When the floods of 2013 wiped out “old Pocaterra,” it took away one of Peter Lougheed Provincial Park’s best beginner trails. We’ve frequently mentioned that Wheeler and Lodgepole are possibilities for novice skiers, but the best one of all is Spruce road near William Watson Lodge.
Spruce road is a 1K loop with no hills. When there is more snow it will be trackset, but for now, it is groomed and snow coverage yesterday was very good. I didn’t encounter any hazards.
I started at the Elkwood Amphitheatre parking lot. When starting out at Elkwood, after 100 metres of skiing, you need to remove your skis and cross the road.
The Alberta Parks PLPP trail report specifies that Spruce road will not be accessible from the William Watson Lodge parking lot this winter…
“There will be no access to Spruce Rd from William Watson Lodge this winter season due to construction at the Lodge (no parking at the Lodge).”
Once you’ve mastered Spruce road, if you’re feeling adventurous, you could give Lodgepole a try. It’s a pleasant trail that meanders through the forest with some small hills for about 3K. If you make it to the second intersection with Sinclair, you’ve gone far enough because a little further on is suicide hill, which should be self-explanatory.