The Nelson and Kootenay Lake region offers a variety of nordic and skate options.
On either groomed or ungroomed trails, wilderness or backcountry loops, over forestry roads and abandoned railroads, or gentle golf course trails with incredible mountain vistas, that captures some of our nordic skiing experience.
Nelson Cross Country Ski Trails
The Nelson Nordic Ski Club (NNSC) is Nelson's cross-country skiing hub. Just 10 minutes south of Nelson, 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. View Trail Map here.
Another Nelson option, to get out and experience the winter trails, is the dog-friendly Great Northern Rail Trail. A former Canadian Pacific Railway line, this wonderful section of The Great 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 Nelson.
For questions about Nelson trails, conditions, or rentals, talk to the friendly staff at Gerick Cycle and Ski on Baker Street in Nelson.
Kaslo Cross Country Trails
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. View Trail Map here.
After a ski, or quiet stroll, spend the night and take in one of the galleries/museums, live entertainment at the Langham or one of the restaurants, and enjoy the dining and Angry Hen Brewery. Kaslo may look sleepy on the outside, but it's a happening place on the inside.
Balfour Golf Course is great for xc skiing and snowshoeing, and features gentle slopes and rolling terrain, and big open spaces to admire the surrounding forests and mountains. Tracks are often set by the locals, offering lots of choices to explore on your own, or with the family. Dogs are welcome, but please bring a bag to pick up after your pets. Tobogganing is also a popular activity for kids, off of holes #11, and #18.
Kokanee Springs Resort fairways are open to the public throughout the winter to xc ski or snowshoe. Tracks are set from time to time, but if not, make your own tracks and adventure across the snowy fairways. You'll love the fresh air, open space and scenic mountain peaks.
Whitewater Ski Resort
10 minutes east, up the mountain, from the Nelson Nordic Ski Club is Whitewater Ski Resort Nordic Trails. They have 5 km of 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 immersing you right into the snowy wilderness.
The multi-use trails can also be used for snowshoeing, dog walking, and fat biking. Visit the Whitewater website for a trail map.
The resort is open from 9am to 3:30pm daily throughout the ski season. Cross-country skis and snowshoes can be rented at the lodge.
KootenayXC - Travel the Region and Ski
7 towns. 300+km groomed trails. Endless wild trails. Kootenay Culture.
Pack the car and hit the road for a Kootenay XC adventure! #KootenayXC
Before venturing into the mountains be sure to check Avalanche Canada and DriveBC for snow conditions. There are lots of backcountry and avalanche awareness courses available and local guides to help make your trip as enjoyable and safe as possible.