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Cranbrook’s Top 5 Favourite Winter Activities

Written by Michele Leyenaar
Edited by Joanne Elves

CRANBROOK – The Cranbrook area is very well known for its outdoor environment and the countless ways the outdoors can be enjoyed – from hiking and biking to swimming, camping and bird watching. But the activities don’t stop once the cooler days and snow starts.
Below are the top faves for winter activities of locals and visitors alike.

Snowshoeing – Photo: Janice Strong

Snowshoeing – There are numerous places to snowshoe and not just for those getting their exercise while on their way to work! Snowshoeing is extremely popular in Cranbrook while walking dogs or just leisurely.  You will often find snowshoes strapped to boots as people stroll (waddle?) along streets or around more of the mountainous areas like the Cranbrook Community Forest, Wycliffe Butte, several golf courses, North Star Rails to Trails and South Star Recreation Trails.

Cross-country skiing – Photo: Janice Strong

Cross-Country Skiing – similar to snowshoeing, cross-country skiing is just as popular and can be found in all the same areas as well as the Kimberley Nature Park and around several local lakes: Elizabeth Lake, Moyie Lake and JimSmith Lake.

Tobogganing – Photo: Janice Strong

Tobogganing – so fun for the kids and the kids at heart! Popular tobogganing spots include Bootleg Gap Golf course, Idlewild Park, JimSmith Lake and several hills around town that can be seen from driving around the city’s perimeter.

Skating – Photo: Janice Strong

Outdoor skating – if you have friends in Cranbrook chances are they know someone who has made an outdoor skating rink in their own backyard. Otherwise, outdoor skating can be experienced at Idlewild Park, JimSmith Lake, Baker Park (located at 1st St. and 14th Ave) as well as any surrounding lake that freezes over and is thick enough (Mineral Lake, Horseshoe Lake, Peckhams Lake, Moyie Lake Provincial Park). If you head for the lakes, bring a shovel to clear the ice and know the rules about ice thicknesses before venturing out. Click here for ice safety tips.

Fat Bike – Photo: courtesy of Favorit Cycles Facebook Page

Fat-tire biking – although this sport isn’t quite as popular, I wanted to include it here because the people who are into it are REALLY into it…plus, there are several places to try it if it’s something you’d like to get into. Fat biking can essentially be done anywhere you would normally ride your summer bicycle, the only real difference is the size of the tire, hence, fat-tire biking. Popular spots include Kimberley Nature Park and the Cranbrook Community Forest.

Check out Favorit Cycles, Gerick Sports, High Country Sports, The Choice Skate and Board Shop and Funhogz Gear Exchange for all winter gear and equipment.

Several other favourite Winter activities include ice fishing, hiking, wildlife watching and skiing & snowboarding. Click on the links for blogs and websites that are specific to those activities.