TRAILS & FACILITIES
Walden Cross Country maintains and operates two separate trail systems within Greater Sudbury. Our main chalet & trail system is located at the Walden Trails, but be sure to visit the Beaver Lake Trails for another great skiing experience!
WALDEN SKI TRAILS
Walden Trail Centre terrain is rolling to moderately hilly, with numerous rock outcrops typical of the Precambrian Shield found across Northern Ontario.
Walden has 23km of skate and classic ski trails, Para Nordic sit-ski trails and a gentle 3 km lighted trail for night skiing, all groomed by our highly experienced, world class trail maintenance crew.
In addition to our ski trails, there are over 10km of maintained snowshoe trails.
When there is no snow the trails are open to the public for walking, running and hiking. (Mountain bikers using the single track are required to purchase memberships or daypasses through the Walden Mountain Bike Club.)
A section of the original 3 km trail is now call Shell’s trail. Karen and Ron Shell were an integral part of Walden's infancy. For years Ron groomed trails at Naughton, Beaver Lake, and the Lively Golf Course. As Vice President, he spearheaded new trail development, acquired equipment and maintained facilities alongside Karen who ensured there was no shortage of events for Club Members to enjoy.
The 3 km lit loop was renamed “Mullock’s Lane” to honour John Mullock's outstanding volunteer contribution to the club for over 30 years. In addition to a long stint as Club President, John was a groomer, a handy-man, treasurer and active volunteer. For John, no task was too big or too small. He was instrumental in equipping the 3km loop with lights in the late 90's, but perhaps his most notable contribution is the spacious, fully accessible chalet that came to fruition under his leadership. We recognize and appreciate his contagious love for the outdoors and his dedication to his community.
Doug Santala was a teacher and cross country ski coach at Lively High School in the early 70's. Without a proper club in the area at the time, Doug led training sessions on the Lively Golf Course, the Voima Trails and even on his own property in Naughton. Taking it upon himself to fill this void, he negotiated land and right-of-way access agreements for the Club and plotted the 5km, 2.5km and 1km trails. Walden Cross Country Fitness Club opened to the public in 1977 and Doug was our inaugural President, holding the title until 1983.
THERE ARE METHODS TO OUR MADNESS...AND A LOT OF EXPENSIVE EQUIPMENT
The procedure for grooming depends on the amount of snow we get and the temperature. A snowfall of more than ~5 cm and temperatures below the freezing mark requires packing the snow with one or both rollers that have been made from plastic culverts and pulled by the snowmobile and/or the Honda side by side with tracks rather than wheels.
If the temperature is above freezing and the snow is sticky, the packing and grooming is postponed until the temperature fall below zero. This is to prevent the snow from bunching up ahead of the groomer and also avoid packing the snow so it doesn’t turn to ice.
We have two rollers; one that is pulled by the snowmobile and it does not have a comb on the back to smooth the snow. The other, pulled by the Honda, has a comb on the back that can be raised or lowered with an electrically operated actuator and it smooths the snow, leaving a corduroy pattern.
Following the packing, the skate lanes are groomed with either the Ginzu or the Bombardier and a track is set at the same time.
The Ginzu has two rows of curved knives that can be adjusted for height to cut into the snow to loosen it and the comb on the back smooths it and leaves a corduroy pattern. The tracker pad on the back can be lifted off the snow with an electric actuator when not needed. Our Ginzu has two trackers attached to apply the track on the right or left side or both sides at the same time. The power for the actuator is supplied by the Honda or the snowmobile that is pulling the Ginzu.
When there is enough base later into the season, we can use the Bombardier BR-180 groomer so the base doesn’t get damaged by the tracks and dig up dirt from the ground underneath the snow. The Bombardier is a diesel driven tracked machine with a plow on the front to level out drifts on the trail and also used to plow the parking lot. On the back is the groomer that has a rotating tiller that can be raised or lowered as needed to soften the snow and a comb behind it smooths the snow leaving a corduroy pattern. There are two left and right tracker paddles after the comb that can be used singly or together to apply a track.
WALDEN SNOWSHOE TRAILS
Our snowshoe trails wind their way throughout the forest, intersecting ski trails along the way. Memberships or day passes are required for those wishing to take a stroll through the snow. Snowshoe rentals are available in a variety of sizes in the chalet.
FAT BIKE TRAILS
Hard work and long hours are spent crafting the best single track winter fat biking trails in the area. Come spring, the Walden Mountain Bike Club maintains single track trails that weave in and around our system. A WCC Club Membership, WCC Fat Bike Membership or trail pass is required if you want to ride on the snow, and a WMBC Membership or trail pass is required if you wish to keep riding come spring. Be sure to visit their website for all the information. They’re pretty awesome too.
Riders are required to wear a Bike Helmet while using our trails. For other tips on what to wear while biking in the winter, visit the WMBC website.
WHAT ARE FAT BIKES?
Fat bikes have special frames to accommodate very wide tires. The narrowest tire we allow at Walden is 4", but you will find tires 4.5" and greater perform the best on the groomed trails. Tire pressure is kept very low at 3-8 psi, providing a large contact patch on the snow, good traction and preventing the tires from sinking into the trail. To protect the integrity of our trails, these specialized bikes are a necessity. Please leave your summer mountain bikes at home.
There is a lower and upper snowshoe trail that will be groomed regularly to maintain good riding conditions.
The lower green loop has an intermediate skill rating. The upper loop (a combination of the pink, red and lime green trails) has a very difficult rating.
Accessibility changes on a day-to-day basis depending on weather, club activities and grooming.
Before you pack-up and leave for the trails, check trail conditions by visiting the website or contacting the chalet to find out which trails are open for riding.
FAT BIKING ETIQUETTE
It's a new sport with a new set of rules. Please familiarize yourself with them so we can continue to live in peace and harmony with trail users of all types! Read 'em here.
BEAVER LAKE TRAILS
The Beaver Lake Trails are located 25 km west of the Walden Trails along Highway 17 West. Trails are track set for classic skiing only and vary in difficulty from moderate to difficult and in length from 1.5 km to 5.5 km.
The trails begin and end at the Beaver Lake Community Centre and wind their way through heavily wooded areas with some scenic lookouts.
WALDEN TRAIL CENTRE
FRONT DESK: A friendly face will welcome you to Walden and help you find everything you need to enjoy a perfect day on the trails. Cash, Credit & debit cards accepted.
RENTAL SHOP: From infants to seniors, we have the gear to get you on the trails. Let our knowledgeable staff outfit you in the right ski or snowshoe equipment from our extensive fleet of quality rental gear. Find more info here.
TUCK SHOP: Snacks and beverages are available for purchase at the front desk.
COZY CORNER: Relax on the couch by our electric fireplace while the kids play with a small selection of toys and activities.
KITCHENETTE: A fridge, microwave, sink and counter space are available for minor food prep.
WASHROOMS: Fully accessible men’s and women’s washrooms are both outfitted with baby change tables.
OUTDOOR FIRE PIT
*Rent-a-Chalet! To book the facility for a private function, please contact the front desk.
A heated, standalone building outfitted with waxing tables and irons. It is available for use by members and day pass holders. Ski wax is not provided.
ATHLETIC TRAINING CENTRE (ATC)
A standalone building providing space for the Walden Nordic Race Team to host dryland practices.
The newest structure offers some shelter from the sun and is a great place to take a break!
Walden Cross Country has some of the most advanced grooming equipment and most experienced personnel in the city. You can be sure that our trails will be in the best condition possible when you arrive.