Ontario’s Best Winter Recreation Destinations

Ontario is a huge province, and how winter plays out typically depends on which part of it you live in. The further north you go, the more snow you will have and the longer the winter will be, but there are still excellent winter adventures all across the province. Here are a few of our favourites to get you inspired to get outside and explore.

Albion Hills Conservation Area Trails

Albion Hills offers 33 km (20.5 mi) of interconnected cross-country ski trails, a skating rink, a fantastic toboggan hill as well as fat bike and snowshoe trails. The groomed and track-set trails are suited to beginner, intermediate and expert skiers; there is something for everyone here. The trails are well marked and traverse a mixed forest and past several wetland areas.

Photo via: parkbus.ca

Algonquin Provincial Park

Algonquin Park makes an awesome cold weather destination and during the winter, there are plenty of trails to explore. The Leaf Lake area is home to 46 km (29 mi) of groomed trails while the Fen Lake Ski Trail offers a further groomed 18 km (11 mi). The Minnesing bike trail becomes a groomed winter ski trail and features four loops totaling up to 32 km (20 mi). In addition to these dedicated trails, summer hiking trails are open and ideally suited to snowshoeing while winter allows visitors can also break their own trail, exploring even more of the park. Fat bike riders can hop on the Old Railway Bike Trail which runs between Rock Lake and Cache Lake. Mew Lake is open for winter camping and has yurts to rent!

Photo via: explorersedge.ca

Arrowhead Provincial Park

Just outside of Huntsville, Arrowhead is a popular year-round destination which holds plenty of winter magic. Skiers will find 33 km (20.5 mi) of groomed trails, a combination of classic and skate routes along with a section lit for night skiing. There are also 8 km (5 mi) of snowshoe trails and every winter a highlight of the park is the 1.3 km ice skating trail, lit by tiki torches at night!

Photo via: discovermuskoka.ca

Killarney Provincial Park

Killarney Provincial Park offers winter camping and snowshoeing opportunities in addition to track set cross-country ski trails. One of the most scenic areas of the province, there are three trails that are tracked from the George Lake Campground that cover 35 km (22 mi) in length. The most popular is the 14 km (8.7 mi) Collins Inlet Trail, running through forests along Georgian Bay, and the Chikanishing Trail which links the campground to the park office. For those looking for an easier route, the 11.5 km (7.1 mi) Freeland Trail offers relatively flat terrain over its length. Snowshoers and skiers will be treated to sweeping views of the park’s famous pink granite cliffsides.

Photo via: ontarioparks.com

Pinery Provincial Park

Pinery is a great place for winter outdoor adventure. The park offers five classical ski trails that total 38 km (24 mi) along with 11 km (6.8 mi) for skate skiing. The trails travel through mainly forested settings with periodic views of Lake Huron. Other winter activities that can be enjoyed include winter camping, snowshoeing, tobogganing and skating. In addition, check out the 9 km (5.6 mile) Grand Bend Rotary Nature Trail with runs from Pinery to Grand Bend along the Highway 21 corridor.

Photo via: Eastern Canada Backroad GPS Maps

Pukaskwa National Park

Visiting Pukaskwa in the winter is a whole new experience. Cross-country and backcountry skiing opportunities exist on ungroomed trails, while snowshoers are welcome to explore their own trail anywhere in the park. Overnight camping is allowed at the Hattie Cove Campground for those interested. Be sure to come well prepared for the conditions. The road into the campground is not accessible by vehicle in winter months so remember to keep your snowshoes or skis handy.

Photo via: Eastern Canada Backroad GPS Maps

Quetico Provincial Park

In addition to the remarkable backcountry camping that Quetico is renowned for, the park also maintains some trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. Snow enthusiasts can even rent a yurt to sleep in after a day outdoors. All of the trails originate from the Dawson Trail Campground, which is located off Highway 11, about 160 km west of Thunder Bay, near the northeast corner of the park. North of the park boundary, the Mink Lake Cross-Country Ski Trail offers a more challenging 12 km (7.5 mi) loop trail.

Photo via ontarioparks.com

Scenic Caves

Featuring the highest point of the Niagara Escarpment, the Scenic Caves, popular in the summer, is also a great winter recreation location with cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. There are 27 km (16.8 miles) of cross-country trails for beginner to intermediate in both classic and skate styles. In addition, there are 8 km (5 miles) of snowshoe trails; the highlight is traversing the 420-foot suspension bridge.

Photo via: narcity.com

Sleeping Giant Provincial Park Trails

Situated on the Sibley Peninsula on the north-western shore of Lake Superior, Sleeping Giant Park contains 20 marked trails that are comprised of over 80 km (50 mi) of footpaths. During the winter months, the park grooms over 50 km (31 mi) of these trails for both classic and skate skiing. The trails range from easy to difficult and wander through some impressive woodlands and viewing areas.

Photo via: visitnorthwestonario.com

Temiskaming Nordic Ski Club Trails

Boasting some of the finest trails in northeastern Ontario, Temiskaming allows both novice and expert skiers alike a fine day of winter fun. Over 20 km (12 mi) of interconnected, groomed loops are serviced by a heated log chalet, change rooms and a waxing area. The three trail systems, groomed for both classic and skate skiing, offer different levels of difficulty, ranging from the easy Green Trail to the intermediate Blue Trail and advanced Red Trail. The intersecting loops allow skiers to shorten or extend their day depending on conditions. Snowshoers will also find an intermediate 2.8 km (1.7 mi) trail. Temiskaming Nordic Ski Club is situated off Highway 11, at the junction of Portage Bay Road and Barr Forest Access Road.

Photo via: Northeastern Ontario Backroad Mapbook

You can find these and many more incredible winter recreation destinations in our series of Ontario Backroad Mapbooks and GPS Maps!

Did we miss your favourite winter adventure in Ontario? Let us know in the comments below or share your best adventure photos with us on Instagram using #brmblife for a chance to be featured on our feed and win prizes.