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