Let’s face it, when the mercury plunges and nature wraps itself in a thick, snowy blanket, there is some temptation to stay inside and slip into hibernation mode. Fortunately, there are also plenty of tempting reasons to get outside and embrace the season – snow and all. Grab your toque and try some of these cool ways to make friends with Old Man Winter.
Downhill Skiing. Just 10 minutes east of the city, Canyon Ski Resort is the largest non-mountain downhill ski resort in Alberta. The 28.6 hectare ski area has 20 runs, six lifts, lights for night skiing, a ski lodge, a large ski school, equipment rentals and a cafeteria. With a 164-metre vertical drop, there is terrain for advanced, intermediate and novice skiers.
Snow Tubing. Canyon Ski Resort has an excellent snow tubing park with two runs on a steep hill that is long and windy. The best part is you can ride your tube both up and down the hill.
Sleigh Rides. All winter long, Heritage Ranch offers magical sleigh rides through a winter wonderland decorated with more than 20,000 sparkling lights. Hot chocolate and blankets are provided.
Winter Festivals. Central Albertans celebrate winter with unique festivals and events that run all season long. Watch for celebrations running from in late November and wrapping up in March with The Winter Carnival organized by the French Canadian Association of Red Deer, with maple syrup taffy on snow, French-Canadian pea soup, hot chocolate, and many other delicious items!
Cross Country Ski Trails. You’ll find more than 30 km of groomed ski trails right in the City of Red Deer along with a biathlon shooting range. Other track set trails can be found around Central Alberta with the two most notable areas being the JJ Collett Natural Area near Lacombe and Jarvis Bay Provincial Park near Sylvan Lake.
Snowshoeing. You can rent snowshoes at Kerry Wood Nature Centre and head out on your own or join a guided tour. Day and night snowshoeing excursions can also be booked with Pursuit Adventures.
Outdoor Skating. Red Deer has 62 outdoor skating rinks for public use including 3 ponds, and a speed skating oval. Other Central Alberta communities also maintain free outdoor skating surfaces. Sylvan Lake has one of the longest outdoor skating tracks in North America.
Tobogganing. Tobogganing is a great Canadian tradition that conjures fond childhood memories for many grownups and there are many great hills in the City.
Ice Fishing. Central Alberta is surrounded by lakes and stocked ponds. The fishing is great – even in winter.