THE BEST CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING DESTINATIONS IN ONTARIO
With the snow that’s been falling across the province over the last few weeks, there’s never been a better time to put on a pair of cross-country skis and head out on some of Ontario’s best trails. We have compiled a list of our four favourite destinations.
Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, in the boreal forest near Lake Superior, offers amazing wildlife spotting opportunities along its 50 kilometres of groomed trails. Be on the lookout for moose, wolves, foxes, and lynx as you explore the trail system. If you don’t happen to spot any wildlife, you can still take in some amazing scenery along the storied Burma Trail or the rolling Marie Louise Lake loop. For some great fun and an opportunity to challenge yourself, take part in the internationally recognized Sleeping Giant Loppet which takes place on the first Saturday in March.
Located in the heart of Westboro, along the banks of the Ottawa River, the Sir John A. Macdonald Winter Trail is a multi-use trail supporting both classic and skate style cross-country skiing. Serpentine loops add distance to the ski track at the Selby Plains and the Remic Rapids greenspaces as well as at open lands adjacent to the War Museum and Champlain Bridge, for an expected distance of 16 kilometres. Its practical location, combined with amenities like a tobogganing hill, John Ceprano rock sculptures, and the café at the War Museum makes it a great destination for a day trip.
Windy Lake Lodge is a unique cross-country skiing destination, as it’s accessible only by train. Hop on the train in Sault Ste. Marie and head up the Algoma Central Railway, getting off at mile marker 122-1/2, just north of Agawa Canyon, for an unforgettable experience far from the city and crowds. Located on the shores of Callahan Lake, the camp includes six separate cabins and the main lodge. The cabins can comfortably accommodate two to eight guests ready to take on some serious backcountry skiing.
Southern Ontario’s cross-country skiers love Hardwood Hills, located just an hour north of Toronto. Voted 6 years in a row by Get Out There Magazine as the best cross-country ski facility in eastern Ontario, Harwood Hills offers a wide variety of trails for all levels. With an on-site food truck serving delicious meals and snacks, a service shop for your entire rental, waxing and repair needs, as well as a retail shoppe equipped with cross-country ski gear galore, you’ll find everything you need for an amazing ski experience.
Looking for a winter jacket that will keep you warm on your way to the trails and back?
Quartz Co. offers a variety of styles for both men and women.
Photos by: Sépaq, Steve Deschene, Claude Isabel