person skating

Winter adventure in Arrowhead Provincial Park

Planning a visit to Arrowhead Provincial Park?

Skating through the forest is definitely a winter bucket list activity!

But the secret is out!  Arrowhead has quickly become one of the region’s most popular winter attractions so it’s important you plan your visit carefully.

Get the latest capacity updates here:

We’ve assembled a list of frequently asked questions and top tips for planning your Arrowhead adventure:

  1. What’s different this year?
  2. Do I need a reservation to visit for the day? Or a separate reservation for the skate trail?
  3. When is the park open?
  4. Do I need to wear a mask?
  5. Is the park hosting Fire and Ice nights this year?
  6. How do I avoid crowds / lineups?
  7. What is there to do at the park?
  8. Is the skate trail / ski trail open?
  9. How do I get to Arrowhead?
  10. Where do I park?
  11. How much does it cost?
  12. Can I rent skates / skis / snowshoes?
  13. Are there washrooms?
  14. Can I stay overnight?
  15. Is food available for sale?
  16. Where can I go if the park gets crowded / is already full?


1. What’s different this year?

This year, Arrowhead is piloting a new service for day-use visitors: advance sales of daily vehicle permits.

100% of daily vehicle permits will be available in advance. This means we will know in advance if we have reached capacity for the upcoming weekend, and we will provide these updates on Twitter.

If we have already sold all daily vehicle permits for a certain day you will not be able to purchase a permit (or use your seasonal pass) at the gate, and you will not be able to visit the park.

Looking to attend one of our Fire and Ice Nights? You can also reserve your permit online in advance!

Also starting this year, we are no longer offering ski permits. We ask that our visitors pick up a daily vehicle permit for access to all of the park’s day-use activities, including skiing.

The safety of our visitors and staff is always our top priority. We have implemented measures to address overcrowding and promote physical distancing in our park spaces and buildings, including limiting occupancy for day-use.

We’re counting on people to be responsible when enjoying winter at Arrowhead.

Continue to follow public health advice including:

  • physical distancing by keeping at least two metres from others
  • wearing a face covering where required and when physical distancing may be challenging or not possible
  • washing hands regularly with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available

We appreciate your cooperation and shared commitment to safety.

Make sure to check back often for up-to-date information.


2. Do I need a reservation to visit for the day?

If you want to guarantee your spot during Arrowhead’s extremely busy winter season, yes.

We know you don’t want to spend your time driving to Arrowhead or sitting in lines, only to be turned away because we are already full.

You can obtain a daily vehicle permit up to five days in advance of your trip, beginning at 7:00 a.m.

Make your reservation:

  1. Online
  2. By phone at 1-888-ONT-PARK (1-888-668-7275) – open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. EST

Your daily vehicle permit includes access to the skate trail (weather permitting). The only exception is our Fire and Ice Nights.


3. When is the park open?

The park is open all year long.

Availability of skating and skiing is weather dependent, with skiing typically becoming available in mid-December and skating beginning in January.

Check our Twitter for updates.

Park hours:

  • 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Ice trail hours: 

Daily: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Note: Ice trail is closed between 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. for maintenance daily

Remember: Arrowhead can get EXTREMELY busy during peak times.


4. Do I need to wear a mask?

Arrowhead is located within the Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit, and visitors are asked to wear a mask or face covering when visiting indoor facilities, such as park offices, our park store, and washrooms.


5. Is the park hosting Fire and Ice nights this year?

Yes, Fire and Ice Nights will tentatively be held every Friday and Saturday night beginning in late January, dependent on weather and ice conditions of the trail.

Starting this year, you can reserve your permit for Fire and Ice Nights in advance. When reserving your permit, make sure you select the “Day Use + Fire and Ice Evening Skate” option.

Please continue to monitor our Twitter page for updates.


6. How do I avoid crowds / lineups?

  • Plan a weekday trip
  • Avoid Arrowhead’s busiest times:
    • any weekend (especially Saturday) between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.


7. What is there to do at the park?

  • Skating: Glide through the forest on Arrowhead’s 1.3 km ice trail
  • Cross-country skiing: There are 28 km of classic ski trails and 16 km 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, enjoy winter birding, or winter camping


8. Is the ice skating trail / ski trail open?

Winter outdoor activities are always weather dependent. Check park conditions before you leave home, as some activities could be closed:

Please note the skate trail is closed daily from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.


9. How do I get to Arrowhead?

Arrowhead Provincial Park is 7 km north of Huntsville, off Hwy 11. Take exit 226, turn right onto Muskoka Road 3, and then turn left onto Arrowhead Park Road.


10. Where do I park?

When you drive into the park (particularly on a Saturday), 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 or skiing trails
  • Stop and purchase a park permit and then continue into the park to reach winter facilities

Please note: All vehicles entering the park must obtain and display a valid park permit.


11. How much does it cost?

The cost is $21 per day, per vehicle.

If you’re looking to guarantee entry to the park, make sure to reserve your daily vehicle permit in advance online or by phone.

Arrowhead skiers

If you have an annual or winter Ontario Parks permit, you can use the serial number on your pass to reserve your permit in advance. Remember that a seasonal permit does not guarantee entrance if the park reaches capacity.


12. Can I rent skates / skis / snowshoes?

Yes! Rentals are available on a first come first serve basis.

We frequently sell out on weekends, so arrive early to avoid disappointment. Rentals are offered in the rental building beside the Visitor Centre.

Rental fees are:

  • Snowshoes: $15.00 for 3 hours
  • Ice skates $15.00 for 3 hours
  • Cross-country skis:
    • $32.00 for an adult full day, $25.00 for an adult half day
    • $25.00 for a youth full day, $18.00 for a youth half day
    • $105.00 or a family full day, $86.00 for a family half day

All prices include tax, and half days begin after 1 p.m.


13. Are there washrooms available?

Yes. There are washrooms across the road from the Park Office, at the entrance to the skate trail, and at the Visitor Centre.


14. Can I stay overnight?

Yes!  This season visitors can enjoy winter camping at Arrowhead.

We also offer cozy camp cabins. Winter weekends tend to fill up well in advance, but there are often midweek vacancies.

couple at cabin

Check our reservation site for availability.


15. Is food available for purchase?

No — food is not available for purchase.  It is best to bring your own food.


16. Where can I go if the park gets crowded / is already full?

Algonquin Provincial Park

hockey player
Mew Lake Campground, Algonquin Provincial Park

If Arrowhead is already full, you may want to check out nearby Algonquin, which has:

  • skating (at Mew Lake campground, a one-hour drive from Arrowhead)
  • snowshoeing
  • cross-country skiing (it’s only a 35 minute drive to Fen Lake Trails, or just over an hour to Leaf Lake)
  • A Visitor Centre with museum exhibits, a viewing platform, and bookstore

Explore the region

Looking for more attractions, events, and accommodations for your winter trip?

Check out Discover Muskoka or Explorers’ Edge for ideas!