Grooming and trail maintenance in Kananaskis country

“In February of 2020, Albertans were met with surprise when the provincial government announced it would no longer be funding trail maintenance and grooming in three areas in Kananaskis Country: Ribbon Creek, Mt. Shark, and Peter Lougheed Provincial Park.”

There is now a website dedicated to this situation. Kananaskis Trail Grooming

Here is another website which gives some ideas on how to stop the loss of Alberta’s parks: I Use Alberta Parks


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  1. Who The Hell Were These So Called Kananaskis Stake Holders? Corrupt Conservatives with lots of money?

    I would be shocked if any cross country ski shop was in favor of eliminating free cross country skiing, because they would be shooting themselves in the foot with greatly reduced sales. Conservatives charging fees for cross country skiing will reduce the amount of cross country skiers in Alberta. Reducing the amount of skiers will put some shops out of business while many ski trails will lose skier visit- (all things being equal other than the increased cost of skiing). Any Conservative idiot who thinks otherwise does not understand economics. The Conservatives are harming jobs in the Alberta cross country ski industry with their cut and slash policies.

    We the people are the stake holders in Kananaskis as the Park belongs to the people not greedy corporate profiteers. We the people should decide how our parks operate, not corrupt Conservatives.

    There should be a referendum on Park fees in Alberta as that is what real democracy looks like. We can’t let the anti-democratic Conservatives dictate how our Parks will be shaped or formed for play grounds of the predominantly rich.

    The Conservatives never had an election mandate to cut cross country skiing in our Parks. It was not an election promise and to cut out or charge for skiing without a mandate is politically corrupt. Conservatives just want to charge park user fees so they can subsidize another stupid raw oil pipeline to the USA so they can sell below market value oil to the Trumped up Americans to generate wealth in the USA and for there supporters who hold shares in American refineries. The Alberta Conservatives are highly American influenced and are destroying the Alberta Advantage with their piss poor economic policies that reduce the wealth of Alberta for the benefit of the American controlled oil industry. It is time to crush this government and the American influence in Alberta politics.

    If some moron Conservative wants to charge me for using cross country ski trails which I utilize to access the back country because they are in my way, they will have to pry the money out of my dead hands first.

    If we lived in a real democracy, Albertans as a whole would determine if Albertans will pay fees in parks, not corrupt anti-democratic American influenced Conservatives.

    Support the Legalization of Real Democracy where you are given a right to vote on government bills and introduce citizen-initiated legislation. This is how our skiing will be maintained at no cost for all no matter your income level. Real legalized democracy is what the real Alberta Advantage really looks like. The Advantage of People in control, not a corrupt government.

    Make way for real democracy and continued free skiing.

  2. I believe user pay is not the way to go for the cross country ski trails in Alberta.

    The people who advocate for user pay likely are amongst the privileged. It is important to make sure that recreation opportunities such as these are available to all Albertans, not just the elite who can afford to pay.

    Instead of user-pay, I advocate that the parks system claws back the privatization of Kananaskis country campgrounds, and then use that Revenue stream to pay for winter operations and enhance summer operations.

    I have been told that other parks in Alberta have taken back the privatization of their campgrounds and turn use that revenue stream to pay for their winter operations.

    The parks decision to stop grooming in Kananaskis country on the Nordic ski trails was hasty, ill-advised, and not thought out, very likely a similar case to the last time this decision was made when the manager actually lost their job over it.

    This decision to stop grooming of the Nordic ski trails in Kananaskis country has happened before, and that decision was reversed eventually after a lot of public outcry.

    Word on the ground is that parks and the Alberta Government and The Minister’s office don’t want to hear any more about this, that means the public pressure has been annoying which is good.

    It is very important to keep up the public pressure especially to the MLA to Bounce Town more and to The Minister’s office as well as to other Ministries wish this effects such as tourism.

    Research needs to be done through foil tape and other means, of the actual numbers of visitors in the winter to Canada asked his country for Nordic skiing.

    It is my understanding there actually are not any demographic statistics of the above-mentioned aspects which if my information is accurate, that is a grave error of judgment on behalf of parks and the tourism Ministry of Alberta.

    • Apologies for the typos, I was using voice to text and didn’t notice the big errors.

      The MLA for Banff Canmore needs to receive a lot of letters.

      So does the minister of tourism’s office as well as the minister of parks and the minister for seniors… as well as the premier, and always always CC the official opposition in any letters you send to ministers offices.

      FOIP visitor statistics in the winter time in Kananaskis country demographics, activities, money spent, Etc.

      • Just a specific response to “The MLA for Banff Canmore needs to receive a lot of letters.” …. that person is Miranda Rosin, and she is already “on board” with this issue (see Nordiq Alberta web site for details). The MLAs in Calgary are significantly more important at this point — the Calgary caucus is a powerful group in Edmonton.

        • Hey Ken

          Thanks for that.

          I am under the impression there are at least two groups working separately on this issue, and one group that I know of is working on user pay, where they do all the legwork and pricing and such for having the set up they are looking at, and lay it all out for the government to either run with or not run with.

          I am concerned nobody is pursuing the position that grooming can be kept in the hands of the professionals aka Alberta Parks and the Parks staff, by clawing back the privatized campgrounds within Kananaskis Country, and do the same in other areas of Alberta.


  3. Hi bob, can you do a little story about those hayfield trails, where they are, how to get there, any trail map links, who grooms them etc. For if and when other facilities are unavailable next season. Always nice to check out a new location regardless.

  4. Interesting and positive development, something will surely result. The fee based concept has made me curios about a scenario such as this: Let’s imagine that some backcountry skiers are heading into Mt Assiniboine or Bryant Creek shelter, and starting from the Mt Shark trailhead on AT skis. Would they be subject to the fee system? Conversely, would the fee system perhaps be a deterrent to people walking in the tracks and leaving post-holes? How would it affect the fat biker’s? (Personally, as an AT skier, I’d be more than happy to pay a fee even it it was just to facilitate the first part of my backcountry trip, and even happier to pay double if it discouraged the latter two groups).

    • The user fee system that makes the most sense is one based on a per vehicle fee, rather than a per person/per use fee. A vehicle fee, with a hang tag, a window sticker or a licence plate sticker is easy to administer using existing payment processes. And it is easy to monitor. A broad based fee system would also allow for a low cost per pass, since it would apply to all users.

      The funding problem for Parks and Public Lands isn’t just about ski grooming. It also impacts trail maintenance, new trail construction (when was the last time you saw any of that?), trailhead facilities, signage, etc.

      The sooner that Parks can get off of the funding roller coaster, where it is the last in line for ever decreasing government revenues, the better.


        The fee per vehicle system is BS and unfair. A car with 10 people in it will be charged the same rate as a car with one person? What idiot Conservative came up with this moronic unfair idea?

        With fees, the government will need enforcement. That means they will have to hire law enforcement officials to ticket vehicles if they do not pay.

        Some moron will probable want electronic fee boxes at parking lots too. Well I don’t use credit cards because they cause corrupt corporate induced inflation and are against my religion. I only use the Government of Canada bank notes as they are not inflationary unlike credit cards.

        I will just park outside of the parking lot to avoid fees if I have to and I will encourage others to do the same. The rich who want ski fees to keep the poor skiers away can pay for the parking spots and they can drive around my car on the ski access roads.

        Be Democratic and demand a referendum on this ski fee issue. Don’t let the corrupt anti-democratic Conservatives ram fees upon us without a referendum first.

        Skiing Democracy First. Anything else is just corruption shoved down our throats by the corrupt Conservatives.

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