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How to sled Vermilion, Alberta

Everything you need to know to snowmobile in Vermilion, Alberta

  • A couple stand next to their snowmobiles and visit.

    Vermilion is known for local hospitality at its best.Photo courtesy of Raj Sandhu/SnowSeekers

  • A man stands up on his snowmobile.

    The freedom of being on Alberta’s prairies makes sledding in Vermilion fun and exciting.Photo courtesy of Raj Sandhu/SnowSeekers

  • Two snowmobilers stop and visit with one another on a trail.

    Sledding from Vermilion to Derwent, Alberta, is a popular day trip.Photo courtesy of Raj Sandhu/SnowSeekers

by Doc Pow

Many are hard wired to think ‘mountains’ for their ski or sled getaway, while others recognize the hospitality and the value that comes from a winter adventure in Alberta’s prairies.

Vermilion is home to the Vermilion Ridge Riders Snowmobile Club and has a Provincial Park that was invented to provide more recreation options to the province’s agriculture belt.  Vermilion includes 12 kilometres of trails maintained by the club, a warming hut and a downtown that is bustling with everything a sledder needs. Vermilion’s SnoRiders listing, provides the 411 on making the next trek.

Here’s a quick “How to” in sledding one of Alberta’s most unique communities:

• You don’t need specific access from the Club or a Vermilion trail pass, anyone is welcome to sled Vermilion via their ASA pass.

• Staging area: east end of Vermilion by 48th Ave. Most people park their trailers on Railway Ave., east of 43st St. (Vermilion is a grid system).

• There is an intown designated trail that leads out of town. You can stay at the Pomeroy Inn, for example, and legally ride out of town. For designated trails in town, just ask at the front desk.

• To get north of town, head alongside the railroad tracks going east (not on the tracks) and you will see sled tracks from there.

• Ride along the river in either direction as long as you want.

• For local insights, head into Baddock’s Power Products. They have a ramp and you can ride right out of town. As the local sled dealer, Baddock’s is Vermilion’s second home to the sledder community as outlined in this SnowSeekers coverage.

• Sledding from Vermilion to Derwent, Alberta, is a popular day trip (three-hour sled adventure, round trip). Derwent is home to the Derwent Hotel, which serves its pizza with a challenge. “If you can order the meat lovers and have more than three pieces, you’re more of a man then me I’ll tell yah!” said Warren Young, President of the Ridge Riders. “I have yet to meet someone who can eat more pizza than this, as it’s almost two inches thick.”

• For any events, check the Vermilion Ridge Riders Facebook Page. The group produces sanctioned snowmobile drag races annually.

• Vermilion has a craft distillery, several gas stations—including a Shell—and a host of restaurants such as Hubkins BBQ and Nick’s Restaurant. The Ridge Riders recommend staying at the Vermilion Super 8 and/or Pomeroy as there is ample trailer parking.

• If you are coming in on a weekend, chances are you’ll pass by locals on the trails. Young encourages you to simply say hello and go for a ride with them. Vermilion is known for local hospitality at its best.

For club President Young, it’s about the freedom of being on Alberta’s prairies that keeps it fun and exciting. “I grew up snowmobiling here in Vermilion with my dad and family,” he said. “I was in the 4H snowmobile club in high school and went right into my membership to the Ridge Riders, now 15 years strong. For me, it’s just more open here—pick a destination and go.   Which town, which direction and where you end up is filled with so many options.”

Know and Go, SnowSeekers helps you further understand the community options with this feature Sled into Vermilion story here.

Let us know what you find by using the hashtag #SkiNorthAB and #ExploreVermilion.