The Canadian Birkie Ski Events

The Canadian Birkebeiner takes place east of Edmonton in the areas of Cooking Lake - Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area, the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village and Elk Island National Park. 

All courses are subject to change due to weather and trail conditions. Remember to check your registration package for the most up-to-date course information and last minute changes.

NEW!!!  Wave Starts for Birkie Classic Long Starts

This year’s Canadian Birkie will feature three start waves, with a mix of skiers from all 55 km and 31 km classic events. There will be three start waves; 9:00 am, 9:15, and 9:30; based on skier speed instead of event selection. 

Please read how to select your wave.


55 km Torskeklubben Birkebeiner
with Pack
The premiere ski event of the Festival. Skiers in age categories recreate the legend of the original Birkebeiner by carrying a 5.5 kg (12 lb) pack to represent the rescued infant prince. A point-to-point course from the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village rolls and winds along the east edge of Elk Island National Park and through the scenic Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area (PRA).  
55 km Spencer Environmental Birkie Lite Looking for a personal challenge but want to travel "lite" (i.e., without the pack)? Try the same distance without the extra weight. Skiers (in age categories) travel the same course and at the same time as the Birkebeiner with-pack skiers. 
31 km Erika's Tour A fun event with no age categories geared to those wanting to ski an intermediate distance, testing their skill and stamina. This event is an incredible personal challenge. A point to point course covering much of the 55 km trail with the same start and finish lines. 
29 km Skate-Ski Event
The event is 29 km in length, and will be a skate ski event (not classic style). The course starts at Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village an hour after the 31 km classic event has departed. It will occur almost exclusively on trails independent from the classic ski trails.
13 km
Mini Birkie
presented by
Global

A loop course for those who want a taste of the Birkebeiner, and for youth racers. We take into account the Long Term Athlete Development Model (e.g. no separate age groups for young kids). Skiers in this event vary in age and ability, but they all seek the thrill of crossing the finish line. This event starts and finishes at the Waskehegan Staging Area. Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult also registered in the race. 

2.5 or 4 km
Ole's Tour presented
by E Construction

This is a 2.5 or 4 km un-timed fun event where participants can ski with costumed Birkebeiners! Both distances start at 11:00 a.m., and you can choose to complete either distance even after the start line. 

  • Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult also registered in the same event. 
  • Advance registration only; there is no in-person registration at the Nordic Fair or on-site.

  • More details
Start Times
& Finish Line

Starts:
Finish:
  • All events finish at the Waskehegan Staging Area, Cooking Lake/Blackfoot PRA
Spectators
There is no parking at the Waskehegan Staging Area in Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area, where the finish lines and stadium are located. Spectators who wish to see the finish of any event can park at the Bethel Transit Station in Sherwood Park and take the Birkie Shuttle to the Finish Stadium area. The shuttle take approximately 30 minutes, depending on weather.

There will also be a bus which will run from Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village (UCHV) (Start of Long Courses) to Waskehegan Staging Area (Finish Line, Start of Short Courses) for those who want to see people off at the start line and then watch them come across the finish line or ski their own short event. Catch this bus outside the Red Barn. 
Spectators may get something to eat in the Festival Tent at the Finish Line by donation only.
Car Pooling!
Do your part to 'green' the Birkie.
Please ride with friends or family to the long start!