By Richelle Hanna

We all know the last ten or so months have changed our routines and way of living. We’ve said goodbye to old habits and formed new ones. And the habit that has helped my family and I the most during these challenging times has undoubtedly been spending time in the great outdoors. Getting fresh air daily has been a game changer for both our physical health and our state of mind. We’ve been biking, walking, running, sledding, snowshoeing, downhill skiing and, most recently, cross country skiing! Because of our incredible coverage through Alberta Blue Cross®, my family and I can live our best lives with confidence, enjoying all these activities safely, knowing that Alberta Blue Cross® is right there with us every step (or ski) of the way.

Believe it or not, I actually got into cross country skiing when I was in high school. My dad bought me a pair of waxless skis when I was in grade 11 (and I reaalllly wanted a cell phone!) But it ended up being one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. When my paternal grandmother was still healthy, she and I spent SO many hours skiing on the lake where our cabin was. Those conversations and memories are ones I will treasure the rest of my life.

We are lucky to have so many amazing parks and trails for cross country right in the Edmonton city limits, making it an easy accessible and (relatively) free activity (once you subtract the cost of equipment! Haha—thanks Dad!!).

Wondering where to cross country in #YEG?

You can find public groomed cross country ski trails in Edmonton at the following locations:

  • Capilano Park
  • Gold Bar Park
  • Gold Stick Park
  • William Hawrelak Park
  • Kinsmen Park
  • Riverside Golf Course
  • Victoria Golf Course

Each groomed park has an emergency phone. I always carry a cell phone as well to be extra safe, especially a good idea if you are skiing alone or at night. The trails at Gold Bar/Gold Stick and Kinsmen Parks are lit at night for evening or night skiing.

Needing a little additional motivation to get out there during these times? We totally get it. One of the aspects we love most about our exceptional coverage from Alberta Blue Cross®, is Balance®, an online wellness program available through their member site. We’ve talked about Balance® before, and it remains such a helpful place to find the resources needed to live a healthy lifestyle and stay motivated!

It is an easy-to-use, comprehensive tool that will help you and yours improve your overall health, as every time you take a step to maintain or improve your health, you actually earn points that you can redeem for a chance to win great prizes! For more information on Balance®, and the coverage options Alberta Blue Cross® provides, feel free to head to their site here.

This blog was written in partnership with Richelle Hanna of River City Sisters, a contemporary lifestyle blog by two Edmonton sisters. Check out their work at

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