The Top Rated Snowmobile Trails in Alberta in 2019
What does nirvana look like to you? If it includes lush swathes of pristine wilderness, loads of powdery snow, and top-notch snowmobile trails, then heaven is a place on Earth. Alberta’s Lakeland region, to get more precise.
What’s so great about Lakeland? Hundreds of kilometres of excellent snowmobile terrain, for starters. Here’s a breakdown of why this winter riding oasis should top your list of adventure destinations for 2019.
Alberta’s Lakeland Region
Alberta’s Lakeland region represents a veritable winter wonderland boasting many top cold-weather activities.
These activities include:
- Ice fishing
- Ice skating
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk snowmobiling. Lakeland boasts picturesque scenery and a wonderful mixture of rolling hills, river valley flats, bush trails, and more.
This diverse terrain means there’s something for everyone, including families. Lakeland also offers opportunities for river running, and if elevation’s your thing, you’ll find plenty of mountains to mobile up in pursuit of stunning valley overlooks.
To participate in these activities, remember to get an Alberta Snowmobile Association (ASA) Membership Trail Pass. It gains you access to all of the amazing trails we’re about to discuss and your fee supports trail maintenance and upgrades.
1. Alberta’s Iron Horse Trail
Alberta’s Iron Horse Trail cuts through Northeast Alberta and offers just about every type of terrain you can imagine. It remains the longest completed section of the Trans Canada Trail (at 300 kilometres) in the province as well as the oldest.
Open year-round, its wintertime visitors include dog walkers, Nordic skiers, and, of course, lots of snowmobilers.
You can join up with this massive trail through many communities scattered along its circuit. It offers a stunning way to traverse Alberta with frequent stops in small communities where snowmobilers get warmly welcomed.
2. Elk Point to Kehewin Lake
Imagine taking off across snow-covered fields, traversing woodland areas, and enjoying gently rolling hills. If you’re looking for a variety of terrain types, including the occasional bridge, the trails near Elk Point will you keep you busy.
Maintained by the Elk Point Trail Riders, Elk Point’s sledding terrain provides a perfect starting point for a departure along the Iron Horse Trail. While some trails contain technical elements, novices can navigate them successfully. What’s more, Elk Point targets family adventure travellers and has the amenities to prove it.
This includes a main cabin located in a favourite town chock full of fuel and supplies maintained by the community. And don’t feel surprised if you see families having a bite here during the day. This area’s fast gaining a family-friendly reputation.
One of our favourite trails? Head from Elk Point to Kehewin Lake. On the way, you’ll pass a handful of bridges and diverse terrain. You’ll finish at a comfortable cabin by the lake.
3. Lac la Biche to Lakeland Provincial Park
The snowy terrain of Lac La Biche offers endless opportunities for adventure with miles of open meadows and endless lakes. Mixed terrain means you’ll never get bored.
What’s more, the sense of freedom you’ll feel proves unmatched. Grandiose expanses of nature will leave you breathless. Although trails don’t get maintained here, Lac La Biche offers many cutlines.
But the local favourite remains the trail to Lakeland Provincial Park. On this trail, you can take in vast amounts of gorgeous scenery in a limited amount of time.
Since the area proves infinite and untamed, take navigating its geography seriously. This means having your GPS and snowmobile trail maps handy at all times.
No warm-up shelters exist in this area. But the trails prove accessible, even for novice riders.
If you visit in February, check out the annual Winter Festival of Speed. Here, you’ll enjoy automobile and motorcycle races. But the real treat remains the snowmobile drags!
4. Cold Lake to Crane Lake
With 330 kilometres of trails easily accessible from town, Cold Lake is a favourite for winter riding fun. In fact, you can snowmobile right from the doorstep of a local Bed and Breakfast, so get ready to soak up all that powdery goodness.
You’ll find easy, family-friendly riding here with well-groomed trails. The Cold Lake Snowmobile Club does a superb job of maintaining these routes. They also push the envelope when it comes to upgrading and improving trails.
From Cold Lake, you can access Alberta’s Iron Horse Trail which takes you along the Trans-Canada Snowmobile Trail. But if local favourites peak your interest, then check out the ride from Cold Lake to the Crane Lake cabin. Area riders swear by it.
5. Smoky Lake to St. Paul
The gateway to Alberta’s Iron Horse Trail, Smoky Lake also links four gorgeous lakes. With 65 kilometres of well-maintained trails, you can escape into the wilderness without straying too far.
Known for its annual pumpkin festival, Smoky Lake also offers up delicious eats, warm drinks, and small-town charm.
One of the easiest, breeziest rides? Take the trail from Smoky Lake straight to St. Paul. This covers approximately 90 kilometres for a perfect day trip.
6. St. Paul to Heinsburg
Another appealing trip which takes full advantage of gorgeous scenery along Alberta’s Iron Horse Trail is the route to Heinsburg. This day trip takes you deep into the heart of an idyllic winter wilderness.
What’s more, it brings you to Alberta’s “liveliest little ghost town.” But don’t assume this means Heinsburg is abandoned. On the contrary, it features a historic downtown corridor with quaint shops and colourful locals.
It even boasts a grand hall where music jamborees take place to this day. You can camp for free at its Water Tower Campsite.
Best of all? Heinsburg contains a railway theme park and a fully restored 60,000-gallon water tower. So, leave some extra time to explore this blast from Canada’s past.
7. St. Paul’s Bellevue Trail
Located in northeastern Alberta, St. Paul offers an eclectic combination of frontier wilderness and hometown charm.
One moment, you’ll find yourself cruising through boreal forests and the next you’ll sit enjoying a quaint dinner at one of St. Paul’s delicious restaurants.
Trails in this area get maintained by the St. Paul Trailblazers Snowmobile Club. Each year, they hold a snowmobile rally featuring dinner and cash prizes.
You’ll run across the adorable town of St. Paul on your way along the Iron Horse Trail. From St. Paul, catch the Bellevue Trail from St. Paul south to the North Saskatchewan River 50 kilometres away. Here, the route joins the Two Hills Trail.
Lakeland, Alberta Snowmobile Trails
Winter adventures abound in Alberta’s Lakeland region. But don’t take our word for it. Come and see for yourself!
If you’re new to Lakeland and not sure where to find motorsports equipment to support your snowmobiling needs, check out Power Merchants, Ltd. They offer two convenient locations in Cold Lake and St. Paul.