A Brief History
The Peter Lougheed Provincial Park offers visitors an extensive network of trails over 75 km in length which are groomed for classic skiing. This site has excellent trails varying from easy to difficult. Visitors can select a trail and follow it for its full length or take shortcuts back to their start point as desired. The Lodgepole Trail is highly recommended as a nice easy trail and is 4.2 km in length. For beginners desiring a longer ski the Pocaterra Trail which is 10.6 km in length is a great trail. Both of these trails are accessible from the Pocaterra Hut.
Advanced skiers looking for a challenge should make their way from the Boulton Creek campground along Whiskey Jack Trail to the Lookout Trail. Skiers who accept this challenge will be rewarded with a great view of the local area and a great downhill section. Visitors can also create their own route length and difficulty by combining several smaller trail sections together at any point along the trail. Trail junctions at this site are clearly marked with maps depicting the present location of visitors. Trail maps may also be purchased at the Visitor Information Centre for a small fee. This site is the favourite location of the writer of this guide in the province of Alberta, one that is visited annually. Its combination of great trails, ideal facilities, and magnificent views earns the Peter Lougheed Provincial Park a top rating.
There is no club based out of the Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. There are however several local ski clubs and groups which make visits to this location. Unique to this site is accommodation available for individuals with disabilities at the William Watson Lodge. In conjunction with this accommodation, several ski programs for the disabled exist within the park.
Photo by Selena Phillips-Boyle
Name of Site: Peter Lougheed Provincial Park
Trail Overview and Highlights:
75 km of trails are track set for classic skiing.
No trail fees are in effect.
Great mix of beginner, intermediate and difficult trails.
Site Facilities: The Pocaterra Hut provides visitors with a warmed shelter area. This is an excellent location to begin a day of nordic skiing. A wood fired stove and washroom facilities are available. The Visitor Information Centre may also be used by visitors and is a heated building. Outhouses are located at the Elkwood parking lot, the Boulton Bridge parking lot, and the Elk Pass parking lot.
Ski Equipment: Ski equipment can be found in the neighbouring town of Canmore.
Club Information: No club is based out of this location.
Accommodation: Accommodation is available in Kananaskis Village or Canmore. Hostel accommodation can be found at the Ribbon Creek Hostel. The William Watson Lodge provides excellent accommodation for visitors with disabilities wishing to take advantage of the trails system at this location.
Ownership of Site: This site belongs to the Peter Lougheed Provincial Park.
Access to Site (when open/accessible): Trails are open daily during the ski season. Site facilities are open 9 am – 5 pm daily.
Appeal to Families & Children: 4 – This site has a diverse array of trails of all difficulty levels.
Appeal to People with passion for topic: 5 – As one of the most extensive trail systems in Alberta, those who are passionate about nordic skiing will love this beautiful location.
Scenic Appeal of Site: 5 – Located in Kananaskis Country, this site is one of the most beautiful locations for Nordic skiing in the province of Alberta.
FURTHER READING & BIBLIOGRAPHY
Source 1: “Peter Lougheed Provincial Park.” Government of Alberta: Tourism, Parks, and Recreation. 2010. 01 May 2010. <www.albertaparks.ca/siteinformation.aspx?id=307>.
Source 2: Government of Alberta. Kananaskis Country. Peter Lougheed Provincial Park: Cross-Country Ski Trails. Calgary: 2010.