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.