10 ways to beat the February blues at Ontario Parks

10 ways to beat the February blues at Ontario Parks

Looking for some February fun to fight off those pesky winter blues? We’ve got you covered!

1. Celebrate Family Day weekend (February 13-15)

Six parks — Algonquin, Bronte Creek, Wasaga Beach, Killarney, MacGregor Point and The Pinery — plan Family Day festivities. Check times, dates and activities on our Calendar of Events. Most activities are free with a valid park vehicle permit and refreshments will be served at some parks for a small fee.

2. Learn to snowshoe 


Frontenac Provincial Park, north of Kingston, is hosting a Snowshoe Workshop & Walk on February 6, 2016. Learn about different styles snowshoeing styles, harnesses and techniques. Indoor instruction will be followed by a snowshoe walk. Bring your lunch, a warm drink and your snowshoes (if you have them). Snowshoes are also available to rent at the park. To register and for more information, call the park office at 613-376-3489.

3. Join a ski loppet

Murphys Point loppetThe Tay Valley Ski Club Loppet at Murphys Point Provincial Park (near Perth) welcomes cross-country skiers of all levels on February 7, 2016. Ski a 5-, 10- or 20-kilometre race, then join the fun awards ceremony. Visit the Tay Valley Club website for details or call Murphys Point at 613-267-5060 ext. 223.

4. Go stargazing

One of THE best places to go winter stargazing is Killarney Provincial Park where there is no light pollution and where you’ll find a park observatory. On February 13, the observatory will be open with experts on hand to point out constellations with the help of a powerful telescope. (Skip to 1:56 in the video to check out the observatory!)

5. Book a romantic overnight adventure 

couple in yurt

This February, surprise your significant other. Book a romantic overnight stay in one of Ontario’s winter parks. We’ve got an amazing array of roofed accommodation to choose from, including a fully-equipped farmhouse, cottages, camp cabins, heated yurts, and even a historic log cabin. For the best availability, try mid-week. You’ll find a full list of choices on our Roofed Accommodation page. 

6. Take your pooch skijoring

This new winter sport is a combination of cross-country skiing and dogsledding — and it’s catching on fast! Take your pooch and learn how at Arrowhead Provincial Park on February 22. Call Arrowhead for details at 705-780-5105.

7. Try fat biking

Algonquin snowfallPark staff keep 19 kilometres of Algonquin Provincial Park‘s multi-use Old Railway Bike Trail plowed all season long for fat bike enthusiasts. If you don’t own a fat bike, rent one from Algonquin Outfitters in nearby Huntsville.

8. Cross-country ski

Sleeping Giant skier

With nineteen parks offering more than 450 kilometres of trails, we’ve got everything a cross-country skier could want. About half of our trails are groomed or track-set. Many parks have warm-up shelters and/or cabins with wood fires and even hot chocolate to warm you up. Four of the parks — Arrowhead, The Pinery, Windy Lake and Wasaga Beach — offer ski rentals and the Ontario Parks Ski Report provides the latest snow conditions. 

9. Go birdwatching

winter chickadees

Winter is the best time for budding birdwatchers. Less foliage and fewer birds make it easier to identify Ontario birds. Walk a park beach on any of the lower Great Lakes and you may spot a snowy owl. The Pinery and MacGregor Point Provincial Parks on Lake Huron often host Owl Prowls.

10. Take a moonlight ski

skiers around campfire

From 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm on February 20, Wasaga Beach Provincial Park, in association with the Canadian Diabetes Association, will have a free night of skiing on Blueberry Trail. Ski rentals are just $5. A campfire is planned and hot chocolate will be served.