Snowshoeing – Snowy Owl, West Bragg Creek, December 2014.

I’m not sure what happened this winter, but while the rest of the country was buried in the white stuff for months on end, here in southern Alberta, it’s been largely snow-free and very (scarily) warm.  (Those of you in the snowy regions all have my sympathies – we’ve had horribly cold and snow-filled winters the past few years so I know what you’re going through and I’m not wanting to rub salt in the wound).  Not certain what this will mean for the upcoming gardening season, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.  The snow is good for so many reasons….

Snowshoeing is one of them, and because of the balmy weather and general “busyness,” my hubby and I got out exactly once.

We tried the new Snowy Owl loop at West Bragg Creek Provincial Recreation Area on a Tuesday afternoon in late December  – the parking lot was insanely busy and we had to create our own “stall,” but most of the crowd were there to cross country ski on the groomed trails or to walk their dogs.  (This is a pet friendly rec zone – you can even take your dogs skiing if you like).  Even though snowshoeing is definitely increasing in popularity, we only saw a couple of other groups on our excursion.  What I liked best about this trip was the varied terrain – sometimes we were in an open meadow, other times, deep woods.  One part of the loop is over a logged area, so your shoes and poles can take a bit of a beating on tree stumps if there isn’t a decent base of snow – but in a “normal” year, that wouldn’t be a problem.




Great scenery and lots of trail options to explore (next year, I guess!).

Do you ski or snowshoe or any other “snow” activities?


  1. We used to cross country ski, but since retiring we head south for part of the winter. I haven’t been keeping track of the Calgary weather, so I have no idea what my yard will be like when we get back home. Whatever it is, I sure hope the deer haven’t eaten up everything that was green!

      • I adore phlox so was crushed when we lost so many. I still haven’t replaced them all. I don’t have luck with root anything…when bought from a seed catalog….because of our loving kitties. So it takes awhile to get the colours back.

  2. Lovely views with blue skies as a backdrop. I tried skiing when I first came to Bavaria and really loved it, but my knees didn’t! So I had to give up after two wonderful seasons! I have never tried cross-country skiing, which I am assuming is the same as snowshoeing, but it is quite popular here.

    • I must admit that even though we live so close to many incredible ski hills, I’ve never been downhill skiing! I can imagine it would definitely be rough on the knees – it’s too bad you had to give it up! I do like cross-country skiing, but I think I’m even more enamoured of snowshoeing – I like the walking motion over the gliding one and for some reason I find I pay more attention to my surroundings when I’m using the shoes.

  3. I am very happily living in Cincinnati nowadays…but I do miss snowshoe-ing!!! In Canada, I only had to cross the road and of I went into the forest. Good memories and I can see you missed it very much this winter!

    • I was definitely hoping to get out more this season, that’s for sure! It must have been so nice for you to have the forest so close when you lived in Canada…but there’s something to be said for the milder winters in Ohio! (Although you had your share of cold and snow this winter!).

  4. Your photos are beautiful. I have never skied or ice-skated or done anything other than fall over on snow/ ice. We don’t often get enough snow here for activities like skiing though I do love walking in it when it’s new. Two years ago we had lots of snow and there was plenty of activity around our few hills (skiing and sledding ). Most people who ski either go up to Scotland or go abroad to do it.

    • Nothing more special than walking in new snow – a real treat!

      Ice skating is fun, but quite nerve wracking when you first try it – I’m not very good at it, and still worry a bit about falling.

      • I don’t think I will be trying it now. I have probably left it too late and because of my age and arthritis, once I get down or fall down I can’t easily get back up again!

  5. Would love to have had some cross-country skiing this year, especially if it took place on your landscape! But unfortunately for us, snow fell in huge drifts, then it rained and left a crunchy ice coating on top, then snowed a whole bunch on top of that. Snow was over my knees in some places. Most trails around here are of the “cut your own” fashion, so skiing would have been a lot of work without much fun. Maybe next year…

    • That glaze of ice and the depth of snow would have made skiing very difficult, indeed. I don’t mind making my own paths, either, but not when there’s that much work involved. Hopefully conditions will be better next year…I know I’m hoping to get out more, as well!

  6. I downhill ski and snowshoe. haven’t done any skiing this year but we’ve had more than plenty enough snow for snowshoes. It’s a great activity and you can get into areas that other sports can’t. One of my favourite ways to spend a winter day. your photos are beautiful, love seeing those trees coated in white.

  7. Sheryl, it is scary when the weather isn’t what it should be! I do love a good snow (although I wonder just how positive I would have been if I lived in Boston!).
    We had so much snow last year that I brought out my snow shoes … unfortunately I didn’t get far as I need new bindings.
    Hopefully next year for you!

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