sledders in the distance on a snowy plain
Cold Lake is an ideal place to ride with friends. Photo courtesy Chris Rourke

Cold Lake is an excellent place to begin a sledding excursion, and it serves as a connecting point that links the Trans Canada Trail to the Iron Horse Trail. The community is a gateway to popular routes, and you can ride through all types of terrain - from sprawling meadows to attractive woodland areas. 

Local snowmobile trail map 

Top snowmobile trails near Cold Lake, Alberta

Cold Lake Snowmobile Club trail network

The Cold Lake Snowmobile Club manages a network of trails northeast of town. The landscape consists of frozen lakeland, forested terrain and river valleys, and you are likely to see wildlife while you're exploring. The terrain tends to be fairly flat, so the riding is easy and relaxing, yet varied enough to be interesting. The club maintains a warm-up cabin near Crane Lake, so you can stop and take a break mid-ride if you desire.  

Iron Horse Trail

Cold Lake is positioned at the end of the northeast branch of the Iron Horse Trail. This famous route will take you through Alberta's Lakeland region to a series of sled-friendly communities, and allow you to ride for hundreds of kilometres on vast, expansive terrain. There is a staging area for the Iron Horse Trail just west of the Fas Gas station in Cold Lake.

To learn more, check out this article about snowmobiling on the Iron Horse Trail.

Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association trail network

Just a short distance from town, you can cross the provincial border to the Saskatchewan side of the lake, and delve into the Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association trail network. The Meadow Lake and Waterhen clubs have a co-operative relationship with the Cold Lake Snowmobile Club. 

To learn more, check out this article about snowmobiling networks near Cold Lake.

Where to buy a snowmobile trail pass in Cold Lake, Alberta

Sledders in Cold Lake must have their machines registered and insured, and they also need to purchase an Alberta Snowmobile Association (ASA) Trail Pass. You can get one online, from the ASA website, or in person at Lakeside Marine and Offroad (during business hours).

Cold Lake, Alberta snowmobiling conditions

Check the Cold Lake Snowmobile Club's Facebook page for updated information on trails and conditions in the area.

Cold Lake snowmobile events  

SSRA Snowmobile drag races

Snowmobile drag races are held in partnership with the Cold Lake Ag Society and the Straightline Snowmobile Racing Association (SSRA). They are held on the Family Day long weekend, and coincide with the City of Cold Lake winter festival, Snow Fever. 

Family fun rides

The club hosts family fun rides on a regular basis. The events are suitable for riders of all ages, and take place twice a year depending on conditions. Take a relaxing ride to the cabin, and afterward enjoy a bonfire and social gathering at the staging area.

Cold Lake Snowmobile Club AGM

This yearly meeting takes place in November, and new members are encouraged to attend. Learn about the latest trail expansions, upcoming events, Iron Horse Trail Society activities and other local snowmobile-related topics.

Sleds & Threads

This dinner, dance and silent auction is another annual favourite event in Cold Lake. It is held in November, and has been running for more than 20 years. You can see displays from snowmobile dealers, purchase a trail pass and eat a delicious meal all in the same evening. 

For more information on these or other events, check the club's Facebook page for updates.

Local snowmobile club in Cold Lake, Alberta

The Cold Lake Snowmobile Club has an up-to-date Facebook page with information on their current activities. They not only take care of their own trail network, but also work together with neighbouring clubs to improve the sledding opportunities for everyone.

Top winter activities in Cold Lake, Alberta

Cold Lake, Alberta tourism info

Driving distances to Cold Lake, Alberta

From Calgary, Alberta: 6 hours

From Edmonton, Alberta: 3.5 hours

From Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: 4.5 hours

What local snowmobilers say about Cold Lake, Alberta

“In town, you can ride from your doorstep to the nearest trailhead—that is a great thing about here.”

- Dean Dube, Cold Lake Snowmobile Club

"In the springtime you can tell when the winter's turning and it's getting brighter. Everything seems a little more lively. The moose were across the trail in front of us, within a couple hundred feet. It's good to see wildlife. You usually come across something while you're out here."

- Chris Rourke, Cold Lake Snowmobile Club


Provincial rules and regulations

The laws governing snowmobile use differ by province and can be confusing. Here, we make it easier to understand what local and out of province snowmobilers will need in terms of insurance, registration and licensing to ride B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Snowmobile-friendly businesses near Cold Lake

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