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.
Know before you go! Availability of skating and skiing is weather dependent. Check our Twitter for updates and the Snow Report for ski conditions.
Get the latest capacity updates here:
We’ve assembled a list of frequently asked questions and top tips for planning your Arrowhead adventure:
- What’s different this year?
- Do I need a reservation to visit for the day? Or a separate reservation for the skate trail?
- When is the park open?
- I’m a season’s pass holder. Do I still have to reserve a day use pass?
- Is the park hosting Fire and Ice nights this year?
- How do I avoid crowds / lineups?
- What is there to do at the park?
- Is the skate trail / 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?
- Can I stay overnight?
- Is food available for sale?
- Where can I go if the park gets crowded / is already full?
1. What’s different this year?
We’ve gone paperless for day use permits!
That means you can get your daily vehicle permit online up to five days in advance.
When you arrive at the park for day use there’s no need to stop at the office and check in. Just go on in and start having fun!
Ski races are back on this year after taking a two-year hiatus.
If you plan to visit Arrowhead during one of these races you can expect the park to be extra busy.
You’ll certainly want to book your trip as early as possible or consider coming another day.
The dates of the races this year are:
- January 8
- January 29
- February 21-23
- February 25 – 26
Please note the Visitor’s Centre warm up room will be closed February 25-26 for the Ontario Special Olympics.
Like last year, 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!
As a reminder, 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 snow tubing has been permanently ended.
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. Check our Twitter for the latest capacity updates.
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:
- 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), except for our Fire and Ice Nights, which require their own permit.
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.
- 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Ice trail hours:
Daily: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Note: Ice trail is often closed between 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. for daily maintenance as needed.
Remember: Arrowhead can get EXTREMELY busy during peak times. You can plan ahead by reserving your day use permit up to five days in advance online, and check our capacity updates on Twitter.
4. I’m a season pass holder. Do I still need to book a day use pass?
Yes, but at no extra cost.
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.
5. Is the park hosting Fire and Ice nights this year?
Yes, weather permitting. Fire and Ice Nights are held every Friday and Saturday night beginning in late January, dependent on weather and ice conditions of the trail.
You can reserve your permit for Fire and Ice Nights up to five days in advance. When reserving your permit, make sure you select the “Day Use + Fire and Ice Evening Skate” option.
Please monitor our Twitter page for updates.
6. How do I avoid crowds / lineups?
- Plan a weekday trip
- Avoid Arrowhead’s busiest times, which are Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays
- Purchase your advance day use permit up to five days in advance of your visit
- Check our Twitter page for regular capacity updates
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:
- Check out the Snow Report on the Ontario Parks website (updated daily at 9:00 a.m.) for skate and ski trail conditions
- Follow Arrowhead on Twitter for live updates
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 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 a valid park permit.
11. How much does day use 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. Check our Twitter page for capacity updates.
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! You can enjoy tent camping at Arrowhead.
We also offer cozy camp cabins, which fill up quickly all winter.
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?
If Arrowhead is already full, you may want to check out nearby Algonquin Provincial Park, which has:
- 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)
- 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!