The Innisfail Ski Hill
Founded in the early 1960's the Innisfail Ski Hill is a non-profit society, run by volunteers, that was started by a group of local families. These families came together and purchased land to develop and create a designated area for winter recreation. Nestled in the heart of the small prairie community of Innisfail, this land, is where the Innisfail Ski Hill was born.
Together these families established the non-profit society of the Innisfail Ski Hill and worked to build the basic infrastructure needed to begin operations. Designating the few main ski runs and trails, building a straw-insulated ski chalet and installing a tow rope lift system were all a part of the basic necessities. Throughout the years, times have changed and people have come and gone but the fun to be had at the Innisfail Ski Hill has always remained the same. From Ralph Oxtoby's ski school in the earlier days to today's families and individuals of all ages learning to ski or snowboard, the spirit of the Innisfail Ski Hill is still very much alive. The Innisfail Ski Hill has been home to many successful athletes and ski community personnel over the years. Even being 'just a small hill' in rural Alberta many would consider the ski hill to be their "home mountain."
Over the years there have been many snowy winters with long ski seasons to winters with barely enough snow to run operations but the one thing that has always remained consistent is the continued support from the community of Innisfail and surrounding area, the society's members and the many volunteers who have all dedicated their time and efforts to help keep the ski hill running.
Being run entirely by volunteers, the Innisfail Ski Hill manages to maintain regular operating hours throughout the winter months. Along with affordable ticket fees we are also able to provide reasonably priced rental gear from our chalet at the top of the hill. This includes a large fleet of skis, ski boots, snowboards and snowboard boots for anyone who may require equipment. Also located in our chalet is a small concession which offers simple snacks and beverages for breaks between runs.
We, the Innisfail Ski Hill, are very proud to be apart of the community and with great thank to all who support us, we look forward to many ski seasons to come.
"It's a good hill to learn how to ski or snowboard."
- User Review
"Our family loves spending time here. My kids ask to go all the time!!"
- User Review
"Awesome wonderful experience for family fun ...Thank you staff and everyone who provide such a great place for everyone."
- User Review
"Such a great place to drop off the kids for a day. Cheap and fun. We are local and our kids spend many many evenings and Saturdays here"
- Google Review
The Hill Itself
Situated on a northern facing hill, located on the west side of Innisfail, the ski hill backs onto Mud Lake and the Innisfail Golf Course. To our benefit the northern aspect of the hill accumulates and collects snow that is kept in the shadows during the peak months of winter. Being as the ski hill is completely dependent on natural snow this works greatly in our favour to prolong our ski season into the spring.
Although we are a small facility, our hill offers plenty for all ages and abilities. It is a great place to learn and improve or to get some turns in if you have already mastered the skills of skiing/snowboarding. We have six main runs; two beginner, three intermediate and one with a rail park. Our hill also offers several small side trails through the trees, a bump track, and an earth dug half pipe.
Located in a central position, the tow rope provides easy access to all parts of the hill. It is recommended that you bring your old gloves or cowhide mitts for using the tow rope to make gripping the rope easier. The rope can be challenging for first time users but most get the hang of it fairly quick.
Being that we depend entirely on accumulated snow our runs are left natural and un-groomed. However, our volunteers physically tend to trail maintenance by shovelling snow onto the towline and moving snow around the hill when needed by snowmobile. We will occasionally pack the hill after larger snowfalls to increase our snow base to carry us through the ski season.