Question about setting up ski trails in a Calgary park

Dylan Jones is looking for advice…

“I live in Woodbine in Calgary, and I’ve offered to help my community association potentially set up a ski trail/circuit in some park space that’s being underutilized. But I’ve got no idea what I’m doing lol!

I wanted to see if you could maybe help me out. Essentially I need to figure out what it takes to establish and maintain a ski trail: what equipment is needed? How much might it cost us? How much time/maintenance is required? etc.

Any tips you could help me out with would be really appreciated. I just recently got my family into the sport and am pretty new to it myself, and I’d love to help add some simple local access for my community.

p.s. really appreciate all the insights and help you offer on your site!”

Thanks a bunch,
Dylan Jones


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  1. Hi Dylan
    It is very noble of you to try and take this on, maintaining a xcountry ski trail is very rewarding but can also be a lot of work. Calgary is not known for consistent or a lot of snow plus it is prone to chinooks . Shag and Confed are two areas that can give you lots of info on the trials and tribulations of keeping a ski trail going in the city.

    As far as what you need the basics would be a decent skidoo with a minimum 503 cc low geared , forward and reverse. Some kind of roller at least 60” , a manual style track setter like an old Bachler or a newer YTS Ginzu or Todd Tech. In a park you will need volunteer snow shovelers and snow fence to catch the blown snow. A few well placed signs and you are more or less good to go.

    Feel free to contact me directly if you want some specifics and costs for equipment. I just retired after 40 years of ski grooming and like you I am setting up some local trails in my soon to be new home.

  2. Hey Dylan, have you tried tried contacting the folks at Foothills Nordic Ski Club? They take care of Confederation Golf Course and Fort Calgary. I’m sure they would have lots of advice for you.

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