Winter sets in and it can be easy to settle into a cozy hibernation state. While the warmth of the indoors sure is inviting, don’t let that stop you from having some outdoor fun too. Wintertime outdoor recreation can be relaxing, reinvigorating and recharging. Here’s 3 ways you can experience outdoor fun this winter in the Tri-Region:
Relax & Exercise: Cross-Country Ski in Stony Plain
Slowly inhale and exhale. As the cool, crisp air hits your lungs and you watch your breath float through the air, the relaxation process will start. For those that have never tried on a pair of cross-country skis, the experience is both relaxing and thrilling. A sport that’s easy enough for amateurs to pick up yet one that creates life-long enthusiasts, cross-country skiing may just be the winter activity you’re looking for.
While Edmonton has a myriad of cross-country skiing options within city limits – often times it’s nice to escape the city, especially if it’s relaxation you’re chasing. A short 30-minute drive west from the heart of Edmonton, Stony Plain Golf Course offers the perfect spot to cross-country ski. The groomed double track trail system takes you through the splendor of the golf course grounds. On-site weekday (9:00am to 3:30pm) parking is available through the main entrance gate.
Once you’ve got your exercise, head over to Dara’s Luxury Decor & Coffee Bar where you can warm up with a hot drink and delicious handspun goods. This trendy place in downtown Stony Plain is an excellent place to continue your relaxation. Sit and sip your expertly-blended drink while biting into your freshly baked square or muffin. One of their signature lattes (particularly their Campfire Latte or Cinnamon Bun Latte) pairs nicely with a day of outdoor recreation.
Pass Along A Canadian Tradition: Skate & Play Hockey in Spruce Grove
As a Canadian, you can likely close your eyes and imagine the sounds of an outdoor rink – the sharp scrapes of skate edges cutting into the ice, the tapping of sticks, the sounds of kids laughing and cheering in excitement. For many Canadians, winters growing up meant skating and playing shinny outside. Reminiscence your days of fresh air glory by lacing up your skates and introducing your family to the iconically Canadian experience. Spruce Grove boasts 2 skating ovals, 3 leisure skating surfaces and 3 outdoor skating rinks (with hockey boards). The city’s ice surfaces are free to use and are unscheduled.
Enjoy a date night at the Central Park Skating Oval. Skate around the oval and admire all the beautiful lights. Then, stop in at the Lions Log Cabin Concession (located onsite) for a hot chocolate afterwards.
Take the kids to Brookwood Rink, Aspenglen Rink or Lakewood Rink for a game of pickup hockey. Bring your sticks, helmets and a couple pucks and show off your hockey skills.
Heatherglen Park Leisure Ice, Jubliee Park Leisure Ice, Westview Park Leisure Ice, and the Myshak Group Outdoor Community Rink (located at the Tri-Leisure Centre) are all excellent options for those looking to enjoy a leisurely skate.
For those in search of indoor skating in Spruce Grove, Grant Fuhr Arena located at the Agrena offers weekday public skating seasonally from October to March. Public skating takes place from 12:00pm to 1:00pm, Monday to Friday. As well, the Tri-Leisure Centre has a number of open shinny and skating drop-in opportunities throughout the winter for a variety of ages and audiences.
Wondering where to get your skates sharpened in Spruce Grove? Snipers Skate Sharpening and Profiling located in the Agrena, and the Parkland Skate Shop located in the Tri-Leisure Centre are both superb options.
Try Something New: Fat Bike in Parkland County
When’s the last time you tried a new activity? Experience the thrill of trying something for the first time this winter. Parkland County’s vast array of trails and natural areas makes the region ideal for a variety winter outdoor recreation activities including snowshoeing, ice-fishing, and geocaching. But for those looking to try something perhaps a bit different, we recommend fat biking. The winter sport that has gained in popularity over the past few years, fat biking is mountain biking with big tires.
Larger tires means more traction in snowy conditions. Parkland County’s trail systems are the ideal place to go fat biking near Edmonton. Some of our favourite fat biking spots include Chickakoo Lake Recreation Area, Devonian Trail, and Tucker’s Point.
As the breeze rushes past you and you get the feeling that you are unstoppable, that no amount of snow will get in your way of a good bike ride – the thrill of fat biking will be truly setting in. It’s always fun to try something new, especially when it gets your heart racing and your blood flowing in the middle of winter.
Don’t let winter keep you shacked up this year. The Tri-Region is teeming with exciting ways to get out and enjoy the fresh wintry air. See you soon!