Sunday, April 08, 2012

Families love the Canmore Nordic Centre

If you aren't familiar with the Canadian Rockies you probably have no idea what or where Canmore is. If you've spent even an hour in Canmore though, (yes, it's a place) you know why I'm so enthralled with this charming mountain town.   Living in Canmore is the dream for many if not most Calgarians who love the mountains.  We don't want to take up permanent residence in the tourist haven of Banff, but Canmore - now that's a different story!  It's a storybook mountain town with majestic peaks surrounding you on all sides.  Canmore is located 5 minutes away from the park gates of Banff National Park and 45 minutes from our urban centre of Calgary, providing easy access to both Banff's many hiking trails as well as Calgary's shopping and entertainment.

View from the ski trails at the Canmore Nordic Centre

Having no plans for the Easter weekend, we decided to head out to Canmore on Saturday to do some cross country skiing at the Nordic Centre.  Our son wanted to go hiking but as the saying goes, "make hay while the sun shines" and (here I add on), ski while the snow falls.  We've had a lot of fresh snow and I am not one to turn down a day of warm spring skiing.

The Nordic Centre has no shortage of snow this April

I had a friend once ask if we ran into a lot of families on the trails and I had to say that often we didn't.  Now I know why.  They're all at the Canmore Nordic Centre!  Don't believe me?  Drop in on a Saturday afternoon and count the number of families having lunch in the day lodge, the number of sleds lined up outside waiting to take baby skiers out on the trails, and the number of children learning to ski in the practice area.  It gave me hope that the next generation is not entirely being raised by Nintendo.

Noah and his new friend having a snack in the day lodge

This was my son's 14th day out skiing with us this winter and I guess 14 is the magic number because I've never seen him so happy in his ski pulk.  It probably didn't hurt that my husband did a lot of skate skiing and was flying along the trails faster than I could keep up.  Kids, I have learned, don't like slow moving parents when they are confined in a sled for two hours.  We usually stop at least once to let the kids out but they still get bored when Mom and Dad are slowly slogging up a steep hill.   Noah was also captivated by my friend's son and kept looking out of his sled to search for his new buddy - something that helped immensely if we stopped to rest for a moment.  As long as Noah could see his friend coming up behind him, he was happy and remarkably patient.  This will likely be our last ski day of the season and I'm ecstatic that it was met with giggles, squeals of laughter, and smiles rather than screams of "out!" as is usually more common.

The boys in their sleds

Mr. Cool

New friends

Upon finishing our ski loop we went back into the day lodge for snacks which consisted of coffee and Easter chocolate for me.  One of the main reasons why the Nordic Centre attracts so many families is because of this amazing lodge.  It has an abundance of tables, comfy seating in front of a wood burning fire place, high chairs for the smallest tots, and a cafeteria for Mom and Dad who need more coffee before driving home.  We always bring our lunch and snacks but should you be in a rush getting out the door, you could buy everything on site.

An awesome day at the Nordic Centre

Additional information:
If you visit the Nordic Centre earlier in the winter, there is a toboggan hill for the kids and a skating rink as well.  To further reach out to families, Trail Sports on site has a selection of ski sleds should you need one for pulling your youngest skier.

Lessons can also be arranged through Trail Sports.

Once the snow melts, the Nordic Centre converts to a world-class mountain biking facility with many beginner trails perfect for Summer family adventures.  To quote the Park's website, you will find:
an 18-hole disc golf course, four orienteering courses, more than 100 km of single and double-track mountain bike and hiking trail, 6.5 km of paved rollerski trail, and a mountain bike skills park
For more information on the Canmore Nordic Centre, go to Provincial Parks website which features the daily trail descriptions and grooming report.
Winter trail use fees are $10/adult.
Contact the Nordic Centre for summer fees and discounted rates for children.


  1. Love your saying 'ski when the snow falls' :) I like to do the sport that best corresponds with the season. I fin it hard to hike in the winter when there's so much snow and ice around!!

    1. Thanks Sarah. I'm a firm believer in seizing the day and making the most of every season. We love skiing and yes, it's hard to be motivated to hike when everything is brown and dreary. Today looks beautiful though so might have to get out for a wee hike.

  2. We absolutely love Canmore and find ourselves in town all the time. In life before kids we lived in Canmore and I lived at the Nordic Centre.

    Looks like it was a fun day!

    1. Some day...
      Just need somebody to buy me a house in Canmore.