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Calling all cross-country skiiers! The Nelson and Kootenay Lake region offers a variety of nordic and skate options.
On either groomed or ungroomed trails, the region has wilderness or resort skiing, backcountry loops over forestry roads and abandoned railroads, or gentle golf course trails with incredible mountain vistas.
To see a little more of the trails view our "Why Do It? - Nordic Skiing" video.
Here are some highlights.
Nelson Cross-Country Ski Trails
The Nelson Nordic Ski Club (NNSC) is Nelson's cross-country skiing hub. Just 10 minutes south of town, it offers more than 25 km of groomed trails for both skate skiers and classic skiers, from beginner to expert level. Facilities include multiple warming huts, washrooms, and a lit loop for night skiing.
Another Nelson option—dog friendly—is the Nelson "Rails-to-Trails" path. A former Canadian Pacific Railway line, this wonderful section of the Trans Canada Trail is a designated park with gorgeous refurbished trestle bridges. Occasionally, the several kilometres between Cottonwood Lake and Nelson are groomed for classic skiing. Access is just a 10 minute walk from downtown.
For questions about Nelson trails, conditions, or rentals, talk to the folks at Gerick Cycle and Ski in downtown Nelson.
Whitewater Ski Resort
10 minutes east from the Nelson Nordic Ski Club (see above) is Whitewater Ski Resort. Although known for downhill skiing, they have 16 km of carefully groomed and track-set cross-country skiing trails with spectacular views of Ymir peak. These trails are known to be hilly, but many love them for the incredible views and wilderness feel.
The resort is open from 9am to 3:30pm daily in-season. They rent cross-country skis and snowshoes, and lessons can be purchased at the nearby Whitewater day lodge.
Kaslo Trails and Training Sessions
Kaslo Nordic Ski Club hosts a local Jackrabbit children’s group as well as training sessions in the region.
In addition, Kaslo is home to several great options for cross-country skiing, including the Kaslo River Trail, True Blue Rec Area, the Airport Trails, Wagon Road, and areas around Mount Buchanan.
Balfour Golf Course features gentle slopes and rolling terrain. Tracks are often set by the locals, so you should find lots of choices to explore on your own.