The ever-enticing Lakeland trails

Alberta's Lakeland communities make sledders feel at home, with their exceptional snowmobiling trails

by Danielle Cameron

Smoky Lake offers some of Alberta's top snowmobiling terrain.
Smoky Lake offers some of Alberta's top snowmobiling terrain. James Yaworski photo/submitted by Katrina Yaworski

Alberta's Lakeland has several places to ride, with a number of snowmobile-friendly communities along the way.

The most well-known sledding zone in the area is the Iron Horse Trail. Extending for 300 kilometres, this multi-use route passes through more than 18 towns, and officially begins in Smoky Lake. You can go on a day trip from one town to another, or set off on a multi-day excursion and tour a few locations. These are just a few of the most popular snowmobiling communities you can find along the Iron Horse Trail:

Smoky Lake

What better place to begin your journey, than Smoky Lake? This is the gateway to the Iron Horse Trail and it has networks linking to four of the area's most appealing lakes. You will find 65 kilometres of groomed terrain, and you can head north to Lac la Biche and Boyle, stopping at one of the numerous warm-up shelters to chat about your latest wildlife sighting, or rest as needed. 

One appealing day trip idea is to start in Smoky Lake and head directly to St. Paul. That ride would amount to approximately 90 kilometres, and after resting in St. Paul, you could add another day trip by heading down to Heinsburg and back (this is about 85 kilometres).

St. Paul

Speaking of St. Paul, make sure you stop there at some point during your snowmobile trip. This town welcomes sledders warmly, and has several amenities to make your holiday more pleasant.

St. Paul has 50 kilometres of groomed trails to play on, as well. You can ride from town all the way up to the North Saskatchewan River. There is an appealing mix of rolling hills, forest trails and open spaces, making it perfect for almost anyone's preferences. You can branch off from the Iron Horse Trail here, and check out the Bellevue Ferry Trail and Two Hills Trail to find additional well-marked family riding territory.

Cold Lake

At Cold Lake, the Iron Horse Trail acts as an extension of the Trans-Canadian Snowmobile Trail. You can venture off the main route to explore, or head along the groomed trails to your heart's content. The riding is easy and perfect for families looking to see beautiful outdoor scenery and explore vast open terrain. If you want to stop and warm up, Crane Lake Cabin is a fantastic gathering spot located just off the Iron Horse Trail.


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