High Level, AB has terrain for both mountain and trail riders

You’ll run out of gas before you run out of options for fun

by Trish Drinkle

High Level rider Brett Smyl.
High Level rider Brett Smyl. Photo by Chance Martens

The bustling town of High Level, Alberta, is filled with snowmobile enthusiasts. Located 753 kilometres north of Edmonton, High Level’s Watt Mountain Wanderers are one of the northernmost clubs in the Alberta Snowmobile Association. In this town of 3641 people the Wanderers boast a membership of nearly 100. They have the “we are one” mentality, for it doesn’t matter if you are a mountain rider or a trail rider, everyone respects and appreciates one another. Club members work hard to regularly groom their trails, though much of the grooming activity is based upon the snowfall—which can be sporadic. That being said, last year’s snowfall was 14 feet, much of it dry, deep powder due to the colder temperatures. 

La Crete Trail

The Wanderers successfully lobbied their local government to allow snowmobiling within the town limits, providing everyone complies with speed limits and laws. This makes staging a breeze, especially if snowmobilers are using the La Crete trail system. With staging right from town, this trailhead is very family friendly. Everyone can enjoy this trail, which travels 140 kilometres to the town of La Crete. Along the way there are many fun play areas, especially around Machesis Lake.

The La Crete trail is very scenic, meandering along parts of the Peace River and full of fun and adventure in the many cutblocks and cutlines along the way. Most people ride from High Level to La Crete, fill up their gas tanks and their bellies, then make the loop home again. Because of the ample opportunities to play, this trip usually is an all-day adventure, sometimes stretching into the night—which is even better for some. The northern lights in the High Level area are brilliant in the winter months, setting the stage for the perfect trail ride back to High Level. 

In addition to epic trail systems, High Level and La Crete both host snowmobile drag races in the months of January and March. Great attendance and much excitement make these races fun for both participants and spectators.  

The Buzz

Brett Smyl

Lives in: High Level, Alberta
Age: 24. 
Riding since: Early childhood.
First sled:  1990 Polaris XCR . Brett’s father loved to take him to the mountains, even with this little ditch-banging sled. Climbing from bowl to bowl, Brett’s father would pull him with his larger mountain track sled, ensuring his son could participate in the mountain fun.
Current Sled:  2014 Skidoo Freeride 154

Tip for Sledding in High Level

Brett loves the combination of mountain riding and fun times around home. He encourages everyone to get out and enjoy the winter around his hometown of High Level. With such a varied terrain, you’ll run out of gas before you run out of options for fun.

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