Event-ful winter at Ontario Parks

Howl for coyotes, ski under a full moon, skate through the woods, build an igloo, or challenge yourself to a ski loppet. There’s always something to do at Ontario Parks in winter.. Here are a few highlights:

DECEMBER 31 A ‘howling’ good time

Howl for coyotes at Bronte Creek Provincial Park’s annual New Year’s Eve party. The family-friendly evening kicks off with a Public Coyote Howl followed by a big campfire Countdown for Kids. Bring your skates or rent a pair from the park. Weather-permitting, there will be skating to music at Bronte Creek’s massive outdoor rink too.

JANUARY 1- MARCH 31, 2012 Snowshoe a winter paradise
The Friends of Mashkinonje Provincial Park invite you to snowshoe their winter paradise The park which is located along the west arm of Lake Nipissing between North Bay and Sudbury, has over 30 km of snowshoe trails and is noted for its abundance of snow. Moose, fox, hare, and grouse tracks are often seen on snowshoe hikes.

JANUARY 9, 2012 Full Moon Ski
Ski under a full moon at Arrowhead Provincial Park. Organized by the Arrowhead Nordic Ski Club, the Full Moon Ski begins at 7pm.

JANUARY 14, 2012 Winter Camping Planning Workshop
Organized by the Friends of Frontenac Provincial Park , this Winter Camping Planning workshop is suitable for novice to experienced trippers. Share ideas and learn about low impact winter camping and trip planning. Part of the workshop will be held outdoors. The session is a prerequisite for the park’s two winter camping instructional weekends, January 28-29 and February 4-5, 2012.

JANUARY 22, 2012. Ski the Muskoka Loppet
A classic tradition continues. The Muskoka Loppet organized by Arrowhead Nordic Ski Club returns to Arrowhead Provincial Park, January 22. There are 15 & 30 km classic events, a 6km race for kids and social skiers.

FEBRUARY 10-12, 2012. Frosty February

Build an igloo or a quinzee (a snow cave). Quetico Provincial Park is having a party on the Dawson Trail and families are invited. Besides igloos and quinzee-building, there will ice skating, snow sculptures, skiing, snowshoeing, skijoring and a special candlelit ski. A quinzee community camp-out is planned too.

FEBRUARY 11, 2012. The Chocolate Cup Ski Race
Celebrate Valentine’s in a new way at Quetico Provincial Park. This annual cross-country ski event has varying lengths of races from one to ten kilometres so the whole family can participate. Registration starts at 10am. The race begins at 12 noon. A 2 pm chocolate prize-giving will be held at the Little Falls Recreation Centre. Organized by the Beaten Path Nordic Trails Association.

FEBRUARY 18-20, 2012. Winter Family Day Weekend
Join the Friends of Killarney Park for a celebration of winter outdoors. A wide range of family activities for all ages include snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, food, guest speakers and night sky watching at the park’s new observatory complete with powerful telescope. Book a Killarney Provincial Park yurt for the weekend or stay at nearby Killarney Bay Inn.

FEBRUARY 25, 2012. Snowshoe Workshop & Walk

Presented by the Friends of Frontenac Park this full day workshop includes indoor instruction and a guided snowshoe hike on a Frontenac Provincial Park trail (the most extensive trail system found in a park east of the Canadian Rockies).

MARCH 3, 2012. 35th Annual Sleeping Giant Loppet (formerly the Sibley Ski Tour)
One of Ontario’s most remarkable winter events. Hundreds come for this annual event which attracts recreational skiers and top racers from 5-80+ years. Skiers choose to ski the 10, 20, 35 or 50km event in classic or freestyle categories. Cash prizes for the top female and male finisher. http://SleepingGiantLoppet.ca

MARCH 3-APRIL 1, 2012. Maple Syrup Festival

March is Maple Syrup Month at Bronte Creek Provincial Park. Enjoy guided tours of Maple Lane farmhouse, fresh made maple candies, wagon rides, pancakes and best-of-all fresh maple taffy or sugar. Dress-up in Victorian clothes and get your picture taken.

MARCH 17, 2012. 11th Annual Cross-Quetico Lakes Ski Tour
Explore Magazine named this ski tour one of the coolest things to do in Canada in winter. The annual event is organized by the Beaten Path Nordic Ski Association in cooperation with Quetico Provincial Park. Choose from a 35km, 45km or 55km tour and then ski, mush or skijor across Quetico’s beautiful frozen lakes.

Events are always being added and updated – please check our events page regularly.