Western Canada is a premiere winter sport destination, and snowshoeing is a great way to enjoy the great outdoors during winter. Some of the best beginner destinations are a short drive from Calgary in Kananaskis country. Here are some great trails for people who are new to snowshoeing, or those who want an easy going few hours:
Village Loops Snowshoe Trail
This easy trail has 2 loops totaling 3 kilometers with some small hills and viewpoints. Start the trail from Woody’s parking lot trail head in Kananaskis village.
Hogarth Lakes Loop
This trail is deeper in Kananaskis country and is about 4.5 kilometers in distance with negligible gain. The paths navigate a few small, usually frozen lakes. Expect about a 2-3 hour duration to complete the loop, or spend a little extra time exploring the area..
Sawmill Snowshoe Loop
Another great beginner trail with a little more distance (5.1 km) and a little more gain (121m). The trail takes you through forest and the snow can get very deep in spots. The whole loop will take about 2-3 hours.
This is one of my favorite trails starting from beautiful Upper Kananaskis Lake. You pass a small waterfall before ascending into the forest, and ending at atmospheric Rawson Lake, surrounded by a rock wall. The trail is a steady 280m gain over a majority of the 6.7kms. Expect it to take 2-4 hours return.
A classic and popular snowshoe tail, this 10.2km trail will take you through fantastic terrain over a 315m gain. Make sure to take the trail to the left of the fork, so you don’t end up in no mans land (Rockwall Lakes)! Will take about 4 hours return.