Ganaraska Forest

10585 Cold Springs Camp Rd.
Posted on March 19, 2019 / 5182
Ganaraska Forest
Listing Type : Cross Country Ski / Snowshoe
Location : Eastern Ontario
Note : EPIC
X-Ski km : 35+
Skate km : none?
Snowshoe km : 10.5 +
Skill Level : Easy, Intermediate, Advanced
Terrain : large hills, wide paths, gentle hills, open fields, flat sections
Facilities : parking, chalet, toilets/outhouse, change rooms, drinking water, food close by, trailhead map, good trail signage, trails maintained, track set

Length – 35 km

Cross-Country track set – 35 km
Skate Skiing  groomed – none?
Snowshoe trail – 10.5 km

Skill – All levels

Terrain – slopes up from the trailhead, medium-large rolling hills, nothing too steep

Hours – 9am – 4pm daily (closed between Dec. 24th – Jan 1st)

Fee Adult $15, Youth $6 ; snowshoe $6

Trail Map – new, better signage, paper map at gatehouse

Facilities – parking, warming building, (none on trails), toilets, NEW – ski and snowshoe rentals

Highlights – large quiet wilderness area, never crowded, visit Port Hope due south

Phone – 905 797 2721  or 905 885 8173

Website – Ganaraska Forest Centre

Current Conditions – call 905 797 2721

Similar Trails – Bracebridge,  Kawartha, Northumberland

Local Clubs – Kawartha Nordic Ski Club

Access – North off hwy 9, up 4 km on Cold Springs Camp Rd. – take the right at the end of the road to the Ganaraska Forest Centre gatehouse.

Ski trails all start at the large map at the top end of the parking lot. Snowshoeing is a little tricky to spot; look behind the building on the west side. No dogs on ski trails please.

Ganaraska Conservation Area is a very large forest, north of Port Hope, with 35+ kms of trail for Nordic ski fun. The terrain is easy to negotiate for anyone.

All 3 trail colours start from the trailhead with a long gradual climb. As they split to do loops, the elevation consists of medium-large sized rolling hills with wide turns and no surprises just more sweat.

Your return will be a pleasant long descent to the trailhead as a reward.

Paths are classic track set on a mix of nice winding paths and wider straight old forest access roads. You will find a mix of hardwood and tall evergreen trees growing here on the sandy soil. 

For Cross-Country skiing, the popular 4.2 km Yellow loop and 6.3 km Blue loop take you in and back on similar paths. I found the trail grooming to be adequate.

Trying one of the many Orange loops takes you way back for lots of mileage. Look at the map and take your pick. The optional extra B+C loops add 16 km! And keep a sharp lookout for the odd speedy snowmobile when you cross their routes!

New signage has improved directions. Stay on the loops and you are fine, but if you care to bushwhack further afield, there is plenty of wilderness to explore out here. You better pack wisely and be ready with a map, phone, GPS, food etc.

Snowshoers have a small 2.5km loop and a new 8 km loop, but more can be had, much more if you like to wander. The start point is behind the buildings on the west side and leads to an enjoyable trek.

The trail fee is a bit high for what you get, which is little beyond a great ski. There is a round roofed building for warmth, to have your lunch, or make use of the toilets.

They now rent gear for skiing and snowshoeing, though on short mid-day hours, inquire ahead…

I do not think they cater to Skate skiers here anymore. I did not see any proper grooming a few weeks ago.  :^(

The skiing experience here is great if the snow comes, but it can get icy and be closed at times.

Due to our shorter/warmer winters and the southern location, you may not have much opportunity to visit, but do try.

Few areas close to Toronto will give you that total serene forest zen vibe like Ganaraska.

Opening Hours
  • Monday :9 am - 4 pm
  • Tuesday :9 am - 4 pm
  • Wednesday :9 am - 4 pm
  • Thursday :9 am - 4 pm
  • Friday :9 am - 4 pm
  • Saturday :9 am - 4 pm Gatehouse and Canteen open
  • Sunday :9 am - 4 pm Gatehouse and Canteen open

Ganaraska Winter Trail Map

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