Like most of the natural areas surrounding the City of Edmonton, Miquelon Lake Provincial Park is comprised mostly of small lakes, ponds, and gently rolling hills. Leisurely weaving its way through these features, the backcountry trail network at Miquelon is great for a casual hikes in the summer, or for cross-country skiing (the trails are set for classic skiing) or snowshoeing in the winter.
Having never cross-country skied before, I jumped at the opportunity to head out to Miquelon with friends Josephine, Ivan, Radka and Rabin, and was rewarded with good snow conditions and a beautiful bluebird day. The great lighting that morning certainly brought out the best in the area.
Miquelon Lake Provincial Park can be found roughly 50km southeast of Edmonton, and can easily be reached by following Hwy 623 east from the City of Leduc. From that highway, turn left at Range Road 205, and then follow the road for a half-kilometre to reach the main day-use parking area. Whether you're there for hiking, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing, the trail you'll want to follow runs along the back of the parking area on a northeasterly heading.
After a few hundred metres you'll reach a road crossing that, for us on this date, had insufficient snow upon it to cross with our skis. Thankfully this was only a minor inconvenience, and one that wouldn't be repeated until our return a few hours later.
With six intertwining loops (Beaver Hills Interpretive, Chickadee, Deer, Ermine, Fox and Grouse), the backcountry trail network at Miquelon offers a lot of opportunity to customize your trip length without having to retrace any steps. As we were looking to get a decent workout from our time at the park, our group chose to combine all of the loops doing the entire periphery of the area in a clockwise motion. This makes for an overall trip length nearing 10km, and also simplifies the routefinding as you'll always be going left at the many intersections you'll encounter. The park has a nice overview map (PDF) available that should help contextualize many of the details discussed above.
I don't have much in the way of cross-country skiing experience to gauge whether this a great venue for the activity, but aside from a couple of sharp turns at the bottom of hills which made me wish for fixed heels (I'm much more of a downhill skier), but I certainly enjoyed it.