With over 25 kilometres of groomed cross country ski trails and no trail fees, Calgary is a great place to cross country ski. Cross country ski terrain at city parks and golf courses is typically groomed from December to late March, weather/snow permitting. Here’s where to cross country ski in Calgary this winter.
Where to Cross Country Ski in NW Calgary
Confederation Park Golf Course (3204 Collingwood Dr NW) has several loops suitable for beginner and intermediate cross country skiers. Park in the golf course parking lot when open, on 19th St NW, or at Canmore Park. In the evening, from late November to January, ski around the Christmas light displays at Lions’ Festival of Lights! Don’t forget your headlamp! The driving range is illuminated at night but rest of the park is not. Note that there are several ski lessons throughout the week; the busiest times are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings from 4:30 pm – 7:15 pm.
- Trail Map
- Nordic Pulse Grooming Report
- Porta-potty on site
- Parking: Confederation Park Golf Course (Monday-Thursday 9 am – 9 pm, Friday-Sunday 9 am – 6 pm. Remove your car before closing time, so it isn’t locked in!) or West Confederation Park (by the tennis courts)
Canmore Park (2836 Canmore Rd NW) has one trackset loop with a hill and a few “bypasses” to make the loop shorter. We park by the tennis courts, ski the main loop, then cross 19 Street NW to ski at Confederation Golf Course. Watch for dogs near the parking lot as a lot of people bring their dogs to play here.
- Trail Map
- Nordic Pulse Grooming Report
- No washrooms
- Parking: West Confederation Park (by the tennis courts)
Bowness Park (8900 48 Ave NW) has 2.5 kilometres of trails maintained by the City of Calgary. The terrain is flat so it’s perfect for beginners. We love that there are lots of fire pits, benches, and picnic areas to relax at. Dine at Seasons of Bowness or get takeaway (coffee, ice cream, baked goods) from the café.
- Check if the trails are open here.
- Cross country ski, ice skate, and ice bike rentals are available at the Boathouse.
- Washrooms near café.
- Parking: Bowness Park
Where to Cross Country Ski in SW Calgary
Shaganappi Point Golf Course (1200 26 St SW) has 7 kilometres of groomed trails. The cross country ski course is pretty, there is beginner-friendly terrain on the west side of the golf course, and you get great views of downtown!
- Shaganappi Point Ski Trail Map
- Shaganappi Nordic Trail Conditions Updates
- No washrooms
- Parking: Shaganappi Point Golf Course
North Glenmore Park (7305 Crowchild Trail SW) has 3 kilometres of groomed cross country trails: two are for skiing only, and one is shared with disc golfers.
- North Glenmore Park Ski Trail Map
- Trail status report (open or not)
- Parking: There is a 750 ski trail near Parking Area A, and two trails by Lots D, E, and G.
- Driving directions to Lot E
South Glenmore Park (8415 24 St SW) has a 2.2 kilometre cross country ski loop that is typically trackset on Wednesdays.
- South Glenmore Ski Trail Map
- Trail status report
- Washroom in the West parking lot and porta-potties in the South Glenmore Park parking lot (by the spray park).
- Parking: South Glenmore Parking Area West and South Glenmore Park Parking (near spray park).
Lakeview Golf Course (5840 19 Street SW) has a groomed cross country ski trail.
Where to Cross Country Ski in SE Calgary
East Village Nordic Loop near downtown Calgary features a 1 kilometre loop groomed for classic and skate skiing. Warm up at the Hygge Hut and enjoy live entertainment like ice carving and storytelling on weekends.
- Access the loop at Fort Calgary, 8 Avenue & 6 Street SE, or Elbow River Traverse Bridge
- EV Nordic Loop Info & Grooming Update
- Open: 7 am to 10 pm
- Washrooms: Nearest washrooms are located at 6 Ave & 6 St SE by the playground. Open 8am – 6pm. Accessible facilities available at Fort Calgary and the Central Library.
- Parking: Fort Calgary
Maple Ridge Golf Course (1240 Mapleglade Dr SE) is Calgary’s largest groomed golf course with several kilometres of groomed trails. Trails are typically trackset on Tuesdays.
- Maple Ridge Golf Course Ski Trail Map
- Trail report status (typically trackset on Tuesdays)
- No washrooms onsite.
- Parking: Maple Ridge Golf Course
Know Before You Go
- Please note that dogs are not allowed in city golf courses as per the year round City of Calgary “No Dogs” by-law 23M89.
- Dogs must be on leash in city parks.
- There is no/minimal lighting in the parks so bring a headlamp for night skiing.
- Stay on ski trails; skate skiers, please skate in skating lanes.
- Do not walk or snowshoe on ski tracks.
- Please be courteous and park in designated areas (homeowners near golf courses have complained about a lack of street parking near their homes).
When to Go
- Golf courses open for skiing – snow permitting – about two weeks after golf season ends.
- A minimum of 25 cm of snow is required to trackset cross country ski terrain.
Where to Rent Cross Country Skis in Calgary
In Calgary, you can rent cross country skis at:
- U of C Outdoor Centre 2500 University Dr NW & Bowness Park Boathouse
- Norseman Outdoor Specialist 4655 37 St SW
- Outlaw Sports Rapid Rent 903 Heritage Dr SW
- Sports Rent 4424 16th Ave NW
- Mountain Equipment Coop 830 10 Ave SW: Rentals services temporarily unavailable due to COVID-19
What to Wear & Bring XC Skiing
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Cross country skiing is a full body workout, so dress as if you’re going for a run, but bring an extra layer (down jacket, down skirt) and mittens if you get cold hands. I usually start in my down jacket, toque, and mitts; then shed layers and ski in a thermal top (and vest in colder temps) and insulated, windproof leggings (or merino wool base layer leggings and softshell pants on colder days) once I’ve warmed up. Moisture-wicking technical socks made of a wool blend are recommended. Choose ones that fit well so they won’t slide down inside your ski boots. Breathable, wind-resistant running gloves (or cross country ski gloves) and an ear warmer are a must, but always bring a toque for colder weather.
Finally don’t forget wax, scraper, and cork (for waxable skis); water in an insulated water bottle; and a headlamp if you’re skiing in the evening. A hip pack is nice for carrying everything so your back doesn’t get sweaty.
Support Cross Country Ski Trail Grooming
There is no fee to ski Calgary’s groomed cross country ski trails, but donations for ski club-maintained trails are welcome and appreciated.
- Donate to the Foothills Nordic Ski Club Grooming fund here. Foothills maintains Confederation Park Golf Course and Canmore Park.
- Donate to Shaganappi Nordic Operations Club by e-transfer to shagtreasurer@gmailDOTCOM. (E-transfers are automatically deposited into the SNO account, no passwords are needed.) Shaganappi Nordic maintains Shaganappi Point Golf Course.
More Winter Fun
- 15 Fun things to do in Calgary this winter
- Winter Activity Guide for Calgary, Kananaskis and Banff
- Tubing at Winsport
- Calgary’s Best Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks
- Where to Snowshoe Near Calgary
- Banff and Kananaskis Winter Trails and Trail Reports
- The Best Beginner Cross Country Ski Trails in Lake Louise