Sled Fox Creek from town to trail on the Golden Triangle
With over 250 kilometres of sledding trails maintained by the Northland Sno-Goers, Fox Creek is an excellent destination for sledding near Edmonton, northern and central Alberta, along the Golden Triangle trail network. #sledthetriangle
Fox Creek/MD of Greenview, AB - With a local bylaw that permits snowmobiling right through town, where else but Fox Creek can you offload your sled, slide up to the cafe, set your helmet and gear on the table and enjoy breakfast before a short ride through town to access a day’s trail riding? And for après, you can sled up to the doors of a brand new multiplex for a hot tub, and then pizza dinner in town. It's the perfect place to launch your sledding adventure, in a community full of heart and snowmobile spirit.
As a longtime sledder, I've visited a lot of snowmobile destinations, but few where I've felt the kind of warm welcome I met in Fox Creek. Fox Creek's Northland Sno-Goers club are part of the 50+ year old trail network of what is now the Golden Triangle, connecting three snowmobiling clubs (Fox Creek, Whitecourt and Swan Hills) via a 350-kilometre loop trail. And by extension, the Golden Triangle feeds onto another 600-plus kilometres of club-maintained local trails.
In the Fox Creek and MD of Greenview region, the local Northland Sno-Goers club maintains and grooms 250 of these kilometres providing great trail riding out of Fox Creek and connections to Swan Hills by heading northeast or Whitecourt by heading southeast.
For those looking to find the closest sledding trails near Edmonton and parts north, there are abundant flat areas where riders of all ages and skill levels can stretch the sled’s legs, plenty of access to cut lines and meadows, spots to go off and romp in the powder, or just stick to the well-groomed trails. All of the trails are easy to access.
Riders of all ages are invited to join the club as it host its annual rally on Saturday March 11, 2023; take the opportunity to get out on the Golden Triangle with locals who know the trails. Or, make your own plans with the itinerary here, and head out any time!
Fox Creek sledding itinerary
Fox Creek's Northland Sno-Goers club has designed the trails for riders to have complete flexibility for planning and riding. Expert-level sledders could do the 350 loop in day if you are up to that challenge, or one can enjoy the stay and play options. I joined some club members for a day ride to get a sense of the trails, with a 112 kilometre ride (one way) from Fox Creek to Swan Hills and back. Here's how it unfolded.
Staging area at Fox Creek Community Hall
Park your trailer and offload at the community hall. (It is worth noting that the town of Fox Creek is planning a dedicated staging area.)
One more thing before hitting the trails: stop for a coffee and breakfast, and chat up the locals, many of whom are passionate sledders too. Local bylaws allow sleds to be used in town with speed and travel limits.
Iron Sledder events in February and March are the perfect launch pad to experience what each sled club in the Golden Triangle has to offer. Participate in all three poker rallies and events for a shot at the I Title, a medal and $1,000 cash. And GLORY. Not up for all three? Jump in on two of three events and qualify for a shot at the gold medal and $250 cash.
As we launch into our ride, hoar frost made the forest look like we’re cruising through Narnia. Every place we stopped there were hare and grouse tracks. The Golden Triangle trails cut through Alberta’s boreal forest, with a good combination of winding and fast sections to get your sled on.
Pit stop 1: Trappers Cabin
We had stopped for lunch at Trappers Cabin (Waypoint G on the Golden Triangle Map). As our machines cooled from a quick trail ride and our smokies sizzled over a toasty fire, another source of radiant heat fired up––the warm-hearted hospitality being heaped on the guest riders.
“That’s how we roll,” one of the club members commented, “everyone is welcomed.” Even the whiskeyjacks welcomed us.
Shelia Gilmour, President of Northland Sno-Goers (and Mayor of Fox Creek) said, “The trapper’s cabin is authentic. In the early years, the trapper let the club use it and then when he was no longer going to be needing his cabin for trapping, he donated it to the club. It's still set up with his bunk and everything he had in there. It's my favourite spot on the trail––I love that cabin.”
A few laughs and memories later, we were en route to Swan Hills. The town makes an easy halfway point to grab a lunch before continuing on.
Pitstop 2: Harold's Hut Cabin
Harold’s Hut, named after Sheila’s father-in-law, was built with the support of the Alberta Snowmobile Association, to recognize Harold's efforts as one of the founders of the Golden Triangle. The cabin is nestled in the trees halfway between Swan Hills and Fox Creek in a secluded, tranquil area on the trail.
Feeling the need for speed, the desire to open up the throttle? Take a quick scoot out to Freeman Lake for a bit of playtime on the ice before heading back to Fox Creek. The afternoon ride gave way to some fun straight stretches of trail and more boreal exploration.
Return ride: Harold's Hut Cabin back to Fox Creek, 60 km
Fox Creek has done a great job of sledding infrastructure, there are more cabins and places to warm up if you want to extend your day. Check out your Golden Triangle Map. Eagle Tower warm-up cabin is a beautiful wood cabin, donated by the Mostowich Family that have been members of the club for many years.
At the end of the day, we rolled up to the Pizza Joint in Fox Creek, once again going from saddle to dinner seat without interruption. That's the genius of the Golden Triangle, the three-way connections between clubs, communities and sledding fun. Saddle up, enjoy the trail and expect to meet some warm-hearted fellow sledders on the ride.
When you go
Trail maps for Fox Creek and the Golden Triangle
For maps of the Fox Creek trail network and all the trails in the Golden Triangle, check out the Golden Triangle website.
Fox Creek snowmobile trail reports
The Northlands Sno-Goers maintain Fox Creek's extensive trail network and provide regular updates on trail conditions.
Take on the Iron Sledder challenge
Up for the Iron Sledder challenge? Participate in all three Golden Triangle sled rallies (Fox Creek, Whitecourt and Swan Hills) to compete for a shot at the Iron Sledder Title which comes with a top prize of $1,000 cash, a medal and GLORY. Can’t make all three? Jump in on two of three events and qualify for a shot at the gold medal and $250 cash. Fox Creek's rally takes place Saturday March 11, 2023.
Read on for more about the Golden Triangle and plan your trip to connect Fox Creek on to Whitecourt and Swan Hills. Ride the circuit!