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.
Fort McMurray offers a great snowmobile community, some exciting sledding areas and a pleasantly long season. With 275 kilometres of groomed trail, not to mentioned unlimited pipelines and cutlines, riders won’t find it too easy to get bored. A strong local snowmobile club, the McMurray Sno-Drifters Association, won the Alberta Snowmobile Association award for Outstanding Snowmobile Club in the northeast region in 2014. As a note of caution, visitors to the area must be aware that oil development takes place through the winter, and a good GPS is a necessity, as it would be easy to get lost in the backcountry.
Trail map of Fort McMurray AB snowmobiling areas
For information on snowmobile trails in Fort McMurray and how to find staging areas, download the club trail maps. The maps are also available for real-time interaction via a smartphone app, which tracks a riders location on the maps while they're out on the trails. The app can also be found on the club's trail maps page. For a more general map of sledding trails in the area, download the Snoriders trail map.
Main snowmobiling trails in Fort McMurray AB
Stoney Mountain, an area to the south of the city, is among the most popular riding areas around Fort McMurray. The area gains elevation, meaning longer seasons as well as some great views. Watch for wildlife and challenging, alpine-like riding.
Also popular, Thickwood Tower is to the northwest of the city. The area has some climbs and, although advanced riders will find lots to do, most of the area offers fairly simple terrain. At 69 kilometres, the full length of the Thickwood Tower Trail makes for a nice afternoon ride.
Families will want to be sure to head to Anzac Trail. There are several nice rest areas, washrooms and firepits. The terrain is level and riders can stop in the town of Anzac for a bite to eat (see “Sledder hangouts” below).
At 35 kilometres long, the Connector Trail is a simple way to travel between the Anzac Trail and Stoney Mountain. Sections, especially nearing Stoney Mountain, are best left to sledders that can manage steep powder and tree riding.
Draper Rail Bed Trail
The Draper Rail Bed Trail was heavily damaged in the summer of 2013 due to heavy rains, but is expected to open again during the 2014/2015 season. Visit the McMurray Sno-Drifters Association website for more up-to-date information.
Fort McMurray AB snowmobile club
Fort McMurray AB tourism info
Local snowmobiling events in Fort McMurray AB
An annual poker rally is generally held near the beginning of March.
Sledder hangouts in Fort McMurray AB
These businesses are popular places for snowmobilers to stop and fuel up or grab a bite to eat.
The Esso station in Anzac
The McMurray Sno-Drifters welcome visitors
by Kirsten Armleder
The recipient of three 2013 Rider’s Choice Awards, including one for Favourite Groomed Trail Riding in Alberta, Fort McMurray, Alberta, is a place that is certainly worthy of being included on your list of must-ride destinations. But it has the McMurray Sno-Drifters Association to thank for its award-winning trail system.
A snowmobile club that was formed in the early 1980s, the McMurray Sno-Drifters groom about 300 kilometres of trails, but that’s not all that the club does. Its members maintain all the signs, fire pits and outhouses that are along the trail system as well. They are also active in promoting the sport of snowmobiling within their community, always welcoming newcomers to join their ranks. In fact, the club recently hosted Shaw TV video journalist Jordan Hertner.
Safety is an issue that the McMurray Sno-Drifters take seriously. The club updates its website regularly, notifying sledders of an changes in riding conditions, and its members receive a monthly newsletter and information about available educational courses.
Snowmobile-friendly businesses near Fort McMurray
Trial maps, top snowmobile trails, club contacts and other useful information you can use before planning a snowmobile trip to Fort McMurray AB
Fort McMurray’s Bean family has won the 2018 CCSO National Excellence Award for Snowmobile Family for their tireless dedication through fire and furyby Kyle Born