Here at Backroad Mapbooks, we’re extremely proud to make products that are revered among many different outdoor communities, from off-roaders to anglers, hikers, hunters, mountain bikers, paddlers and ATVers. What many outdoor explorers don’t realize, however, is that our Mapbooks are also a guide to the best of Canada’s outdoors in the winter.
Whether your activity of choice is downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, ski touring, snowboarding or fat biking, we’ve got you covered with state-of-the-art cartographic detail, labelled winter trails and rec areas and detailed Adventure listings for the best things to see and do once the snow falls. Our industry-leading recreation maps are your key to adventure no matter the season.
To give you a better idea of the types of winter adventures you will find in our Mapbooks, here is a brief overview:
Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding
Whether you are sampling the famous champagne powder of the Kootenay Rockies or are hitting the slopes out east at one of Ontario’s many downhill resorts, we provide you with detailed listings for the best places to downhill ski and snowboard from coast to coast. On top of marking downhill ski resorts on our maps, our Adventure listings provide you with directions, number of runs, difficulty and other highlights. Here are a couple of our favourite places to ski and board.
Known as the biggest little ski resort in BC, Whitewater is home to some of the most legendary tree and powder riding in the province. Offering big thrills and small town vibes, This is a must-hit mountain for anyone travelling through BC’s interior in the winter.
Whitewater Ski Resort photo courtesy of Snow Seekers
Conveniently located within an hour’s drive of Ottawa, Calabogie Peaks features 232 m (760 ft) of vertical with 20 runs and two terrain parks serviced by three lifts. As far as downhill skiing and snowboarding goes in Eastern Ontario, Calabogie Peaks is the place to be.
Cross-country skiing is one of the most relaxing ways possible to explore the winter landscape. It can also be a way to test your limits on long-distance multi-day journeys through remote and barren terrain. No matter which side of the spectrum you fall on, we have you covered with marked cross-country ski trails and detailed listings for both individual trails and Nordic ski areas. Here are a couple of our favourite places to go:
Known as one of the world’s premier Nordic ski centres, the Canmore Nordic Ski Centre has over 70 km (45 mi) of trails suitable for both competitive and recreational skiers. Biathlon facilities, a toboggan hill, ice skating rink, winter disc golf course and snowshoeing trails round out the winter adventures at this one-of-a-kind facility.
Canmore Nordic Center photo courtesy of skierbob
New Brunswick’s Crabbe Mountain offers cross-country skiers over 30 km (19 mi) of interconnected cross-country ski trails, ranging from beginner to advanced. Leading through mature forest and past beaver ponds, these trails fully immerse you in a tranquil winter setting.
For those with the right skills, training and equipment, backcountry skiing and snowboarding offers the ultimate winter adventure. The pure thrill of conquering a mountain and charging down an untouched face is an experience unlike any other. The considerable risk and effort involved is enough to keep most folks away, but those hardy souls who take on the challenge often get hooked for life. Here are a couple of our favourite places to explore the backcountry in the winter:
Located near the beautiful Elfin Lakes, this area has limited access in the summer due to the fragile alpine environment, but once the snow falls it opens up into a backcountry skiing and snowboarding playground. Winter adventurers can stay the night at the Red Heather Shelter, with epic terrain found just steps away.
Diamond Head photo courtesy of Pat Mulrooney photography
Found near Barkerville in the heart of BC’s Cariboo region, the Mount Murray backcountry ski area is accessed via a couple of challenging trails, but the reward is well worth it. The Cariboo Ski Touring Club operates huts in the area, so you can set up base camp and explore the surrounding peaks for some of the best backcountry skiing and snowboarding you can find anywhere.
Snowshoeing is one of the simplest and oldest ways of exploring in the winter. There are examples of snowshoe use dating back thousands of years all over the world, and there is a reason why this technology has stood the test of time. Our maps show countless snowshoe trails across the country, and you will find detailed listings for the best places to snowshoe in both the Winter and Trails sections of our Adventure listings.
Cape Breton Highlands National Park
Known as the place where the mountains meet the sea, Cape Breton Highlands National Park is an enchanting landscape of deep canyons, imposing clifftop lookouts and forest-covered plateaus that overlook the Atlantic Ocean. The park is full of winter adventures, including numerous snowshoe trails that range from the 2 km round-trip MacIntosh Brook trail to the 13 km return Salmon Pools Trail.
Cape Breton Hifghlands photo courtesy of Hike Highlands
Occupying 3,874 km2 (1,496 mi2) of pristine central Saskatchewan wilderness, Prince Albert National Park has many snowshoe trails that lead winter adventurers through beautiful snow-covered southern boreal forest to secluded frozen lakes and along old fur trading routes.
There is no better way to cover as much distance over the snow or take in as much winter backcountry scenery as by snowmobile. There are world-class snowmobile areas found all across the country, and in Canada’s northern reaches this is often the primary form of transportation. Our Maps show you many thousands of kilometers of snowmobile trails and you can find detailed descriptions of snowmobile areas in the Trails, Winter and Snowmobile sections of our Adventure listings. Here are a couple of our favourites:
Part of one of the world’s largest interconnected snowmobile trail systems, there are many hundreds of kilometers of trails to explore here. Sledders can ride south to Minnesota, west to Manitoba or north into the sprawling Ontario wilderness, and many of the trails travel across large waterbodies such as Lake of the Woods and Rainy Lake. Snowmobilers in Northwestern Ontario can enjoy some of the most exciting winter adventure available anywhere in Canada.
With an 8 metre (25 ft) annual snowfall and over 200 km (125 mi) of groomed and signed trails, plus another 1,000 km (620 mi) of ungroomed trails, this is one of the finest snowmobile areas in Alberta and possibly in all of Canada. From family-friendly trails to steep basins with ultra-challenging hill climbs, this area has it all.
Video Credits: Travel Alberta
Winter weather in Canada can be unforgiving and, despite the beauty of the landscape, heading out on a multi-day winter adventure can be just too daunting. Luckily there is a well-established network of backcountry huts and cabins available for use by skiers, snowmobilers and snowshoers. We mark many of these on our maps and provide you with detailed listings that include access, size and other highlights in our brand new Backcountry Huts and Cabins Adventure listings. Here are a couple of our favourites:
Found 30 km north of Smithers, BC, this cabin sits near the beautiful headwaters of Gramaphone Creek and is a popular destination for both cross-country skiers and snowshoers. There is a loft for sleeping, a woodstove, kerosene lanterns and, best of all, a sheltered place to relax and warm up among the breathtaking Northern BC wilderness.
Harold Price Cabin photo courtesy of Smithers Snowmobile Association
Also known as the Sidney Vallance Hut, this 12 person hut is run by the Alpine Club of Canada and is found in world-famous Jasper National Park. The hut is actually easier to reach in the winter than in the summer, as you can ski across the frozen Athabasca River and cut down your trip by about 10 km. Once at the hut, skiers can enjoy numerous touring options.
Fat biking is one of the newest winter sports in the country and it is becoming more popular every year. Essentially, a fat bike is a mountain bike equipped with extra-wide tires to give you traction and buoyancy in the snow. You can check out this blog for more info on this growing winter activity, or take a look at a couple of our favourite places to fat bike below.
With over 28 km (17 mi) of fat bike trails accessed from four separate starting points, and conveniently located just outside of Ottawa, Gatineau Park is an easy-access option with plenty of trails for beginner and experienced fat bikers alike.
Gatineau Park photo courtesy of lonelyplanet.com
There are over 16 km (10 mi) of groomed fat bike trails in this New Brunswick park that lead you through a scenic Acadian forest landscape. Fat bikes are available for rent and the park even hosts a Fat Bike Festival each March.
You can find all of these winter adventures and more in our Backroad Mapbooks and Backroad GPS Maps. Many of the above-mentioned trails are also found on our Waterproof Rec Maps, or you can focus on a specific area of your choice with our custom TOPO Maps, which blow up our industry-leading Backroad maps to a much larger scale. No matter which winter adventure you choose, and no matter which part of the country you are exploring, we’ve got you covered.
Did you know that we’ve partnered with Overland Recreation to give away three Winter Prize Packs with a combined value of over $3,000? Prizes include a Penthouse XL Rooftop Tent, BRMB GPS Maps, BRMB Mapbooks bundle and more! Simply click on the link below to enter.