The granddaddy of winter sports has shed its itchy wool layers to become winter's coolest activity. We take a trip to Stake Lake to find out what all the buzz is about.
There's something magical about gliding through a forest of snow-covered trees on a bluebird day. The calming silence is interrupted only by the swooshing of your Nordic skis, the soft thud as snow falls from the branches above and the sound of laughter around you. Your mind clears and your body feels alive. Tiny footprints on the fresh snow are signs that life is still bustling during these colder months. Are those moose tracks? It's that feeling of being utterly connected once again.
It's little wonder that Nordic skiing, also known as cross-country skiing, has exploded in popularity. But where do you go when you want to escape the crowds?
One must-visit destination is Stake Lake, just outside of Kamloops in the Interior of BC. Once considered a local's secret, Stake Lake has become a favourite for those wanting to experience the best of what Nordic skiing has to offer.Stake Lake Ski Trail. Photo Tamra Jaeger
Why Stake Lake?
Just 20 minutes southwest of Kamloops, Overlander Ski Club at Stake Lake offers 60 km of meticulously groomed cross-country ski trails for both classic and skate skiing. With no lineups to worry about, you can pull into the parking lot, grab your ticket and immediately glide onto the trails— it's here that your magical journey through snow-covered pine forests and rolling hills begins.Stake Lake Ski Trail. Photo Tamra Jaeger
All Levels Welcome
Whether you're new to Nordic skiing or have years of experience under your ski belt, Stake Lake has something for everybody. Strategically placed maps located on all the trails have an easy-to-use difficulty rating system. The Overlander Ski Club offers private, semi-private and small group lessons to help you gain your confidence or even if you just want to brush up on your skills. If cross-country skiing isn't for you, there are snowshoe rentals available and 20 km of dedicated snowshoe trails to explore.Stake Lake Ski Trail. Photo Tamra Jaeger
Bring Your Furry Friends
The friendly team at the Overlander Ski Club has been maintaining the trails since 1983 and believe in being all-inclusive—that's why 5 km of trails has been dedicated to your furry pals. There’s even a dog-friendly snowshoe trail. The trails are immaculately trackset and groomed so you and your four-legged friend can truly enjoy the great outdoors together.Stake Lake Ski Trail. Photo Tamra Jaeger
Skiing Under The Stars
The fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. On January 2, the Overlander Ski Club kicks off night skiing at Stake Lake with the Light Up The Lake event. Throughout the entire month of January the main trail that meanders around the lake (Cartwheel) will feature a beautiful array of string lights and displays. From Monday to Friday until 9:00 pm you can also ski an additional 6.5 km of gloriously lit trails. Watch the incredible glow of the winter sunset before the sky puts on its show of stars that brighten up the canopy overhead along those well-lit and marked trails.Stake Lake Ski Trail. Photo Tamra Jaeger
Warm Up At The Lodge
In addition to the warm-up huts, shelters to rest and soak in the view and outhouses along various trails, Overlander Ski Club at Stake Lake has heated washrooms and a large, comfortable Day Lodge. Ski and snowshoe rentals are found downstairs while upstairs is a heated gathering area—don't forget to pack your snacks. The Lodge is open weekends until 4 pm and weeknights until 9 pm, so visitors can cozy up someplace warm between glides.Stake Lake Ski Trail. Photo Tamra Jaeger
There are many reasons why the Stake Lake trails have become legendary (and it's not just because of the famous Stake Lake moose). To find out more visit Overlander Ski Club at Stake Lake.
Visit Tourism Kamloops today for more great tips, hotel deals and insider information on everything the area has to offer.
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CREATED BY BCLIVING, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH TOURISM KAMLOOPS