Winter trails popular around Slave Lake

Pearl Lorentzen
Lakeside Leader

On the first weekend in December, two trail systems near Slave Lake were hopping. Both Nine Mile Creek Recreation Area and ‘Freighter Lakeshore Trail’ in Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park were busy.

Since 2008, the Nine Mile Recreation Society has built and maintained a series of trails west of Slave Lake. Nine Mile Creek Recreation Area is 10 km of trails which are groomed for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. It is 14 km west of Slave Lake just off Hwy. 2.

A portion of the trail was burned in the 2011 Slave Lake fire. This section is in various stages of regrowth. The deeper portions of the trail have older forests.

Dogs off leash are welcome. There are no OHVs allowed.

The lowland trails in Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park north of Slave Lake are also groomed in the winter. North of Marten Beach, the Woods and Water Trail Association has a portion of the North Shore trail finished. It starts north of the hamlet of Marten Beach. There is also a portion of the trail in the park near North Shore Day Use area, which is commonly called the North Shore trail. These are not close to each other. This is just down the road from Gilwood Golf Course and Country Club.

Recently, Heather Baranyk set up a new Nine Mile website: www.ninemilerecreation.com.

The Nine Mile website has various photos of the trail, the trail map, and the email to send donations.

On the Nine Mile trails, map is also displayed predominately at the start and throughout the system.

Evan Baranyk has made new signs for the trailheads. These are log slices, with the names burnt into them.

A couple of Slave Lakers on skis glides along the Devonshire Beach road, on a beautiful winter day. The trails seem to be getting more use than usual.
Heather and Evan Baranyk carry their snowshoes to a section of the Nine Mile trail that isn’t as packed down. Evan is the one who grooms the trail. The equipment is all gassed up and ready to go; he’s just waiting for more snow.
The Normand family, from Slave Lake, on their way back from a bit of sledding further down the Nine Mile Creek trails.
A new Nine Mile Creek trailhead sign.

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