If you love to cross-country ski, snowshoe, skate or simply explore the outdoors with your significant other, Ontario Parks has a romantic winter adventure for you.
Rent a cozy cabin, cottage or heated yurt at one of seven parks that offer winter accommodation. Pro tip? Book mid-week if you can. That’s when you’ll find the best availability.
Twenty-six provincial parks offer drop-dead gorgeous landscapes where you can reconnect with nature on a fun day trip or try an overnight park stay. Local ski clubs help keep hundreds of kilometres of park trails groomed or track set for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Try skating through the woods on a cool ice path at Arrowhead or MacGregor Point Provincial Parks.
And don’t fret: our roofed getaways have all the facilities you need to cook up a romantic candlelit dinner for two.
Holiday and New Year’s Eve events, ski loppets, snowshoe races, and other events are planned every winter.
Here is a sampling of winter adventures worth travelling for:
Beat the weekend crowds at Arrowhead Provincial Park and book a mid-week stay in one of its cozy park cabins. You’ll have to ski, snowshoe or walk to the campground loop where the six cabins are located, but it’s worth it. Each cabin is beautifully equipped with a comfy queen-sized bed, two bunks, a propane/electric fireplace, and a kitchenette with a microwave, mini fridge and coffee-maker, plus a dining-room table and chairs.
Outside, you’ll find a gas barbeque, picnic table and fire pit. The heated comfort station is just a short walk away. Arrowhead‘s 1.5 km ice trail is definitely a park highlight, but the groomed ski trails and designated snowshoe trail are pretty awesome too.
If you love breathtaking sunsets and long walks on a beach, head for The Pinery Provincial Park on Lake Huron. This popular park is far quieter in winter than in summer, especially during the week. A rustic one-room cabin for rent was added a couple of years ago. It has all the creature comforts that the Arrowhead cabins come with. All you need to bring is your bedding, food, pots and pans, dishes, cutlery and other personal items. Thirty-eight kilometres of trails wind their way through the Oak Savannah forest here, so bring your snowshoes or skis too.
Prince Edward County is a culinary darling, two hours east of Toronto. The compact Lake Ontario island is the perfect winter destination for food and wine lovers, and Sandbanks Provincial Park‘s roofed accommodation makes it affordable too. The four-bedroom Maple Rest Heritage farmhouse and the two-bedroom Jacques Cottage come fully equipped.
Take your fat bikes or rent a pair from a local Bloomfield outfitter. Explore the County’s backroads or its four-season Millennium Trail for culinary finds before creating your own delicious dinner-for-two complete with County wine. Finish off the evening with some amazing countryside stargazing.
Speaking of snow, if you love lots of it, head north! A northeastern Ontario sweet spot is Windy Lake Provincial Park, about an hour west of Sudbury. It has heated yurts for rent, and amazing cross-country ski and snowshoe trails run right past your front door. The local Onaping Ski Club keeps the trails beautifully groomed and they’ll rent you skis too.
Although yurts don’t have quite the creature comforts of the camp cabins, you’ll find the four Windy Lake yurts are warm, comfortable and clean. Each yurt sleeps up to six on two sets of double bunk beds. They have electric heat, a table and chairs, and lighting. Outside, you get your own large deck, propane barbeque, picnic table and fire pit. A heated privy is close by.
Windy Lake also offers ice fishing kits, complete with their own ice auger and pop-up canopy. Be sure to ask about winter fishing limits and ice conditions before arriving. An online copy of the Fishing Regulations is also available.
Choose Quetico Provincial Park in northwestern Ontario for the ultimate winter adventure. This wilderness park, 169 kilometres west of Thunder Bay, is easy to get to even from southern Ontario, thanks to regular flights into Thunder Bay by Porter, WestJet and Air Canada and an airport car rental location.
Quetico is a massive winter wonderland park with three winter cabins for rent in its Dawson Trail Campground which is accessible by car. One is quintessentially Canadian: a rustic hand-hewn log cabin nicely decorated with log furniture which comes complete with a high efficiency wood stove and electric heat. Thirty kilometres of cross-country ski and snowshoe trails start outside your cabin door and are kept maintained. Better yet, your cabin rental fee includes a pair of snowshoes.
Check out our full overview of roofed accommodation options are here.
Up for an adventure?
Plan a backcountry camping trip in a park winter wonderland. Frontenac Provincial Park, north of Kingston, will even teach you how at its winter camping workshops.