5 favourite Whitecourt sledding photos

The author’s favourite trail photos from a February 2015 snowmobile trip to Whitecourt, Alberta

by Kirsten Armleder

A snowmobiler on a Polaris RMK riding up Whitecourt trails.
I snapped this photo of a rider and his buddies passing by on the Summit Trail south of Whitecourt. Kirsten Armleder photo

For years, snowmobilers in Whitecourt have been telling me their town is the snowmobile capital of Alberta, and only now after seeing it with my own eyes, do I believe them.

Before I tell you why, let’s get something straight. At first glance, Whitecourt does seem like your typical small resource town, but a closer look will reveal that tourism and more importantly, snowmobiling play a big role as well.

Outdoor recreation is huge here, and that’s because the area, which is known as Woodlands County, is home to acres upon acres of rolling hills and mixed forest, conquered only by the Athabasca and McLeod rivers. Hunting, fishing and ATVing are popular summer pastimes, but when winter hits, Whitecourt is sled-topia.

There are some 465 kilometres of groomed snowmobile trails in the Whitecourt area, and all are accessible from town, which means sledding to the trails from your hotel is generally accepted. And no matter where you go, you are bound to arrive at a warm-up shelter where members of the Whitecourt Trailblazers Snowmobile Club do a wonderful job of keeping it clean and stocked with firewood.

Last season, I had the great pleasure of attending the 2015 World Snowmobile Invasion in Whitecourt. In addition to meeting some amazing people, I got to spend a few days on the trails, and that’s when I realized Whitecourt is indeed the snowmobile capital of Alberta.

Here are some of my favourite photos from the trip: 

Tundra freeriding in Whitecourt.
Seeing fresh snow on the sidelines, my riding partner and I couldn’t help ourselves from getting off-trail to tear up some freshies in Whitecourt. Who says a two-up Tundra isn’t flickable? Kirsten Armleder photo
The Athabasca river from a lookout in Whitecourt
On the trails north of Whitecourt, we stopped at the Athabasca Lookout to enjoy this view of the town. Kirsten Armleder photo
Snowmobiling through aspen groves in Whitecourt.
Whitecourt snowmobiler Steve Quaife zips by us while we were stopped along the Golden Triangle Trail heading to the Carson Warm-Up Shelter north of town. Kirsten Armleder photo
Snowmobilers going through some twisties on the trails in Whitecourt.
With the elevation changes and twisties, the Groat Creek Canyon and the Goodwin Lake trails south of Whitecourt were probably my favourite to ride. Kirsten Armleder photo

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