Here’s the beautiful thing about snowshoeing: you don’t need to be a finely tuned and trained athlete to do it. You need legs. You need some time. You need some snowshoes. And you need some snow. Oh, and having an awesome place to do it – like Cochrane! – will definitely work in your favour.
Not surprisingly, given Cochrane’s many green spaces, extensive trail network, and the surrounding mountain parks, there is no shortage of places to go for an enjoyable pounce through the powder.
Given the sport’s ease of entry and inexpensive nature, our family has done numerous snowshoeing trips both in Cochrane and beyond. A few of our favourite places to go include Cochrane Ranche (for the snow-filled meadows, creek crossings, and pristine views), West Bragg Creek (for the deep snow and challenging trails), Kananaskis Village (for the gorgeous scenery and après treats), and Big Hill Springs Provincial Park, when it reopens (for its proximity to Cochrane and the peaceful creekside trails).
Try it for Free
True, not everyone has a pair of snowshoes hanging up in the garage. And outfitting an entire family can get a little pricey. (A decent pair is going to cost you about $250). Thankfully, the good folks at the Cochrane Library have your back. Or, in this case, your feet! The library offers free snowshoe rentals (all you need is a library card) for everyone. Although they have numerous pairs, the free rental service is very popular. So go early to make sure you get your pair! (Regular winter boots work well for snowshoeing.)
Although nothing beats a powder day snowshoeing (similar to skiing, the fun-factor goes off the charts when there’s a fresh blanket of soft snow), it’s a great family activity on any winter day. Even when it’s icy the cleats on your snowshoes will keep you steady and solid on the trail. A miss-step here and there adds to the fun. And, of course, young or old, fit or not, you can do it!
Guest journalist and Photographer – Andrew Penner