Guide to Easiestski trails at Little red river park
Whether you’re looking for a great way to stay fit this winter or want to try this classic Canadian sport, you should try cross-country skiing. There is something about being in a forest, gliding along the trails, that refreshes the body and mind.
Prince Albert Nordic Ski Club maintains and grooms over 20 km of “Easiest” ski trails, over 10km of “More Difficult” ski trails and over 13km of “Most Difficult” ski trails at Little Red River Park. This Guide highlights the easiest of the “Easiest” trails noted on our ski trail map. The Park itself is stunning in its natural beauty and is often referred to as the gem of Prince Albert. The terrain has everything from nearly flat, undulating hills, steep hills and longer gradual hills. Something for everyone!
If you’re new to, or timid about cross-country skiing, you’ll have a more satisfying experience if you can ski on a trail that is suitable for your ability and fitness level.
• Parking Option #1 at the Cosmo Lodge
Something you might consider if you are heading out with your young children is that you want to be near a shelter where you can warm up. The Knotty Pine Bistro at the Cosmo Lodge offers just that opportunity. Yummy hot chocolate after a bit of skiing really helps to make the experience a lot of fun for all ages.
Wide open and Gentle – River Trail near the Cosmo Lodge - Classic and Skate
Starting at the Cosmo Lodge, you will find that the road just west of the lodge becomes a big and wide groomed trail. You can follow it up as far as you like, past the swinging bridge. There is a nice hill to practice before returning to the lodge or you can continue up the hill all the way to the West Parking area. This part of the River Trail loop. This is a good area to practice and allows a larger group to spread out with good visibility to each other. The River Trail is lighted – if you have some time in the evening, it’s also a nice option and you will find the magic of night skiing opens up a whole new world.
Sports Council Loop - Classic and Skate
The wide groomed trail mentioned above will take you to the PA Sports Council Loop (1.3km). This loop should be skied clockwise and will give you some gentle down and up practice.
• Parking Option #2 West Parking Lot at the North end of 6th Avenue NE
Here you will find generous parking and a few options for which trail to take.
CN “Easy Out” - Classic Trail
The CN trail begins right at the parking lot. It has some fully flat sections and a little bit of gentle ups and downs. The key for a novice skier is to follow the “easy out” signs on CN. There will be 3 of these along the 2.4 km route.
River Trail to Kristi Lake - Classic and Skate
Many adventurous novice skiers really enjoy the completely flat glide that comes with the groomed trail on the ice at Kristi Lake (3km). The ice is packed and tracked only once the ice is deemed safe - check for updated Trail Conditions before you venture out. Also, the lake is not to be confused with the more difficult “Kristi Lake Trail” which is also a ski trail set on the North side of the Lake.
To ski over to Kristi Lake, set out on the River Trail heading East for 1.5km. Watch for signage for Kristi Lake and West Classic Trail. After 1.5km you will find yourself at the top of the big hill that descends to the Boy Scout Bridge. Instead of turning right down that big hill, follow the groomed trail and signage, meandering North just .5km or so to get to Kristi Lake. You may need to take your skis off to get onto the lake as the bank can be a bit lumpy.
West Trail – Access from River Trail - Classic,
If you are up for a trail with some gentle hills, the West trail is a favorite. You can access the West trail (2.6km loop) just a few metres south of the Kristi Lake access. You will find signage along the way to direct you.
West Trail – Access from Janzen Connector - Classic
There is also the Janzen connector trail (2km) from the parking lot that will get you to the West trail. The Janzen connector has a few more challenging sections – perhaps a goal to take this route once you have gained some confidence.
• Parking Option #3 at East Parking Lot
This parking option places your starting point right at the East Poplar trail head. Caution is advised as the road to the trail becomes snow congested and narrow which can be tricky if you happen to meet another vehicle.
East Poplar Trail and East Poplar Connector
The East Poplar loop (3.8km) heads off clockwise to the East. Signage is there to help. You can also head to the west and you will be on the East Poplar connector (1.5km loop).
The East Poplar trails have some nice undulating hills – not completely flat. You can put this trail on your goals list as your ski abilities progress
For a Novice cross-country skier to have a satisfying ski experience, favourable snow conditions are essential. There’s no substitute for a trail with plenty of snow which is machine-groomed and has well-defined tracks to follow. You want to stay away from thin snow which may have ruts and dirt, or slushy, wet snow. Check the PANSC trail report on our website which will give you the latest conditions. You can also download the trail map.
Have fun and consider JackRabbits for kids ski lessons or ask us about Adult Lessons.
The Prince Albert Nordic Ski Club acknowledges the ski trails are on Treaty 6 Territory. We pay our respect to the First Nations ancestors of this land and reaffirm our relationship with one another as we continue on the path of reconciliation together
Managed by Prince Albert Nordic Ski Club
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