Typically, Canadians head down South to avoid the brutally cold winters. This year, consider sticking it out through the cold and enjoy the amazing winter experiences Canada has to offer. Ontario has 25 provincial parks that remain open throughout the winter season, which means there are plenty of activities to enjoy. 19 Ontario Parks offer over 450 kilometres of cross-country ski trails. Many have warm-up shelters and/or cabins with wood fires and even hot chocolate to warm you up! Here are a few provincial parks that are just as much fun in the winter!
If you’re looking for great spots to get active throughout the winter, there are quite a few provincial parks in our areas of service that offer rentals and well maintained trails. Arrowhead and Wasaga Beach Provincial Park offer both cross-country ski and snowshoe rentals throughout the winter season. If you’re looking to lace up your skates this season, Algonquin and Arrowhead both have fantastic rinks and trails for ice skating. Arrowhead’s magical 1.3 km tree-lined trail is a winter highlight when you visit Muskoka in the winter.
If you’re looking to stay at a provincial park in the winter, there are still quite a few options available through the winter season. Over 11 parks offer various accommodations that will make your winter weekends a blast! If you’re looking for trailer/tent camping this winter, you can do so at Algonquin Park’s Mew Lake. Backcountry camping is available for reservation at Algonquin Park and Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park year round. Heated accommodations are a great choice, with yurts and camp cabins available at both Arrowhead and Silent Lake Provincial Parks. Most yurts sleep up to six people and offer electric heat for you to stay warm on your winter expedition. Sandbanks Provincial Park in The County offers year round cottage accommodations, which you can book through the Ontario Parks Online Reservations website.
Ice fishing is another winter activity you can try this winter. Silent Lake is a popular spot for fishing enthusiasts to try their luck at ice fishing, especially if you’re looking to catch some beautiful lake trout. Sibbald Point Provincial Park off Lake Simcoe is a great spot because of its sheltered bay to fish for jumbo yellow perch and whitefish. Make sure to consult the Ontario Recreational Fishing Regulations and the park office since Silent Lake has some exceptions regarding ice-fishing before you head out there!
If you’re looking for a shorter escape from the city life this winter Bronte Creek Provincial Park is only a 30 minute drive away from Toronto. This is a great park for a day visit, especially in the winter. One of the main attractions of this fantastic site is their Olympic sized skating rink, with skate rentals offered in the park. There are also ten kilometres of cross-country ski trails, and a toboggan hill perfect for the kids to enjoy!