Snowshoe Hare Trail is in the West Bragg Creek area of Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada.
Bragg Creek is the destination of choice for this late February day. Arrival at the West Bragg Creek parking area occurs just before the crowd begins to accumulate. Several obvious positive changes have occurred. Trail signs and flagging have been significantly improved. There is a recent minor snowfall providing ground cover between 2.5 and 7.6 cm (1 to 3 inches) in the forest adjacent to parking.
Our choice is the 5.0 KM (3¼ mile) Snowshoe Hare Loop at the east end of the north side of the West Bragg Creek parking area. Detailed trail signs, obvious, well-placed flags and open path lead the way counter clockwise around the loop. Ground conditions are light snow over a forest floor or ice. While the loft the snowshoes could provide in deep snow is somewhat academic, the crampons are very important for stability on slick ice beneath snow.
Periodic glimpses into open meadows alongside the trail provide photo opportunities of stunningly beautiful frozen ponds and snow-rippled marshland.
The clearly defined trail provides sufficient elevation differential to provide a light aerobic workout while crisp, cool air is tempered by the warmth of the sun. Shaded forest keeps snow-laden branches consistent throughout the nearly 2 hour hike.
Spectacular winter images provide unlimited photographic opportunities. The direction of preferred travel around the loop is obviously the opposite to ours as several people are met along the way. At the junction with Telephone Loop the decision is made to take that more direct and crowded route back to the parking area which reduces the return distance by about 0.5 KM.
The Snowshoe Hare snowshoe is a winter trail through marsh area too wet to reasonably navigate in warmer weather. The trail is a very pleasant walk in the forest with limited long range vistas but with no shortage of forest magic.
Lunch in the sun is enjoyable even though the parking area has become very crowded and there are many cycle enthusiasts with fat-tired bicycles more suitable for navigating snow.
Photographs for this Snowshoe Hare Trail post at West Bragg Creek were captured on Sunday, February 22, 2015.