Ontario Parks is thrilled to announce that Arrowhead Provincial Park’s brand-new Visitor Centre officially opened on December 14, 2018!
For more than 45 years, Arrowhead has provided high-quality outdoor recreation opportunities in the Muskoka tourist area.
Between 2000 and 2017, winter visitation has increased from 11,000 to more than 50,000, making it the busiest winter program in the Ontario Parks system!
Arrowhead’s development of the innovative and world-famous ice skating trail in 2012 had major impact on tourism growth at Arrowhead and the surrounding region. The park’s also seen big increases in cross-country ski participation and special events.
To accommodate the incredible growth of Arrowhead’s winter program, the planning and design of the Visitor Centre complex began four years ago, and construction of the building began over the past year. The building was completed in the summer of 2018.
A hub for outdoor recreation
Designed by Lead Architect Matthew Harvey and the Ontario Parks Environmental Design Team, the new Visitor Centre and picnic pavilion is a hub for outdoor recreation and discovery.
A winter wonderland
Arrowhead has one of the best winter programs in the province, offering skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing, and skating.
With 28 km of class ski trails, 16 km of skate ski trail, 8 km of snowshoe trails, and a world-famous skating trail through the forest, Arrowhead is a winter dream.
Located at the heart of the park, the new Visitor Centre is now the starting point for the cross-country and snowshoe trail network.
To ensure functionality, efficiency, and ultimate coziness, extensive thought and consideration went into the design of the building.
The Visitor Centre was designed to meet the current requirements of the Ontario Building Code for energy conservation.
During the wintertime, the Visitor Centre is used as a warm-up and lounge area.
It includes a rental shop equipped with ski, skate, and snowshoe rentals, and will host ski workshops and other outdoor skills training.
During the summertime, the Visitor Centre will be used for Discovery programming and outdoor skills training.
The Park Store will be based out of the Visitor Centre and canoe, kayak, SUP boards, and bicycle rentals will be available.
Warm up by the fire
Boasting a beautiful stone fireplace, the Visitor Centre is a hot spot for warming up after playing in the snow.
Funding for the fireplace was generously donated by the Huntsville Ski Club and Arrowhead Nordic Ski Club — thank you!
The fireplace mantle is made from a Douglas fir stop log that was recycled from a Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry dam.
Bird friendly glass
The windows are energy efficient, and feature the first use of bird friendly glass in an Ontario Parks facility. The glass is designed with a pattern of dots which helps birds identify it as a barrier.
A new picnic pavilion
Located next to the Visitor Centre is a brand new winterized picnic pavilion. The pavilion features a stone fireplace and a small food preparation area.
The picnic pavilion also features a ski waxing room with with five stations and ventilation hoods.
A centre for special events
The Arrowhead Nordic Ski Club (ANSC) operates their programs within Arrowhead and partners with the park in hosting several annual special events.
Events such as the Muskoka Loppet will now utilize the new Visitor Centre as a base.
Visit Arrowhead this winter to check out the new Visitor Centre!
Learn more about what the park has to offer during the winter here.