Kananaskis Country can get a lot of snow so it’s perfect for snowshoeing and cross country skiing. Last week – by sheer luck – we ended up on the West Bragg Creek snowshoe trail and what a delight it was.
Our intention had been to check out the Bragg Creek area. It’s a small community not far from Calgary and I’d heard that there was cross country skiing nearby. But that’s all I knew. Fortunately I have a nose for finding great trails.
The west Bragg Creek trails – which are largely for cross country skiers – can be found at the end of West Bragg Creek Road – just 8.5 kilometres from the one major shopping area in Bragg Creek itself. There’s a big parking lot though by one in the afternoon on a perfect blue sky Saturday, it was overflowing. Fortunately there is loads of parking on the road – and it’s all free.
The Snowshoe Hare Loop
It took us some time to find a trail that catered to the snowshoeing crowd. But we found a loop – the 5.5 kilometre Snowshoe Hare Loop. It turns out dogs are allowed on these trails without a leash, a real bonus in my mind.
In our haste to get out of the house we hadn’t brought snowshoes or skis with us – thinking we would just be on a reconnoitering mission. But there was no way I was going to pass up the opportunity to get out and at least hike the snowshoe trail.
And no we weren’t one of those hikers – the ones that destroy tracks and make it difficult for everybody to snowshoe or ski. The trail was so firmly packed down that it was a piece of cake to walk on and you didn’t actually need snowshoes.
The trail was an utter delight – especially after the big snowfall we’d had just a few days earlier. Perhaps I should rephrase that. The trail was indeed wonderful but if you hike it in a clockwise direction, the first kilometer are two had the annoying buzz of wood chippers off in the distance. But once over the first hump, we were met with silence.
All told the trail took less than 90 minutes to hike. The same would hold true for snowshoeing.
I look forward to another visit – this time with cross country skis in tow. As you can see from the map below, there are loads of interconnected trails. The longest one appears to be the 16.5 kilometre return Telephone Loop though there are lots of short loops to do too.
For easy access from Calgary you can’t beat the trails at West Bragg Creek.
Similar posts that might be of interest:
- Snowshoeing to the Inkpots in Banff National Park
- Superb Snowshoeing to Mountain Lakes in Kananaskis Country
- A Fine Day of Cross Country Skiing in Peter Lougheed Park