The Alberta government says skiers will need to pay for parking to have groomed cross-country trails in the popular Kananaskis Country.
Minister of Environment and Parks Jason Nixon says the province has entered into a one-year partnership with Nordiq Alberta to groom winter trails in the park system west of Calgary.
To support their operations, Nordiq Alberta will start charging $10 a day and $50 for the season to park at trailhead lots in several areas by Dec. 1.
Cross-country ski trail grooming was one of several cuts to parks in the provincial budget last March.
NDP critic Marlin Schmidt says the introduction of fees for cross-country skiing in Kananaskis is just the start of the United Conservative government charging Albertans to access parks.
He says the province is prioritizing corporate tax cuts over the protection of Alberta parks.
Some sporting goods stores across the country have already noticed an increasing interest in ski equipment as people search for ways to get outside during the COVID-19 pandemic.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- A day parking pass is $10 and a season parking pass is $50.
- The passes are for trailhead parking lots at Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Evan-Thomas Provincial Recreation Area, Spray Valley Provincial Park and Sheep River Provincial Park.
- One parking pass is required per vehicle.
- Passes can be purchased at kananaskisgrooming.ca
- Winter trail grooming will begin Dec. 1 or sooner, depending on snow conditions.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 30, 2020.
The Canadian Press