As a blanket of snow envelopes our yard and the pond freezes over, I’m beginning to plan our winter excursions for the approaching weeks. I like the season main as much as Christmas. The streets are lit and embellished, the retailers are abuzz with vacation music and the children are heading outdoors to play. As adults, we like to play within the snow too! Ontario could not have the Rocky Mountains of Alberta or the enduring ski resorts of British Columbia, however we do know the right way to benefit from the good outside.
In case you are in search of one thing completely different to do that weekend, try our listing of the best issues to do in winter in Ontario.
Winter in Ontario, Canada
Earlier than you intend an journey in winter in Ontario learn the following pointers for staying heat:
Snowboard or Ski Blue Mountain
Our favourite Ontario winter vacation spot is Blue Mountain in Collingwood. We’ve been going to Blue Mountain for greater than a decade. After we lived up north close to Barrie, we had a seasons cross and went snowboarding each likelihood we had. Blue Mountain is Ontario’s premier ski resort with 365 acres of skiable terrain. There are 3 terrain parks, glade runs, and a few steep and enjoyable black diamond runs. At 220 vertical meters, it’s not too shabby by Ontario requirements.
Spend the day on the slopes after which ebook a room in Blue Mountain village to chill out at evening. There are many eating places, retailers, and cafés, and through the winter months, there’s loads of occasions and festivals. We love staying at Mosaic Boutique Suites to get pleasure from their outside sizzling tub, sauna, and year-round outside pool proper within the coronary heart of Blue Mountain Village. Learn extra: Issues to do in Blue Mountain and Collingwood
Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain
When in Blue Mountain, make your approach to the Scandinave Spa. This stunning oasis within the woods is the right place to appease your aching muscle tissue after a day on the paths. There may be nothing higher than sitting in large sizzling tubs because the snow falls round you. With hydrotherapy circuits, outside fireplaces, and Muskoka chairs overlooking the UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve Niagara Escarpment, it’s a little slice of tranquility within the forest. One other wonderful place to remain at Blue Mountain is The Westin Trillium Home Blue Mountain.
Skate the Rideau Canal
It’s the bucket listing merchandise for anybody touring to Canada in winter and it’s positioned proper right here in Ontario. The Rideau Canal is the world’s largest skating rink and a UNESCO World Heritage Website. When the temperature dips beneath zero, the water freezes, and the Rideau Canal waterway is remodeled right into a skating rink. Learn extra: 20 Adventurous and enjoyable Issues to do in Winter in Canada
We recommend staying at The Westin Ottawa, which is positioned proper within the coronary heart of Ottawa immediately throughout from the Rideau Skateway. The Rideau Canal Skateway winds its manner via town for 7.8 kilometers. The ice is flooded and maintained all through the winter and there are warming stations and huts promoting maple syrup, sizzling chocolate, and Beavertails alongside the way in which!
Talking of the Rideau Canal, the perfect time to skate on it’s throughout Winterlude. Winterlude is a 3-week lengthy winter competition that takes place in Ottawa. Canada’s capital metropolis comes alive with festivities from ice sculpture competitions, nightly leisure, festive lights, and actions. We recommend staying on the Fairmont Chateau Laurier for Winterlude. It’s actually magical.
Throughout the river in Gatineau Quebec, the winter park is in full swing with snow tubing, zip-lining, and large works of ice artwork. Plus don’t overlook the dragon boat races on the frozen Dows Lake. Learn extra: Winterlude Itinerary – The Final Information to Ottawa
If you wish to go dogsledding in Ontario, one of many premier locations to go is to Winterdance in Haliburton. Hank DeBruin is an Iditarod and Yukon Quest finisher together with his all-husky staff. He’s Canada’s reply to Lance Mackey. He and his spouse Tanya run Winterdance with love and respect for his or her household of canine. Learn extra: Dogsledding Ontario – Your Ticket to Journey in Canada
It’s a complete family-run operation with their sons concerned as nicely. We’ve finished a few dogsled excursions with them and so they have half-day and full-day excursions into the Ontario wilderness. You can even ebook a comfortable winter cottage with them and keep the week! Examine excursions, charges, and lodging at their web site. Additionally learn: The Misconceptions of Dogsledding
Skate The Ice Path in Arrowhead Provincial Park
In case you can’t make it to Ottawa this winter, one other superb place to go skating outside is alongside the Ice Path in Arrowhead Provincial Park. The 1.3 km lengthy ice path weaves via the Muskoka Forest. What’s superb about skating the Muskoka Ice Path is which you could spend the day having fun with outside enjoyable in Arrowhead. There’s snow tubing and cross nation snowboarding at Arrowhead as nicely. When visiting Muskoka in winter, keep at Cedar Lodge for a romantic escape or at Deerhurst Resort for a enjoyable for the entire household resort really feel.
Talking of Snowtubing, the perfect place that we’ve got been snow tubing is at Snow Valley in Barrie, Ontario. It has 14 snow tubing chutes which are quick and livid. Stand on the magic carpet, hop on the tube and let gravity do the work. We all the time prefer to joke that snow tubing is the last word sofa potato thrill journey. Learn extra: Issues to do in Muskoka in Winter
There are many locations to go Snowtubing in Ontario, Horseshoe Resort has the longest tube hill in Ontario, Boler Mountain in London has a snow tubing park. My outdated ski hill as a child, Chicopee Ski Hill and Tub Park in Kitchener, and even Blue Mountain has a snow tubing park.
Snowshoeing in Algonquin Park
When deciding the place to go snowshoeing in Ontario, the sky is the restrict. Simply discover a provincial park or a conservation space, strap on some snowshoes. You should purchase them at Costco, Walmart or on Amazon right here and head to the woods. However we prefer to recommend Algonquin Park with Algonquin Outfitters. Algonquin Outfitters rents all of the gear you have to snowshoe or cross nation ski within the park and surrounding areas and can provide you maps and suggestions on the place to go.
Take A romantic Sleigh Journey
In case you are in search of one thing rather less bodily for winter in Ontario, ebook a romantic sleigh journey with the one you’re keen on. Or take the entire household! Again of Past Equine Centre in Muskoka gives slight rides the place you possibly can ebook non-public winter sleigh rides with a campfire via a magical winter wonderland. You then finish at a campfire the place you’ll sip sizzling chocolate whereas having fun with the good outside. In addition they supply household rides to see Santa! Examine sleigh journey excursions right here.
When in Muskoka keep at Cedar Grove Lodge for a romantic retreat or head to Deerhurst Resort for the entire household. Different locations to take a sleigh journey in Ontario are St. Jacobs Horse Drawn excursions north of Waterloo,
See the Frozen Niagara Falls Waterfalls
Niagara Falls is Ontario’s premier attraction in the summertime, however visiting Niagara within the coronary heart of winter is actually magical. When the temperature freezes for days in a row, the mighty Horseshoe Falls freeze over making for big ice formations. Spend the evening on the Marriott Fallsview Resort and hit the on line casino to remain heat and dry. Learn subsequent: Snowshoeing Wine Tour Niagara Falls
Once you keep on the Marriott Fallsview, Hilton Niagara Falls, or Raddison Resort and Suites ebook a Fallsview room so you possibly can take within the stunning views all evening lengthy. Eat on the Keg for the perfect views of Niagara Falls. Learn extra: Romance in Niagara Falls, Ontario’s Greatest Weekend Getaway
Talking of frozen waterfalls, Ontario is full of waterfalls and our buddy Katheryn of KatherynEverywhere like to chase waterfalls. Hamilton is the waterfall capital of the world! Positioned on the Niagara Escarpment, town of Hamilton has 100 waterfalls inside its metropolis limits. These waterfalls are shocking. A few of the finest waterfalls to see frozen within the Hamilton area are Tiffany Falls, Webster Falls, Tews Falls, and Albion Falls. When exploring waterfalls round Hamilton, keep on the Pearl in Burlington.
Niagara Ice Wine Pageant
In case you are planning on going to see Niagara Falls when it’s frozen, why not time it with the Niagara Ice Wine Pageant? The Niagara Ice Wine Pageant is a two-week competition that occurs within the latter half of January. Earlier than you go, get your self the Niagara Icewine Discovery Go to discover the wine route, Niagara on the Lake’s Ice Wine Village, and Jordan Village’s Winter Winefest. Ontario’s ice wine is world-renowned and this can be a fantastic weekend getaway within the coronary heart of winter. Learn extra: 15 Superb Issues to do in Niagara on the Lake – Canada
Go Ice Climbing
If you wish to up the adrenaline issue, go mountaineering on waterfalls. This isn’t an journey to do if you happen to don’t have expertise, so be certain that to rent an organization and information to take you to a frozen waterfall and check out your hand at climbing. There may be mountaineering in Muskoka and Haliburton, Elora Gorge, Lake Superior, and Sault St. Marie.
Firms to take a look at for mountaineering are Superior Exploration in Lake Superior’s Batchawana Bay, LivOutside in Muskoka, and Haliburton and One Axe Pursuits for mountaineering in Elora. See our Ice Climbing in Banff – The Final Winter Journey
Our buddy Chris of Street Journey Ontario when Ice Fishing in Port Perry. Learn extra of his Ice Fishing journey right here. I like what he says about Canadians in winter on our Loopy Canucks in Winter video ” Canadians prefer to take summer time outside actions and switch them into winter actions. Why not proper?
Ice fishing is an Ontario custom. Usually, everybody I do know packs a cooler of beer and bundles as much as go sit in an ice hut on a frozen lake to catch some fish. Whereas Chris went to Port Perry, there are numerous locations to go ice fishing in Ontario together with Lake Simcoe
Hit the Snowmobile Trails
Snowmobiling is as Canadian as maple syrup and hitting the paths is one in all our favorite pastimes within the winter. Muskoka is without doubt one of the finest locations to go snowmobiling. Once you head up north in Ontario, you possibly can you’ll want to have good snow and groomed trails. We’ve rented snowmobiles to discover Haliburton Forest and Muskoka. Muskoka has 1600 kms of OFSC trails with loops which you could discover together with the Muskoka Magic Loop, Lake of Bays Watch and the Spherical Algonquin Park Tour. Haliburton Highlands and Muskoka actually do have a few of the finest snowmobiling trails with simple rental choices. We booked with Backcountry Excursions.
Lake Superior Ice Caves
Exploring the Lake Superior Ice Caves is one other Ontario winter journey that shouldn’t be finished with out expertise. Dave and I all the time suggest hiring a information to do adventures and this one-of-a-kind expertise is finest suited on a tour. This expertise additionally doesn’t occur each winter. However on uncommon events like a polar vortex, the Lake freezes over and because the waves bash in opposition to the shore, ice caves are shaped because the temperature plummets. Because the water retains shifting and the temperature retains dropping, ice caves full of Stalactites and Stalagmites are shaped. you by snowmobile to ice caves with
Go Fats Biking
Fats Biking is a lot enjoyable! Fats biking is lots like mountain biking, however as a substitute of biking on rocky and muddy terrain, you bike on snow! You’ll be able to fats bike wherever in Ontario actually. Simply discover a bike path and go. However chances are high you don’t personal a fats bike, and chances are high you gained’t wish to journey all winter lengthy, so as a substitute seek for fats biking trails and leases. A few of the finest fats biking trails are additionally the perfect mountain biking trails. Listed here are a number of of our suggestions. Hardwood Hills close to Barrie, Albion Hills north of Toronto, Horseshoe Resort additionally close to Barrie, Highlands Nordic in Collingwood, and Bracebridge.
Go on a Winter Trek
If you wish to do one thing excessive this winter, be a part of one of many Historical past Channel’s ultimate 3 survivors of “Alone” on a winter Trek. Kielyn and Dave Marrone are Ontario’s premier winter journey couple and Kielyn rose to fame surviving almost 100 days within the winter wilderness on their lonesome. Be part of them on a trek and see what you might be product of. We did a ten day journey with them on the Missinaibi and it was grueling and life-changing unexpectedly. You don’t should do 10 days although, try their web site to see what this best for you. Examine our expertise at Expeditions are Glamorous in Retrospect
Keep in a Yurt
If that appears like an excessive amount of, spend an evening in a yurt as a substitute. Earlier than Dave and I made a decision on touring full time as our profession, we have been pondering of buying a yurt and dwelling within the woods. Unusual, however true. Ontario Parks has loads of winter tenting the place you possibly can see what you might be product of staying outdoors in winter. Now we have stayed in a Yurt with Lure of the North and we stayed in a Yurt in Mongolia. It’s superior!
There are yurts out there in a number of Ontario parks together with Algonquin Park, Killarney, McGregor Level, and the Pinery Provincial Park. This can be a nice approach to discover winter in Ontario. You’ll be able to go snowshoeing, fats biking, or mountain climbing all day after which head again to your cozy yurt at evening. Examine Ontario Parks for particulars. Examine our expertise with Lure of the North A Day within the Life – An Excessive Winter Expedition
So there you’ve gotten it, girls and gents. One of the best issues to do in Ontario in Winter. The previous two years have been up within the air for journey, however that doesn’t imply you possibly can’t discover your personal yard. Winter could be enjoyable! All you have to do is gown for it, attempt one thing new and have an open thoughts for a way of journey.