Following completion of the Wintour Trail Snowshoe, I drive 4 KM (2.5 miles) south on Kananaskis Lakes Road to the Peter Lougheed Provincial Park Visitor Centre nestled in the mountains. The Visitor Centre is closed on this weekday but the public washrooms are available. My next project for the day will be the drive 3.0 KM (1.9 miles) further south on Kananaskis Lakes Road to the William Watson Lodge complex for a 3.2 KM (2 mile) snowshoe with 21 m (69 ft) of elevation on the Marsh Loop Trail in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada.
There is a small parking area on the one way loop road to the William Watson Lodge main building. I am fortunate to find a spot here which puts me in close proximity to two trailheads. The first is a link to the Elkwood Loop Snowshoe Trail. The trailhead for the Marsh Loop Trail Snowshoe is to the north, a short walk past the front of the lodge building.
The alternative to parking at the lodge is to return to Watson Road and find a spot in the cottage area, then walk the short distance to the trailhead via clear sidewalks. Snowshoes can be put on at the trailhead, followed by a short 0.7 KM (0.43 mile), delightful snowshoe downhill on narrow trail through snug forest to the Marsh Loop Snowshoe Trail about half the elevation between the lodge and lake level. The last tiny bit of the link trail is steep and may involve a short skiing experience.
The Marsh Loop Trail can be negotiated in either direction. Turning right will lead to the peninsula jutting into Lower Kananaskis Lake, with formidable Mount Indefatigable looming large in the background, then a left turn into the snow-covered marsh.
My choice is a left turn onto the upper level of the Marsh Loop Trail for a short, pleasant, forest walk on subtle descent to mountain views in the east beyond Kananaskis Lakes Road. A 180 degree, wide turn, and gentle descent, takes me onto the lower portion of the Marsh Loop Snowshoe Trail where Mount Indefatigable dominates the view above snow-covered marshland with an evergreen border along Lower Kananaskis Lake.
It is a peaceful and very scenic snowshoe heading northwest through sculpted fields of snow.
The trail leaves the marsh to an open area overlooking Lower Kananaskis Lake.
At the pier, which juts out into Lower Kananaskis Lake, there are outstanding views of surrounding mountains beneath cloud cover, with sunbeams floating across the frozen, snow-covered surface of Lower Kananaskis Lake and magnificent mountains framing the breathtaking views. This is also the location of trails branching to snowshoe the Lower Lakes Trail, the Penstock Loop Trail and the Canyon Trail. My return to William Watson Lodge is clearly signed and I snowshoe up to the lodge from the Marsh Loop Trail on the same link used for access.
The Marsh Loop Snowshoe Trail, combined with the link from William Watson Lodge is a very pleasant, short and easy walk in very beautiful and peaceful terrain. The well-sheltered excursion is a pleasant mountain, marsh and lake scenery diversion with a lot of variety within a short distance. There are options to make the trip substantially longer if desired.