Is it cold where you are? Maybe there’s even snow on the ground. That doesn’t mean the only way to enjoy the great outdoors is atop a pair of skis or a snowboard. Canada and the United States are both home to some of the world’s most spectacular hiking trails, perfect for taking in snowcapped mountain vistas and crisp evergreens and breathing in fresh, clean air – all while wearing a pair of hiking boots or snowshoes. Here are a few of our favorite, fabulous winter hiking trails in North America.
- Banff National Park, Alberta: There’s no need to be an expert mountaineer to enjoy the trails in this Western Canada forest. Strap on your cross-country skis, snowshoes, or even hop on your trail friendly fat bike and explore dozens of kilometers of natural beauty.
- Montmorency Falls, Quebec: Just a few minutes from Quebec City is Montmorency Falls, one of North America’s most magnificent waterfalls. Snowshoe along the hiking trails in the area, or walk to various points to take in the falls surging over ice and snow.
- Mount Seymour Provincial Park, British Columbia: Short, moderate snowshoe hikes up Dog Mountain give nature lovers (and their dogs, who are welcome!) extraordinary views of Vancouver’s skyline, as well as beautiful, snow-covered vistas of the wilderness below.
- Mashomack Preserve, Shelter Island, New York: Just 100 miles from Manhattan, experience 12 miles of untouched coastline and acres of creeks, woodlands and fields. In order to protect the native wildlife (osprey, foxes, and harbor seals, to name a few) and plant life, human visitors are only allowed to quietly hike the area. Jogging, bicycling, and pets are prohibited.
- Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado: One of the most picturesque places in the United States, throughout all four seasons, is Estes Park. In the wintertime, the park is the starting point for several peaceful trails at the base of the Rocky Mountains. Hikers will encounter frozen waterfalls, awe-inspiring views of the Continental Divide, and wildlife such as deer, elk and moose.
Regardless of the mountain trails you choose, remember these important basics for winter hikes. Wear layers so that you can take off the outer layer or remove one of the inner layers to manage the varying temperatures on the mountains and thru the forests. Keep your feet warm and dry with proper socks and insulated, weatherproof shoes or boots. Finally, stay hydrated (the cold will try to fool you into thinking you’re not thirsty) and pack easy, high-energy, nutritious snacks, like trail mixes, nuts, fresh fruits and power/energy bars.
Wherever your travels take you, remember to stay connected to the Just Energy blog for more eco-friendly travel tips, information and ideas. And don’t forget to like Just Energy on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, where we’re always talking about living the green life!