From its snow-blanketed forests to its wide range of outdoor activities, Silent Lake Provincial Park is the ultimate winter destination for families.
Here are five reasons you need to stop by this winter:
1. Book a cozy cabin or yurt
“Spacious, cozy, and quaint, yet modern.” That’s how our visitors describe Silent Lake’s heated roofed accommodations in the winter.
Visitors love the cabins in particular, as the park personalized each with an individual theme. For example, “The Prospector” follows a mining theme, highlighting the historically significant industry of the Bancroft area.
If you missed out on a cabin this winter, you can book your stay using our online reservation service or by phone at 1-888-668-7275 up to 5 months in advance. Select mid-week dates may still be available, but we recommend booking early if you’re looking to plan a visit next year.
2. Winter tenting
For our visitors who prefer camping to glamping, Silent Lake’s campground is open for overnight winter campers.
At Silent Lake, several electric sites are available on our reservation system, while non-electric are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Some electric sites are available by vehicle; other non-electric sites are walk-in. There’s also a winterized comfort station with showers, drinking water, and a dishwashing station in the day-use area.
We usually have spots available, but you can call the park at 613-339-2807 to get more information.
Camping in winter is more challenging than in the summer. It’s a good idea to go with one or more people who are experienced.
3. Diverse cross-country ski trails
Thirty-four kilometres of cross-country trails wind their way through hardwoods, cedar swamps, and groves of White Birch. The terrain is rugged, but ideal for family skiing.
The four ski loops are colour-coded for easy recognition. They range in difficulty from novice to expert, so there’s sure to be something for skiers of all skill levels.
Curious about the trail conditions for both skiing and snowshoeing? The park provides regular updates on the Ontario Parks ski report.
4. Snowshoeing opportunities
Strap on a pair of snowshoes, and explore a totally different side of Silent Lake.
The park uses Bonnie’s Pond Trail as a snowshoe trail during the winter season. The trail is a 3 km loop past mature beech trees and a beaver pond, with an elevated lookout over the lake.
They also groom the 5 km loop of the Yellow Ski Trail for snowshoers.
We know that not everyone has their own pair of snowshoes, so fear not: rentals are available out of the Park Office.
5. Ice fishing
Cold weather doesn’t have to mean the end of the fishing season. When Silent Lake freezes over, you can head out for some ice fishing action.
As the water cools, you can find Lake Trout at various depths in the lake, typically along contour lines and not far from baitfish.
Be safe though! Make sure you read our guide on how to ice fish safely to ensure you’re prepared for your winter adventure.
Come on up to Silent Lake!
At only two and a half hours from both Toronto and Ottawa, Silent Lake is an easy-access hub for winter fun.
You can pick up a daily vehicle permit at the park office which opens at 9:00 am daily.
You can also pick up a seasonal day-use permit online, so you can visit Silent Lake (or any other park!) to your heart’s content.