Snowshoeing In Your Own Backyard: Options Close To Home

Participating in any outdoor activity, snowshoeing included, we often wonder where to go in terms of the best terrain, distance, and travel time.

When the snow arrives, these questions are much easier to answer than one would think. The need to travel isn’t necessary, but simply a matter of going out your front door or for a short drive. Just as you could decide to run around your neighborhood, you can apply the same process to snowshoeing.

snowshoeing trail between tall trees, backyard

Snowshoeing trails can be close to home too! Photo: Parker Amstutz via Unsplash

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Snowshoeing Close To Home

While growing up on a hobby farm in the Eastern Townships in Quebec, I was introduced to snowshoeing. There was no shortage of land, and there were plenty of hills and deep enough snow. It was a thrill to be snowshoeing so close to home, and I couldn’t imagine going anywhere else until I moved to Vancouver, Canada.

In the city, I never thought of snowshoeing close to areas nearby until the day it snowed heavily. The only way to get around the city was to snowshoe. I was close to a trail and golf course, but I chose the golf course. While I was snowshoeing around the course, I saw a bobcat, and the whole experience was exciting, especially to be close to home. I received comments from others as I walked, like what a great idea and where did I get those (snowshoes).

Read More: Snowshoeing For Beginners: The First Timer’s Guide


There are many benefits to snowshoeing near a city, or urban snowshoeing.

  • You don’t need to book time off from work
  • Inexpensive, since less transportation required
  • Environmentally sustainable activity
  • Less time involved, especially for those who lead a busy lifestyle
  • Family and friends may be more inclined to join you by staying close to home
  • Discover a new area close to home
  • See some city wildlife

Read More: The Art of Urban Snowshoeing

golf course sign

Golf courses can be a fantastic snowshoeing option near home. Photo: Susan Wowk

Where To Snowshoe Near You

Parks and golf courses are easily accessible, and there are often fewer people. So, you can enjoy the serenity. Consider exploring the following in your area:

Golf Courses – The grounds can be flat or challenging, depending on the number of hills. As a word of advice, check with the golf course before going as there may be specific rules.

University Grounds – Snowshoe by your favorite lecture room and then take a break to grab a coffee or hot chocolate.

Urban Trails – These trails are naturally accessible, and washrooms are typically available. There is also a chance to see wildlife.

Farmland – Snowshoe for miles on vast open spaces and often deep snow.

Read More: Humber Arboretum: Nature In The Heart of Canada’s Largest Urban Centre

Humber Arboretum in Toronto- Snowshoeing Near Home

Humber Arboretum in Toronto, a great snowshoeing option in the city! Photo: Heather Seftel-Kirk

Keep In Mind

  • Before going, check the terrain difficulty and natural lighting. If not enough light, wear a headlight. In addition, check the trail for safety issues.
  • Be mindful of other users, such as skiers or snowmobilers on the trail.
  • Bring your dog with you on the trek depending on the type of trail.
  • Always check your snowshoes to make sure they are suitable for the type of terrain.

Read More: Trail Etiquette For Snowshoeing & Winter Hiking

Tips for Staying Fit and Having Fun

  • Go up a hill a few times, especially at those hilly golf courses or parks
  • Do a few laps around the trail by timing yourself
  • Make it social by having a snowshoe fondue
  • If there are no areas to snowshoe right near you, choose a mountain near you. For example, in Vancouver, there are a variety of trails, such as Mount Seymour, that are easily accessible via the Grouse Mountain Skyride.

Read More: Snowshoeing For Improved Fitness With Nordic Walking Poles

This article was first published on April 10, 2019. Susan Wowk most recently updated it on October 28, 2021.

What other areas have you snowshoed near home? Let us know!

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