Edmonton is a winter city and to prove it the city has published a river valley map showing tourists and locals how to make the most of our longest season.

"We've added all the skating locations, tobogganing and we've made the whole other side of the map the winter side," said Julie Cournoyer, program coordinator with the city.

Julie Cournoyer

Julie Cournoyer embracing Edmonton's winter in Hawrelak Park. (Rick Bremness/CBC)

The new map details warm-up location, paths cleared in the winter, even degree of difficulty in terms of slope for winter hikes and bikes.

Cournoyer says the city always had a map of the river valley but the idea of the winter side came when the time came for more maps to be printed.

"So instead of just having the summer side, where we've layered on a few things you can flip it over and see what there is to do in the winter and it's a lot easier to read," said Cournoyer.


The iceway at Victoria Park oval one of the winter attractions in Edmonton's river valley. (Adrienne Lamb/CBC)

The 15,000 copies of the map are available at City of Edmonton recreation centres, warm up chalets and at city hall, while a PDF map can be found on the website.

And while the PDF is the second most visited map next to the ETS bus map, Cournoyer admits it's old school. She's hoping for a new interactive digital map as part of an overall winter city strategy by the end of 2018.

Alfred H. Savage Centre

Alfred H. Savage Centre in Whitemud Park is one of five winter chalets with washrooms and a warm-up area in the Edmonton river valley. (Adrienne Lamb/CBC)

Cyclist Mike Sarnecki uses the river valley trails year round.

"It's one of our best kept secrets that maybe we should make our worst kept secret," Sarnecki said.

The fat bike racer grins from ear to ear as he hugs the trails even in -20 C.

"Fat biking is like riding a magic carpet through the snow. It's so much fun!"

It's this kind of adventure Cournoyer hopes the new map will lead more people to.

You can see more of the river valley on this week's Our Edmonton. Saturday at 10 a.m. and Sunday and Monday at 11 a.m. on CBC TV.

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