Most skiers come to the Koots for the powder, but we also have some excellent cross-country trails. XC skiing is my main winter activity, because it is awesome exercise, relatively affordable, and involves the great outdoors. So where can you go to cross-country ski around Nelson? Read on…
Ski Clubs & Nordic Centres
These official spots offer groomed, track-set trails with warming huts.
Nelson Nordic Ski Club
- Trails: 25km
- Elevation: 840m
- Website: Nelson Nordic Ski Club
Only 10 minutes from Nelson with excellent grooming, this is our main XC destination! There is a nice mix of trails, including a 1.3km illuminated night loop.
Whitewater Multi-Use Trails
- Trails: 5km
- Elevation: 1640m
- Website: Nordic Center
The cross-country trails at Whitewater have been recently reduced to a single multi-use loop with snowshoers and the world’s happiest dogs. The loop can be a little more challenging, but has great views of Ymir Peak. Take in the Whitewater vibe and enjoy all the resort has to offer – including the pub!
Beaver Valley Ski Club
- Trails: 14km
- Elevation: 1080m
- Website: Beaver Valley Ski Club
Running through Champion Lakes Provincial Park, Beaver Valley offers small but scenic trails. A great family spot – the beginner’s trail circles one of the small lakes.
Castlegar Nordic Ski Club
- Trails: 45km
- Elevation: 1320m
- Website: Castlegar Nordic
Also sometimes referred to as ‘Paulson Summit’ or ‘Nancy Greene’, this is the largest XC trail network in the region. Castlegar Nordic hosts a mix of trails from beginner to advanced to backcountry, and opens up to picturesque views of the Monashee Mountains.
Black Jack Ski Club
- Trails: 40km
- Elevation: 1140m
- Website: Black Jack Ski Club
Close to the Red Mountain Ski Resort, Black Jack offers plenty of amenities including ski rentals, a night loop, a kid’s terrain park, and even a doggy loop!
These spots are volunteer-tracked and might be sporadically maintained. But they are totally free!
Great Northern Rail Trail
The Great Northern Rail Trail runs from Nelson to Salmo. Parts of it join up with the trails at the Nelson Nordic Ski Club, but there are plenty of sections you can ski for free! Parking near Cottonwood Lake provides good access, but you can also reach this trail in Nelson by heading up to Mountain Station or Svoboda Road.
Slocan Valley Rail Trail
This 50km rail trail has multiple access points along Highway 6. But be strategic – ending up near Mama Sita’s Cafe or the Frog Peak Cafe is bound to be a good decision!
Balfour Golf Course
Some kind folks track the Balfour Golf Course in the winter, and this is a great spot to ski! Big views of the peaks across Kootenay Lake and the nearby Ainsworth Hotsprings!
- Did we miss any other spots? Leave us a comment below.