Westlock, AB trail map

Three main loops present a range of snowmobiling options around Westlock

by Patricia Hoskin

Trail map copyright Koocanusa Publications Inc.

The Pembina Drift Busters Snowmobile Club knows how good they have it on Westlock’s Long Island Lake trails. Situated approximately 85 kilometres north of Edmonton, these trails offer a unique, exciting and impressive ride for all sledders, from novices to experts. The area boasts over 150 kilometres of mostly groomed trails on Crown land; this means untouched forest, encounters with wildlife and the sense of freedom that comes with leaving the daily routine behind for a few hours. 

Whether the day greets snowmobilers with the clear, deep blue of an Alberta winter sky or with huge flakes falling silently, sledders are guaranteed to find white powder, lovely pine trees and crisp, still air. Whatever the weather, with an average winter temperature of -15 in this area, snowmobilers are advised to dress warmly.

Get into the loop

The Long Island Lake trail system was developed along North Island Lake. The system consists of three trails, referred to as the Main, West and North loops. Each trail presents unique features and differing distances, but all provide the opportunity to enjoy this spectacular snowmobiling setting.

Main Loop

The staging area is located at the beginning of the Main Loop and can be accessed by travelling north of Westlock on Highway 44 towards the Dapp Corner Store. From the store, travel north for 13 kilometres on Highway 801, which takes you to the staging area.

The Main Loop is 40 kilometres of groomed trail; it crosses the sand pits and offers outstanding views of gently rolling hills and prairie. Farther along past Bolloque Lake, snowmobilers can enjoy warming up by a firepit. There are four firepits along Westlock’s Long Island trail system; another one lies farther along this loop.

West Loop

Wide open spaces and vast scenery are what make the West Loop unique. This groomed trail is accessed directly across the Highway 801 staging area. It consists of about 30 kilometres of scenic land and takes sledders around Bear Lake and to the Ducks Unlimited Dam. The West Loop is the shortest trail in the Westlock system, and because it is relatively flat, is suitable for newer snowmobilers. 

North Loop

The North Loop is the Westlock trail system’s longest trail. It consists of about 80 kilometres of hilly terrain and crosses Highway 663. It is not always groomed but allows sledders to hook up with the Trans-Canadian Snowmobile Trail along its northernmost edge. On the east side of the loop is a firepit. The North Loop travels along two lakes—Francis Lake and Steele Lake, which is located in Cross Lake Provincial Park. The Long Island Trail System’s second cabin is located in the northwest corner of this loop.

The Pembina Drift Busters is an active and dynamic snowmobiling association. Members take great pride in their fantastic trail system and look forward to showing off their little bit of heaven when they host the Alberta Snowmobile Association’s (ASA) annual jamboree in February 2012. For more information on the ASA Jamboree, contact Denise England, the secretary treasurer for the Pembina Drift Busters, at 780-349-5287 or visit the ASA website

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