Family-friendly riding galore

Thanks to the Edson Sno-Seekers, many kilometres of trail can take any rider around Yellowhead County

by Kristen Mitchell

Snowmobilers stop for a break on the trail to Pepper Hill Cabin near Edson, Alberta, on the way to Silver Summit ski area.
The trail up to Pepper Hill cabin is a fun ride for any level of snowmobiler. Photo courtesy Brant Rolling

The trails maintained by the Edson Sno-Seekers are all beginner-friendly, said Brant Rolling, president of the club. However, there are always lots of opportunities to leave the groomed trails and find something more challenging along the powerlines and pipelines. Despite being a small, family-oriented club, the Sno-Seekers manage to maintain several hundred kilometres of trail in Alberta’s Yellowhead County, which tie directly into Whitecourt’s groomed trail system.

“We try to promote our trails and keep them nice and smooth so that the kids, when they're on them, aren’t going to hurt themselves,” said Rolling. “We cut all the dead fall and all the logs. We try to make the corners not real sharp. And then (we don’t create any) sidehilling on the trails. With the groomer, we try to get it as level as possible around hills.”

Heading Silver Summit way

Some of the most popular riding is to the north of Edson to the Silver Summit ski area, with plenty of hills. One of the club’s cabins is along the route and would be a good destination with a family.

“I'd stage the staging area just north of Edson, on the outskirts of town, and go up to the Pepper Hill cabin,” said Rolling. “With a family, you're looking at an hour each way. But there are so many different areas where you can go off the trail, so you could spend a good day there.”

Some other great trails

The club also maintains Tom Hill cabin, which is between the ski hill and Whitecourt. The third cabin is close to the staging area that is near the Sundance Provincial Park. The club has trails that go to the park, and one groomed path that goes through the Sundance Canyon with a bridge across Sundance Creek. The trail can be used to access ice fishing at Miller’s Lake. The trail is also commonly used by sledders west of Sundance to access the Sno-Seeker’s trail system.

To the south, sledders will find an easy trail groomed right down to the hamlet of Robb. There are several rivers along the route that, once completely frozen, provide a fun ride through fresh snow. Maintained trails end in Robb, but it is possible to carry on to the area around Cadomin. Rolling suggests first checking the conditions in the area as it is affected by chinooks travelling through the mountains. As long as there’s enough snow, however, it’s a great day or weekend destination for more experienced sledders.

For families, Rolling suggests enjoying the trail down to Robb and having lunch at the Bryan Hotel before returning to Edson. It’s a longer trip, about two hours each way for adult riders. Bring extra fuel as there is no longer a gas station in Robb.

“It's a really nice ride,” said Rolling. “(You could also) come back on the powerline or numerous pipelines to get back to Edson. If you're without a family, it's a couple hours ride, but with family it's probably three hours each way. You will want to pack some gas with you.”

Finding out more

With so much to explore, visitors might want to contact the club by emailing [email protected] before making the trip. The maintained trails are well signed, although the trail south to Robb has less signage than do the others. General maps are also available at various businesses in Edson.

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