Famous for its sunshine, blue skies and mountain ranges, Alberta is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts — even in the depths of winter. Situated north of Calgary, in close proximity to the Canadian Rockies as well as other provincial parks, Airdrie offers countless opportunities for hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and even fat tire biking along trails covered with fine snow.

Grab your winter boots, throw on a toque and venture off to one of these hiking and snowshoeing trails located within 2 hours of Airdrie.

Big Hill Springs Provincial Park

Located a short drive west of Airdrie at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Big Hill Springs Provincial Park is a little oasis packed with unique features and natural beauty. The provincial park boasts an abundance of wildlife, the remains of Alberta’s first commercial creamery, and a multitude of picturesque waterfalls. And as the temperature falls well below zero, the streams completely freeze over, leaving an icy snapshot of the waterfall. Be prepared to be wowed by all there is as you stroll along the short but pleasant hiking trail at Big Hill Springs Provincial Park.

Nose Hill Park

Head south from Airdrie and you’ll stumble upon the biggest city park in Calgary. Boasting an area of over 11 square kilometres, Nose Hill Park is filled with countless hiking, biking and walking trails. Whether you’re after a solo hike through nature or a snowshoeing adventure with the kids, the park is the perfect place for a quick getaway. 

Nose Hill Park is also home to a variety of wildlife, from deer and coyotes to porcupines and northern pocket gophers. If you’re lucky (and patient), you may catch be able to spot some of them roaming the city park. From the top, you’ll get a panoramic view of downtown Calgary, the Rocky Mountains and the Bow River Valley. Don’t forget to bring your toboggan — the city park has plenty of hills for you to glide down.

Bragg Creek Provincial Park

With over 141 kilometers of all-season trails, Bragg Creek Provincial Park attracts winter hikers and snowshoers of all ages, offering everything from short strolls to long and rigorous challenges. No matter which trail you choose, you’re sure to find some shy wildlife, unique ice formations, beautiful snow-capped mountains and wide-open expanses. 

Better yet, grab the cross-country skis, fat bike or snowmobile and head to one of the premium trails at Bragg Creek Provincial Park to see nature from a different point of view. Pack an easy and quick lunch for when you’re all tuckered out, and cozy up to a roaring fire with a cup of fresh hot cocoa.

Peter Lougheed Provincial Park

Situated within Kananaskis Country, Peter Lougheed Provincial Park is an ideal destination for a day trip from Airdrie if you’re after a glimpse of the Canadian Rockies. With hundreds of kilometres of designated trails, the provincial park offers a variety of outdoor recreational activities for enthusiasts of all ages alongside breathtaking mountain views. Snowshoe through the fresh pillows of snow, cross-country ski on the extensive groomed trail system or hop on a fat bike and venture off the beaten path. With no shortage of trails and activities to choose from, Peter Lougheed Provincial Park is a winter wonderland for all outdoor enthusiasts.

You’ll quickly realize the fresh snow and ice add a special touch to the already breathtaking trails. After a long day of outdoor adventures, warm up with a fresh brew and tasty treat at one of these cafes in Calgary.

Special thanks to the staff at the Comfort Inn & Suites in Airdrie, AB for contributing to this piece.

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