When you live in Toronto, it’s easy to forget that there is a pretty incredible country outside the city limits. You don’t have to venture far to experience the beauty of northern Canada either. If you’re looking for something out of the norm, here are 6 winter adventures to try if you’re willing to trek just a bit north of Toronto.
STRAP UP AND GIVE DOGSLEDDING A GO
Windrift Adventures is located just 90 minutes outside the GTA, but you’ll think you’re in another world. You get the full dog-sledding experience, from harnessing and hooking up your team to driving the sled. Depending on how adventurous you are, they offer 1/2 hour, 1/2 day, and full day tours.
SETTLE IN TO YOUR HUT AND ENJOY A DAY OF ICE FISHING
Lake Simcoe is one of the most popular spots in the entire province for ice fishing, and it’s just an hour drive from Toronto. Blue Hut Rentals will provide you with the full fishing experience, complete with hut, bait, and transportation to and from shore. Don’t forget to show up with your fishing licence (you can get it at any Canadian Tire) and Bailey’s for your coffee.
SKATE THROUGH THE FOREST TRAIL AT FERN RESORT
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of skating on an outdoor rink, so suffice to say that a 1.5-kilometre skating trail through the woods in northern Ontario is pretty freaking magical. During the day, you can often spot animals peeking out through the trees. Fern Resort also offers Torch Lit Twilight skating through the trees, which is an incredible experience as well. Don’t have your own skates? No worries, you can rent them there.
GET OUT FOR A RIP ON A SNOWMOBILE
Simcoe County is home to hundreds of kilometres of snowmobile trails, so you could literally spend hours exploring the forests or touring around the lakes. If you’ve always wanted to but are a bit nervous try a guided tour, they’ll show you the ropes and make sure you have a great time.
CROSS COUNTRY SKIING AT HARDWOOD SKI & BIKE
The awesome thing about cross country skiing is that pretty much everyone can do it. Hardwood has loops for all ability levels, and they’re groomed everyday so the conditions are awesome. Added bonus? They also have snowshoe and fat bike trails, so if you want to give something else a try, you can.
There is some truly phenomenal skiing north of the city mostly thanks to the awesome snow conditions. Even when there isn’t snow in the GTA, there’s snow up north, and usually a ton of it. Snow Valley, Horseshoe Resort, and Mount Saint Louis/Moonstone are all just over an hour from Toronto. Downhill is relatively easy to learn, once you’ve mastered the “snowplow” turn you’ll be carving up black diamonds in no time. But the good news is, if you turn out not to be no good at skiing, everyone is awesome at apres ski.