Where to Nordic Ski & Snowshoe North of Toronto
If you ever thought of getting outdoors to enjoy Ontario winter sports, here are a few of the more popular locations north of Toronto that I have been to. Most of these locations offer both cross country skiing and snowshoeing. All locations on the list below have equipment rentals so you can easily try before you buy. The links take you to other pages on this site with more details, maps and photos.
Here is a quick summary to make your first experience a pleasant one and maybe take up the sport.
Cross-country skiing will be somewhat harder than snowshoeing which almost anyone can take up. One needs to figure out the turning and stopping techniques of skiing. If you have ever done downhill skiing, it is similar but you will have less control, so take it slow at first.
Dress in layers and avoid cottons, as wool and polyesters are better. You don’t want to start sweating while you’re working out as this will chill you later. Don’t over dress; it’s OK to feel a little cool before your ski outing as you will warm up.
Bring water and a few granola bars for the trail. Pack a lunch for after, and dry clothes to change into before you head home.
Winter days are short, so one needs to leave by 10:00am to get there, change, ski/snowshoe and have time for a late lunch. Check the weather for temps between +5C & -15C, it is better if there was fresh snowfall during the week.
Remember there’s always more snow north of the city than what you see looking out your window in the neighborhood.
When you arrive, make sure you have enough time to do the easy loops. Take a map and your phone with you on the trail. All resorts have good directions and markings, so getting lost is hard to do.
Let the fast skiers pass and only ski the hills within your means, there’s no shame in walking the steeper ones.
Though I always feel a bit lazy about driving out of town and it seems farther every year, it rewards me in many ways and I end up glad I did. The quiet experience of gliding through the forest in the crisp country air is a change from the city chaos.
The challenge of hills and turns keeps my interest. It’s a full body exercise that stretches muscles and gets some cardio in after a week of sitting at a desk.
I find it also a reflective time on the weekend to think about what I did
last week and what plans I have next week, or just nothing at all — inner peace aahh…
With that I hope you give snowshoeing or nordic skiing a try. A hot chocolate can await you back at the chalet when stories circulate of your adventures out in the woods.
These Resorts are Close to Toronto & Rent Equipment:
Always check the weather and snow conditions. Some resorts may be closed due to lack of snow. Naturally the further north the better the odds that there is a good snow base.