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Nelson Nordic Snowshoe Trails

A scenic set of snowshoe trails which loop through old growth forests and wetlands. These trails are great for beginners and families, providing an accessible winter outing close to town.

Trailhead: Highway 6
Distance, round trip: 1.6km – 6.45km
Elevation: +80m
Season: mid-December to late March
Difficulty: Easy

Trailhead & Driving Directions

Drive 13km south from Nelson on Highway 6 until you reach the Clearwater Road turn-off on the left for the Nelson Nordic Ski Club. This is a separate trailhead from the Nelson Nordic’s main entrance across from Whitewater Ski Road.

If you’re not a member of the club, you’ll need to buy a snowshoe day pass at the kiosk ($5/person in 2020).

Following the snowshoe signs

Start off by following the Busk-Euphrates trail across the bridge over Apex Creek and then watching for the yellow snowshoe signs or the pink flagging tape. The snowshoe trails are divided up into a series of loops, so you can choose how far you go. The GPS map above shows the Big Cedar and Wetland Loops.

Stay on the marked snowshoe trails. There are a couple of marked crossings where the snowshoe trail intersects with the ski trail, but otherwise you should not be on the ski tracks. Snowshoes can ruin ski grooming.

Big Cedar Loop

The first set of trails is the Big Cedar Loop with 1.65km round-trip. This route winds along Apex Creek and brings you through beneath some massive old growth cedars.

After crossing the ski trail, you’ll come to junctions at either 0.8km or 0.6km (depending on direction of travel) to connect you over to the Wetland Loop.

Snowshoeing through a wintery clearing in the forest

Wetland Loop

The Wetland Loops adds another 2.4km, but is a worthwhile extension. This route leads you around a series of ponds surrounding Apex Creek.

Reflections in Apex Creek

As you follow the Wetland Loop, take care to stay on the marked route. There are a few places where the snow may be soft with unfrozen water beneath.

Snowshoeing near one of the larger ponds
View across the pond

As you near the far end of the loop, you’ll reach a 3-way junction in the woods. The trail heading south-west is the extension out to the Euphrates Hut.

Euphrates Extension

If you’re feeling energetic, you can add another 2.6km to hike out-and-back to the Euphrates Hut. This is a scenic A-frame shelter with a woodstove and outhouse. You’ll likely find plenty of skiers at the hut as it’s a popular spot to warm up!

Euphrates Hut

Nelson Nordic Ski Club

The Nelson Nordic Ski Club maintains this snowshoe route. If you’ve enjoyed the trip, consider becoming a member, making a donation, or volunteering with them.

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4 years ago
Trail Rating :

This is a great way to spend a couple hours on the weekend! The trail is well marked and well defined if you can’t see the flagging tape. Thanks Abby, and the Nelson Nordic Ski Club, this is going to become a reliable trail for that quick nature recharge.

Trip Date
Trail Conditions
Access Road Conditions
Access Road Vehicle
2WD Low Clearance
Bex Dawkes
Bex Dawkes
3 years ago
Trail Rating :

Really lovely snowshoe route!
Completed the full 6.5km loop (including the extension to the Euphrates cabin) in 3 hours on a Sunday afternoon. Very early season conditions made for a slightly adventurous scramble around a boggy Apex creek, but the trail is very well marked and hard to lose. The Euphrates extension is definitely a little bit harder, with some elevation gain and a slightly narrower path through the forest, but it’s definitely worth it. We saw a few birds, some coyote footprints and no other humans!

Trip Date
Trail Conditions
Well marked
Access Road Conditions
Off the highway
Access Road Vehicle
2WD Low Clearance