enjoy the winter scenery. This winter, bundle up and go burn some energy at one of the many snowshoe trails that run through provincial and city parks across the country.
Here are some of the best snowshoeing trails in Canada to check out on your next winter wonderland adventure:
Algonquin Park, ON
Algonquin is one of the best places to snowshoe in Ontario. Take the Logging Museum Trail for a walk past a steam-powered tug and a caboose camp. This 1.3-kilometre trail provides history and exercise all in one place. For those seeking more solitude and a longer trek, the Old Railway Trail is 16 kilometres one-way. While it is longer, it is easy for children to traverse with its solid packed route and fairly level walking surface. The whole family can enjoy snowshoeing this trail. Look for black-backed woodpeckers, boreal chickadees and grey jays as you travel. You may also see moose and wolf tracks, as well as, foxes and martins.
Gatineau Park, ON
Visit this park to find one of the largest snowshoeing networks in North America. Gatineau Park trails are just a few minutes from downtown Ottawa. 60 kilometres of trails from easy to difficult are here to challenge you. From the Visitor Centre, you can access Trails 60 and 61. The two easiest and shortest trails in the park, perfect for families with small children. Day shelters with fire-pits, picnic tables and outhouses make this a safe place to snowshoe. For more challenge, try the trails at Meech Lake or Wakefield.
Whistler is one of the best places to ski in Canada, but what very few know is that it is also a fantastic spot to practice snowshoeing. With an extensive selection of dedicated snowshoeing territory, you can enjoy the silence of the forest and the sound of your snowshoes on the powder.
For an easy and short but scenic hike, try the Rainbow Falls trail. This popular trail takes you to the base of the frozen Rainbow Falls, providing an astonishing view you can only get in the winter. If you are up for the challenge, the Whistler Olympic Park and Ski Callaghan offer over 30 kilometres of trails with various loops to choose from. The trails range from flat to moderate and some are shared with cross country skiers, this site was the cross country ski location for the Vancouver’s 2010 Olympics after all.
Mont-Tremblant is the perfect winter destination for ski lovers. If you love Mont-Tremblant in the winter but are not a fan of skiing, Ski de Fond in Mont-Tremblant has the perfect alternative for you. With over 50 kilometres of snowshoeing trail spread over forest, meadows, lakes and “La Diable” river, Ski de Font is the perfect snowshoeing destination.
Mont Tremblant also offers guided snowshoeing tours perfect for any winter adventurer. One of the most popular ones is the snowshoe and fondue tour where travellers venture in an unforgettable mountain adventure with a fondue dinner at the heart of the forest.
The Kootenay National Park is known for receiving large amounts of snow every year, making it ideal for a snowshoeing experience.
One of the most scenic and family-friendly winter trails you can try in Kootenay Park is the Paint Pots Trail. This trail takes snowshoers over the frozen Vermilion River and between the mountains to a collection of natural orange-tinted ponds. The colour of the ponds is due to the amount of iron oxide concentrated in the area. The Paint Pots terrain is mostly flat and there’s a really good chance you could encounter some moose on the way to the Paint Pots!
No winter adventure list could be complete without mentioning some of the best trails in Banff. Banff is home to several kilometres of snowshoeing trails, including the Emerald Lake Trail. Here you’ll get the chance to hike along the beautiful emerald colours of this lake against the mountains through an easy flat terrain. For a more family-friendly hike, consider the March Loop Trail where you can enjoy views of the Bow Valley and lots of wildlife.
The best time to visit Banff for snowshoeing is between late December to April. There are many options for routes and trails to try and if you don’t own a pair of snowshoes, the park has several shops where you can rent or buy a pair.
Cypress Mountain, BC
This mountain is one of the most popular ski resort near Vancouver, it is only 30 minutes away from the city. Aside from skiing, it also offers great snowshoeing and cross country experiences. Cypress has 11 kilometres of safe, in-bounds self-guided snowshoe trails that pass the alpine meadows and snowy mountain forests. The cost to access the snowshoeing trails ranges between $4 to $16 depending on your age. Snowshoe rentals are available on the site and the trails are open daily from 9 A.M. to dusk.
Ready for your winter snowshoeing adventure? Make sure to get the most out of these trails when you stay near them. An accommodation with all the winter equipment and amenities you’ll need is the best way to experience a snowshoe trip with friends or family. After a long adventurous trek through Canadian trails you’ll want to cuddle up around the fire in a beautiful Ontario cottage rental or hop into a hot tub at a cozy Whistler cabin.