There is a new feature on the West Bragg Creek landscape. It is a trail designed and built by the Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association expressly for snowshoers. People on snowshoes now have their very own trail. It starts at the eastern (city) end of the West Bragg Creek Day Use Area parking lot and climbs the hill, crossing the field where the Youth Hostel used to stand (there’s a sign in the middle of the field). The trail continues across the old Hostel Road, about 20 metres east of the Hostel Loop Trail.
The Hostel Loop Trail is a highway compared to this meandering little 5.5 km path that winds its way through the trees and up and down steep slopes. This is pretty cool because snowshoes and skis don’t mix very well as snowshoes can flatten the tracks that help keep skis from slipping and sliding. And skiers go really fast compared to snowshoers so the potential for accidents exists. In fact, snowshoes don’t need trails at all as they are intended to help you walk through deep snow. But the trail will ensure that you don’t get lost wandering around in the woods. This trail is ideal for snowshoes as it is narrow and winds and climbs/descends more aggressively than do ski trails. In fact, skiers won’t enjoy and shouldn’t use this trail – it is made for snowshoes. There are some steep downhills with tight corners at the bottom. The trail skirts a frozen pond created by a beaver dam. There you’ll find some large bird boxes high up in the trees. Due to their proximity to the marsh, they are likely intended for ducks.
I haven’t reached the end of the trail as we used the Hostel Loop Trail to return to the parking load. The two trails nearly join not far from the northern junction with the Telephone Trail. We were on the trail for about an hour. I’d guess that you should devote 2 to 3 hours to follow the trail to its end.
If you don’t have snowshoes you can rent them from the Moose Mountain General Store located in the Village Market Mall in the hamlet of Bragg Creek. They cost about $13/day (2010).They also rent skis for about $15/day. The store hours are: Mon.-Tue 9-6, Wed.-Sat. 9-7 and Sun. 10-6.