Winter moved to America, and we’re not complaining. Still, it’s not too late to embrace this cold-ish weather in all its Canadian glory. Go north, young man, and strap on some cross-country skis. Here’s where to find the snow.
Total trailage: 27 km
Hardwood Hills, just outside Barrie, makes the most of its trails, offering “80 km of trail options.” Superlative grooming, as well as snowmaking and night skiing, justify the relatively steep $21.50 price tag on a day pass.
Total trailage: 24 km
Highlands Nordic sits atop the Niagara Escarpment in the lake effect snow belt, which means it gets snow when nobody else does. Plus, its elevated position offers mind-blowing views of Georgian Bay. A stacked trail system leads to occasional skier cloggage – though you should be fine this late in the season. Both classic and skating techniques have a home here.
Total trailage: 35 km
Although better known for downhill skiing, Horseshoe Valley’s flatlands are also solid, especially for advanced skiers seeking out challenging terrain. Trails like North Red offer isolation in the vast wilderness, while the lung-busting Kathy’s Climb might not be suitable for smokers.
Arrowhead Provincial Park
Total trailage: 33 km
Being in a provincial park means cheap rates, empty trails and frequent wildlife encounters. But it also means less diligent grooming and minimal trail markings. Still, the park’s mix of classic technique tracks and skating trails, as well as acres of frozen Muskokan lakes, mean it’s worth the drive to Arrowhead.
Image courtesy of trailsource.com on flickr