About Horseback Riding in the Winter in West Bragg Creek

Welcome to West Bragg Creek Trails. This is a multi-use, non-motorized recreation area.

Thank you for your cooperation

Since this is non-motorized trails system that welcomes a wide variety of users we ask that you extend a few common courtesies to your fellow trail users and respect the facilities that have been provided for your enjoyment.

Trailhead Parking and Perimeter Trail

  • There is plenty of parking at West Bragg Creek, with several washrooms handy throughout.
  • The Trails Center building is open daily between 9 am and 5pm. It is heated, has maps and information and there is a cellular ‘hotspot’ located right at the entrance. This is also the location of the AED for those who are trained to use it. Cell service in WBC is spotty at best so utilize this hotspot for making emergency calls.
  • There is Equestrian Only parking in the SE corner of the Parking area. Please do not park there unless you are driving a truck and horse trailer.  Please review recommendations for winter horseback riding below.
  • A short, separate trail for equestrians leading from the hitching rails, across the perimeter trail then west to the kiosk on Mountain Road and Snowy Owl trailhead has been developed and will help separate horses and other users in this congested area.
  • Do not leave manure in the parking area or throw it into the bush. Pick it up and take home in your trailer.  Please do your part to show you are a responsible trail user.
  • The perimeter trail around the WBC parking area is not trackset but it is groomed. Please kick any horse manure off this trail to aid in the grooming work.  Please keep all dogs on a leash and remove all animal waste from this trail.
  • There is also parking with access to WBC trails from Fullerton Trailhead, located across Highway 66 from Allen Bill, on the road to Elbow Falls. There is also an area for Equestrian parking located there.

Trail Etiquette

  • Please cooperate to help keep the trails safe and enjoyable for everyone.
  • Be respectful of other trail users. If you are considerate, the next users will return your favour.
  • To protect the local watershed and to avoid damaging the trails, do not use trails in soft or muddy conditions.
  • If you are making ruts or postholes in dirt or snow, please leave the trail system.
  • Mountain bikers yield to hikers, horseback riders, snowshoers and skiers.
  • Hikers yield to horseback riders.
  • All users please slow down at intersections and when passing other trail users.

Winter Horseback Riding Options, Safety and Constraints

  • Winter horseback riders that park at the West Bragg Creek equestrian parking lot may ride on Snowy Owl going west to just past Moose Connector, then left on Mountain Road west (please ride on the south side of the tread to avoid damaging the groomed trail); or west on Old Shell Road and then west on Moose north all season trail and return.
  • When the packed snow tread is firm enough to not be damaged by horses, Reconnect-Demitel-West Snowshoe Hare trails are also available. Please check https://www.braggcreektrails.org/all-season-trail-conditions-report/ for GBCTA recommendations on Reconnect-Demitel-West Snowshoe Hare prior to leaving home for a ride.
  • Winter horseback riders may also ride on Snagmore, Sugar Mama, Sugar Daddy, Bobcat and Boundary Ridge (south of the Iron Creek TCT Connector junction only) all season trails from the Fullerton Trailhead.
  • Winter horseback riding is not permitted on ski trails from Dec 1 to March 31 annually, except Elbow south to access Snagmore, Sugar Mama and Sugar Daddy from the Fullerton Trailhead.  Please ride to the side of the Elbow south trail to avoid damage to the groomed trail.
  • Winter horseback riders may not ride on Braggin Rights, Merlin View, Long Distance, Disconnect, Whitetail, Boundary Ridge (except south of the Iron Creek TCT Connector junction), Ranger Summit and Strange Brew (except the 1.2 km section between the Sugar Mama and Sugar Daddy junctions).
  • Not all trails can be ridden as loops in the winter. Please see below for some suggested rides.
  • Trail conditions vary with weather and trails may become very icy. Some trails are steep and narrow.  Use good judgement in choosing a trail and consider asking your farrier to put ‘sharps’ (either borium or caulks on steel shoes) on your horse.
  • Many other trail users are not familiar with horses and may not know or understand how to safely pass. When conditions are such that other users, such as fatbikers, cannot easily move off the trail to pass, please move your horse into the deeper snow and let them pass on the trail.

Please be an ambassador and help educate other users so that we all enjoy the trails safely.

  • Consider joining the Alberta Equestrian Federation (albertaequestrian.com) and benefit from the Included $5 Million personal liability insurance to protect you on the trail, regular updates regarding recreation and other important horse news.

Some Suggested Equestrian Routes

  • Snowy Old to Mountain Road.  Easy.  An out and back trail of short duration, perfect for barefoot horses used to meeting other users.  Please stay to the side where the trail is shared with skiers.
  • Snagmore to Sugar Daddy to Sugar Mama loop.  This moderate to high moderate trail is a loop from Fullerton Trailhead on Highway 66.  It varies from very rocky to steep and narrow.  Sharps recommended as shoes are needed on the rocks.