Winter Sports in the Toronto Region
  Winter Sports in the Toronto Region

Toronto has a checkered past when it comes to snow, either it has a little or has a lot. Regardless of its less than perfect score in this area, the surrounding regions are usually draped in a white blanket come Christmas, and stay like that until around April. Good thing, since Torontonians (I think that's how you spell it) love to get out on the trails and hillsides when the snow flies. There are lots of snowboarding hills and cross country ski areas within an hours drive of the city. Glen Eden outside of Milton is almost in the city, you can be on the slopes in less that a half hour. To the north, Blue Mountain is expanding its facilities and adding more features for boarders

Cross country skiers have lots of trails available at many ski hills and at a number of Conservation Areas and Provincial Parks. Of course the resorts, such as Horseshoe, Hardwood Hills and the Mansfield Outdoor Center, have extensive trail systems with a wide variety of terrain to choose from. If your looking to try a little winter camping and some backcountry skiing Algonquin is just a few hours away.

Backcountry Skiing - within 4hrs of the city

  • Algonquin- Make your own tracks, camp out or take advantage of the park's yurts.
  • The Pinery - Explore the park on skies and sleep in one of the parks yurts.

Cross Country Skiing

There are areas within the Toronto Region, such as Albion hills, where you can do some nordic skiing. You can even ski parts of the ravines, if the snow gods are with you. Failing that, there are dozens of areas within a one to four hour drive of the city. Many of the best ski areas are north of the city in the Barrie/Collingwood area, just below Georgian Bay.

Cross Country Ontario - Events 2004-2005, Ontario

  • Albion Hills - 26km, Groomed, Beginner-Expert. North of Bolton about 8km on highway 50 - Toronto Region Conservation Authority, Located just to the northeast of Metro Toronto. Toronto Region, Ontario
  • Algonquin Provincial Park - There are several groomed trails adding up to over 80km along the main corridor which is well maintained in winter.

    The Minnising Trail - Beginner, Intermediate
    Off of Hwy 60 in the main corridor in the southern sector of the park. The trail consists of four overlapping loops with distances of 4.7km, 10.1km, 17.1km and The longest loop will take you north of Canisbay Lake, around Linda Lake and back around the west side of Polly Lake. While some of the trail is made up of flats and rolling hills, the longest loop is ardous unless your in great shape. Along this outer loop here are a number of extended climbs that sap you as the kilometres pile up. This is a wilderness park be prepared, carry appropriate clothing, food, water and tools and never ski alone.

    Fen Lake - Beginner - Expert
    Just off of the main corridor, Hwy 60, very near the west gate. The trails are a varied mix taking you past Heron Lake to Fen Lake and following Gateway Creek back to the beginning of the loops system. The overlapping loops are 1.25km, 5.2km, 11.4km and 13km in distance.

    Leaf Lake
    Just inside the east gate this is an extensive trail system with lots of variations. As varied as the trail system the scenery is spectacular shrub, to forest, from lake front to mountain. There are over a dozen possible loops with distances from a few kilometers to over 50km.

  • Arrowhead Provincial Park - 27km, beginner-expert, tubing hill, skating, pro shop, lessons, waxing room. The park has a set of interconnected loops, with varying degrees of difficulty, winding through a forested area. Take the 400 to the 11 just passed Barrie and continue on 5km passed the town of Huntsville to the park. Huntsville, Muskoka
  • Awenda Provincial Park - 27km, beginner-intermediate, interconnected loops, heated shelter. The park has four trails open to skiers in the winter, the Brule (easy), the Wendat, Beach and the Bluff Trail. Midland, Central Ontario North
  • Blueberry Plains Trails - See the cross country listing for Wasaga Beach
  • Bondi Village Resort Trails - 20km, beginner-expert. The Cross country trails at the resort meander through a variety of rolling terrain. The is a fee charged for trail usage. From Hwy 60 follow the Hwy 35 east of Dwight to Muskoka Road 21 and the resort. Dwight/Lake of Bays area, MuskokaBracebridge Resource Management Centre - 8-10km, easy, loops. There are several trails to choose from, with some following beside the Muskoka River, through the forests or along marshes and open areas. Access is from east side of Hwy. 11 approximately 2.5km to the north of the High Falls Bridge. Bracebridge Muskoka
  • Bruce Trail - Cross Country Skiing, Snowshoeing, Hiking, Backpacking. Maps of the Bruce Trail
  • Dagmar - 23km, Groomed, Beginner-Expert. Located north of Ajax above the 401 South Central Ontario
  • Elora Gorge - 12km, Groomed, Beginner-Expert. From Guelph take highway 6 north to Elora Road 8 then head west into the conservation area. Southeastern Ontario, Ontario
  • Ganeraska Forest - 32km, Groomed, Beginner-Expert. Durham Region, From the 401 take the 115 north until you reach road 9 then head east. Watch for the sign for the forest. Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority. Located just to the southwest of Peterborough. South Central Ontario
  • Gravenhurst Nordic (KOA) - 17km, beginner-expert, groomed, rentals, waxing room, warm up hut. Located between Gravenhurst and Bracebridge on Reay Road East off the Gravenhurst Parkway. Gravenhurst, Muskoka
  • Haliburton Highlands Trails and Tours Network 100km, Groomed, Beginner-Expert. - 2.5hrs from Toronto, Haliburton, South Central Ontario
  • Hardwood Hills - 36km, beginner-expert, groomed trails, rentals, dining, classical & skating, school, accommodations. One of Ontario's best, the area provides a variety of terrain with excellently laid out trails through mixed forest. From the 401 take the 400 north, take exit 111 east on Doran Road. Watch for Edgar which will take you into the center. Barrie areas, Simcoe County, Central Ontario North
  • Highland Nordic Centre (Duntroon) - 17km of groomed trails, rentals, waxing area, cafeteria. One of Ontario's best known XC centers. Take exit 98 from the 400 north of Barrie and follow the 26 towards Wasaga Beach/Blue Mountain. Pick up the 91 at Sunnidale Corners and continue to Duntroon. The center is about a kilometre southwest of Duntroon on the 10th line.Duntroon, Central Ontario North
  • Hilton Falls Conservation Area - 16km. From Q.E.W. take the Guelph Line north (North of Burlington) passed Campbellville to Campbellville Road and head east to the CA. Southwestern Ontario, Ontario
  • Horseshoe Resort - 35km Groomed, Beginner-Expert. 1-1.5hrs north of Toronto. From the 401 take highway 400 north passed Barrie to exit 117. Turn right on Horseshoe Valley Road.
  • Inglis Falls Conservation Area - 7km, intermediate, not groomed. Located off Inglis Falls Road south of Owen Sound in Grey County. Owen Sound, Grey Sauble, Grey County
  • Kolapore Uplands - 60 kms, Intermediate, Expert. The area has 16 trails over a wide variety of terrain. There are a lot of difficult climbs and of course subsequent down hills. Note: This is a very large tract of forested land and you can get lost in the area be prepared (clothing, food, water and tools) and make sure you're back at the parking lot well before dusk. Don't ever ski alone. The map is available at the Ravenna General Store 6km north of the parking lot. Buy it! From Highway 10 take the 4 east to Grey County Road 2 where you head north. Drive for about 15km and watch for the The trail entrance on your right.
  • Lafontaine XC Skiing - 20km, Beginner-Expert, 35km classic, 7km skating. The trail network has a variety of terrain along with two nice viewpoints which overlook the area. 1.5-2hrs from Toronto. From the 401 take highway 400 north to exit 98 at Barrie, follow highway 27 north to Elmvale, head east on Simcoe Rd 6 then head north on Lafontaine Road Penetanguishene, Simcoe County
  • Leslie M. Frost Natural Resources Centre - 22km Groomed While the government has closed the centre the Friends of the Frost are ensuring the trails are open - lend a hand or perhaps provide a donation and ensure that the trails stay open indefinately, this is a valuable resouce! From the 401 take the 400 north to pick up the 11 north of Bariie. Follow the 11 to the 60 passed Huntsville a short ways, where you'll take the 35 south of Dorset about 11km. XC Skiing and Snowshoeing, North Central Ontario, Ontario
  • Mansfield Outdoor Center - 40km, Groomed, Beginner-Expert, classical& skating. There are machine groomed and track set trails that wind their way through hundreds of acres of beautiful forest providing many picturesque views of the Mulmur Hills. With a 40 km trail network you have a choice of 8 different trails graded from novice to expert. This includes a 10 km dedicated skating loop. From the 401 take highway 400 north and exit at highway 89 west. Follow the 89 to Dufferin Road 18 then head north to the center. Mansfield, Simcoe County, Central Ontario North
  • Sauble Beach - The area has a number of interconnected loops which travel beside the Rankin River. From Owen Sound follow the 6 to the 8 then head north on the 13 to the ski area. (519) 422-1405, Bruce County
  • Scenic Caves (Blue Mountain) - Cross country skiing and snowshoeing
  • Springwater Provincial Park - The park has three easy interconnected loops with distances of 2.4, 4.0 and 6.0km for a total of 12.4km of trials. The trails work their way through wetlands and forest including the remnants from a nursery which once occupied the area. Simcoe County, Central Ontario North
  • Stoney Island Conservation Area - 8km, Beginner-Expert, Skating & Classical. The trails are in a sheltered area of mixed forest are groomed on a regular basis in the winter. Saugeen Conservation Authority, Grey County
  • Wasaga Beach Provincial Park -30km, Groomed Loops, Beginner-Expert, Rentals. Loops, Rentals, Warming Hut and Shelters. The trail system works it's way through the dunes area of the park, across the river south of the famous beach. Used for cross country skiing in the winter the trails are a series of loops of varying difficulties. The Monument Hill (4.5km) and the High Dunes Trail (5.8km) are the most strenuous. The High Dunes provides a nice lookout from one of the dunes. For something easy the Blueberry Plains Trail (4.0km) is a good bet. The area's habitat is unique and very fragile, so keep to the trail at all times. Watch for white tailed deer. snowshoe hares and wild turkeys. Access to the trailhead is off of River Road West at Glenwood Drive you head south along Blueberry Trail Access Road. There is parking and a heated shelter in the winter for skiers. About 140km from Toronto. From the 401 take the 400 north to Barrie then take the 26 north to the 27. At Elmvale take the 92 west to the park. Blueberry Plains Trails, Wasaga Beach, Simcoe County, Central Ontario North
  • Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre - 20km Groomed Trails, Rentals. The trails work their way through hardwood forests and rolling hills overlooking the famous wetland. From the 400 north of Barrie take exit 121 and follow Hwy. 93 north through the passed Wyebridge to Hwy. 12. Follow the 12 east and watch for the sign.
      Skiing & Snow Boarding - Blue Mountain is the best known ski area in Ontario and just a few hours from Toronto. There are a lot of other choices in the area as well but keep in mind some of the hills are available for club members only. The following hills are within two hours of Toronto. If you're really pressed for time try Glen Eden which is less than a half hour from the city.
    • Dagmar - Snowboarding, Skiing, Cross Country, Mountain Biking, Directions Located north of Ajax above the 401
      • Dagmar - Trail Map
      • Dagmar - Conditions
      • Dagmar - Events
      • Dagmar - XC Trail Map
      • Dagmar - Employment


    Dog Sledding

  • Dogsledding in Algonquin
  • Winterdance - Haliburton, North Central Ontario,Ontario
      Snow Shoeing
    • Algonquin - There is a dedicated snow shoeing trail just off of the Minnising Trail and of course the whole park is open to possibilities. All the trails except the ski trails can be used for snowshoeing. Inquire with the park (help support the Friends of Algonquin by purchasing a trail description). Of course the rest of the park is accessible too but ensure you have the orienteering skills, survival gear along with map and compass before you venture off trail. Algonquin, Ontario
    • Arrowhead Provincial Park - The park has a designated snowshoe trail in the form of the Stubb's Falls Trail which starts at Arrowhead Lake. Take the 400 to the 11 just passed Barrie and continue on 5km passed the town of Huntsville to the park. Huntsville, Muskoka, North Central Ontario
    • Awenda Provincial Park - The park attracts a fair number of snowshoers in the winter but you must break trail since their are no designated trails in the park. Midland, North Central Ontario
    • Blue Mountain - Snowshoeing and cross country skiing are available at the nearby Scenic Caves. The snowshoeing trails include a crossing of the parks suspension bridge, the longest one in Ontario. From the south take the 400 north to Barrie and take exit 98 to the 26. Follow the 26 west passed Collingwood about 11km to Blue Mountain Road and the Resort. Restaurants and accommodations are available at the resort and in Collingwood
    • Grandview Hotel - Varying lengths, mixed hardwood and red pine forests, Take the 400 north from the 401 to just passed Barrie where you'll pick up the 11 into Huntsville, North Central Ontario, Ontario
    • Hardwood Hills - 13.5km, full facilities. Two dedicated snowshoe trails, the Wilderness Trail (6km) and the Meadowlands Trail (7.5) both wander through a nicely forested area. From the 401 take the 400 north, take exit 111 east on Doran Road. Watch for Edgar which will take you into the center. Barrie area, North Central Ontario
    • Presqu'ile Provincial Park - East of Toronto about 2 hrs. Take the 401 to Brighton and follow the 30 south into the Park
    • Sandbanks Provincial Park - East of Toronto about 3 hrs. Take the 401 to Brighton then follow the 62 south to the 12 which will take you to the park.
    • Springwater Provincial Park - The park has cross country skiing and a short designated snowshoe trail. Midhurst, Ontario
    • Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre - Designated snowshoe trail, rentals. The trail makes its through hardwood forests and rolling hills overlooking the famous wetland. From the 400 north of Barrie take exit 121 and follow Hwy. 93 north through the passed Wyebridge to Hwy. 12. Follow the 12 east and watch for the sign. - Hiking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, Simcoe County
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