Nordic and Proud, Smithers

Smithers is the undisputed cross-country-ski capital of northern B.C. Some 52 km of groomed nordic trails wind among pine, spruce and fir trees in the Wetzin’kwa Community Forest west of town along with 5 km that are lit for night skiing, plus 10 km designated as dog-friendly. It’s all maintained by the Bulkley Valley Nordic Centre, which boasts a ski club with 550 members– or around 10 per cent of the town’s population–along with a packed roster of community events and races. “Once people start skiing at our centre, they just fall in love with it,” says head tracksetter Brant Dahlie. “Because it’s so close [to town], you know you can zip up there, and our trails are open 24 hours a day.” The fluffy snow, 3,840-square-foot wood lodge and peekaboo views of snow-dolloped peaks don’t hurt either.