Skating through the forest under the stars has become a bucket-list item for Ontarians.
But the secret’s out. On busy weekends, Arrowhead Provincial Park often hits capacity and has to turn away eager visitors.
Get the latest capacity updates here:
We’ve assembled a list of frequently asked questions and top tips for planning your Arrowhead adventure:
- When is the park open?
- How do I avoid crowds / lineups?
- What is there to do at the park?
- Is the skate trail / tubing hill / ski trail open?
- How do I get to Arrowhead?
- Where do I park?
- How much does it cost?
- Can I rent skates / skis / snowshoes?
- Are there washrooms / places to warm up?
- Can I stay overnight?
- Is food available for sale?
- How do I arrange a group trip (schools, etc.)?
- Where can I go if the park gets crowded / is already full?
1. When is the park open?
- December & January: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
- February: 9:00 am – 5:30 pm
- March: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Ice trail hours:
- Daily: 11:00 am — park closes (please note: on Fire and Ice nights, the skate trail is closed for maintenance from 3:00 pm until 6:00 pm)
In addition, the park is open for torchlit skating between 6:00 and 9:00 pm on Fire and Ice nights:
- Monday, December 26, 2016
- Saturday, December 31, 2016
- Thursday, January 5, 2017
- Saturday, January 14, 2017
- Thursday, January 26, 2017
- Saturday, February 4, 2017
- Saturday, February 18, 2017
- Sunday, February 19, 2017
- Saturday, March 4, 2017
- Thursday, March 9, 2017
2. How do I avoid crowds / lineups?
- Plan a weekday trip
- Avoid Arrowhead’s busiest times:
- any weekend (especially Saturday) between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm
- Saturday evening Fire and Ice nights
3. What is there to do at the park?
- Skating: Glide through the forest on Arrowhead’s 1.3 km ice trail
- Tubing: access to Arrowhead’s tubing hill is included in your daypass. Tubes are provided (only park-provided tubes are allowed on the hill; no toboggans)
- Cross-country skiing: There are 28 km of classic ski trails and 16km of skate ski trails, ranging from beginner to expert level
- Snowshoeing: explore the 8+ km of marked snowshoe trails, as well as off-trail snowshoeing through mature hardwood forest
- Other winter activities: go for a snowy hike or try skijoring
4. Is the ice skating trail / tubing hill / ski trail open?
Winter outdoor activities are always weather dependent. Check park conditions before you leave home, as some activities could be closed:
- Call Arrowhead’s automated telephone service: 705-789-5105 (updated daily)
- Check out the Ski Report on the Ontario Parks website
- Follow Arrowhead on Twitter for live updates
5. How do I get to Arrowhead?
Arrowhead Provincial Park is 7 km north of Huntsville, off Hwy 11. Take exit 226, then turn right onto Arrowhead Park Road.
6. Where do I park?
When you drive into the park, you may see a line up. Please be patient; park staff are working as fast as possible to get you in to enjoy the park!
When you arrive:
- Watch for park staff or signage to direct you to the appropriate parking lot. Please do not park on the road
- There are multiple parking lots. Be ready to walk 200-400 m to the skating, tubing or skiing trails
- Stop and purchase a park permit and then continue into the park to reach winter facilities
- All rental equipment has been relocated from the park office to a facility in the Birches parking lot
7. How much does it cost?
If you’re not skiing, you need:
- A daily vehicle pass ($17) — this covers anyone in your vehicle
If you are skiing, you need:
- a daily ski pass — this is a per-person cost
- $6 (6-17)
- $13 (18+)
- $10 (65+)
- $36.50 (family: 2 adults and children until 18)
- a season ski pass — this is a per-person cost
- $55 (6-17)
- $130 (18+)
- $320 (family: 2 adults and children until 18)
8. Can I rent skates / skis / snowshoes?
Yes — skate, snowshoe and skate ski rentals are available at the Rental/Pro Shop in Birches parking lot. We do not rent helmets. Please bring your own.
Ice skates (3 hours) $10.00 Snowshoes (half day after 1:00 pm) $12.00 Cross-country skis, boots, poles Classic Skate Ski Adult (full day) $23.00 $30.50 Adult (half day) $17.50 $23.00 Youth<18 (full day) $17.50 $23.00 Youth<18 (half day) $13.00 $17.50 Family (full day) $72.00 $96.00 Family (full day) $55.00 $72.00
9. Are there washrooms / places to warm up?
Yes. There are washrooms across the road from the Park Office and heated washrooms at the Skate Trail.
10. Can I stay overnight?
Visitors love spending winter nights in Arrowhead’s cozy camp cabins.
Winter weekends tend to fill up well in advance, but there are often midweek vacancies.
Check our reservation site for availability.
11. Is food available for purchase?
There are some very basic munchies available (chips and chocolate bars) available at the Park Office. It is best to bring your own food or take a break and drive into Huntsville (only a 10-minute drive). Your day-use permit will allow you to exit and re-enter the park as many times you like on that day.
12. How do I arrange a group trip (schools, etc.)?
If you are interested in bringing a large group such as a school group or birthday party, please contact the park directly. They will be able to help you organize the best time for your visit and let you know about rental availability.
13. Where can I go if the park gets crowded / is already full?
Algonquin Provincial Park
Your Arrowhead day pass is also valid for Algonquin Provincial Park.
- skating (at Mew Lake campground, a one-hour drive from Arrowhead)
- cross-country skiing (it’s only a 35 minute drive to Fen Lake Trails, or just over an hour to Leaf Lake)
- an excellent Visitor’s Centre (restaurant open on weekends, just over an hour away)
Don’t miss Algonquin’s popular Winter in the Wild Festival on Feb. 18, 2017.
Explore the region