In Alberta, winter transforms our province into a cool (literally) playground of possibilities – particularly in Strathcona County. Whether you are local to the area or driving up for the day or weekend, here are just some of the things to experience this winter in Sherwood Park and Strathcona County.
Go cross country skiing
Cross country skiing is an excellent way to combine exercise with recreation. Unlike downhill skiing, there are no long lineups at the lifts and no death defying runs to contend with. Instead, just glide peacefully across expanse of snow. It’s easy to learn how to cross country ski. If you have never gone before, an online tutorial or private lessons will get you going in no time. If you don’t have equipment, you can rent it from the Strathcona Wilderness Centre.
Look to the skies
Vivid aurora borealis (Northern Lights) illuminated the sky in November, to the delight of sky gazers that chanced to see the display. But you don’t have to wait for another event to get the awe inspiring views the Northern Lights inspire. Head out to Elk Island for star gazing. The Beaver Hills dark sky preserve extends into Elk Island. With minimal light pollution in the area, you’ll be amazed and how many stars you can see and how brilliantly they shine. Maybe you’ll even catch a glimpse of those elusive dancing lights.
Ski at Sundridge
You don’t need to head to the Rockies to find a great place to ski. Sunridge offers skiing, snowboarding, snowtubing, terrain parks and more for the whole family. Lessons are available on site.
When is the last time you donned a pair of skates? Gliding over the ice is a calming activity that gets you outdoors enjoying the winter. Strathcona County has plenty of outdoor rinks. Visit this link to find one near you.
Go for a walk
There is a good reason people (pre-COVID) flew from all over the world to visit Alberta. Our natural terrain is among the most beautiful on the planet. Winter coats our world in a fresh blanket of snow and crisp, clean air. Go out and enjoy it! Bundle up for a winter walk. It’s a soothing activity that will help you connect with nature. For safety and accessibility, there are plenty of trails and natural areas. You don’t have to hike into the back country to enjoy a stroll in the winter.
Thanks to fat biking you no longer have to pack away the bike when fall ends. Instead, slip on those big tires and go for an invigorating spin. Strathcona Science Provincial Park is ideal for fat biking.
Winter Farmers’ Markets
Farmers Markets are the best place to find local makers and producers all under one roof. Winter markets are extra special because you can find things to make the season even more delightful (Christmas cookies! Hand knitted blankets!) while also clearing your holiday shopping list (while supporting local talent).
Some of Strathcona’s markets run year-round, and some have special winter or Christmas markets. Here are a few links to get you started.
- Sherwood Park Farmers’ Market
- Ardrossan Farmers’ Market
- Salisbury Farmers’ Market
- South Cooking Lake Farmers’ Market
Events – So many events!
Destinations around the county provide plenty to do this winter, but there are also many events to make the season extra special. Check out:
- Festival Place (Elf the Musical is just one event coming to Festival Place).
- Weekend itineraries round up, in one handy place, what’s going on each weekend.
- The community calendar is where you’ll find a list of festivals and other events. Check out the youth gingerbread build off!
Now that you see all the fun things to do in Sherwood Park and Strathcona County this winter, there is just one thing left to do: plan the ultimate staycation! Be a local tourist by checking into one of the area’s hotels (or campgrounds for the brave winter campers) and be sure to enjoy our region’s unique restaurants.
It’s time to re-discover and enjoy the beautiful region of Strathcona County. With all the fun activities and events on offer, it can be your most engaging and active winter yet.