East of Oshawa and a 20 km drive north of Bowmanville will get you to the Long Sault Conservation Area. Here you can explore the 18 km of winding paths as a day trip.
This large hilly medley of natural woodlots, tree farmed pines with fields and wetlands sits on the Oak Ridge Moraine. Here the land takes an upward slope from Lake Ontario. This higher ground will lead to a little more snow coverage than by the lake.
I was recently here again and enjoyed my trek through the woods on my classic Nordic skis. I had forgotten how hilly and tight some of the paths were. The trails on the westside have more, in my opinion, interesting loops.
We skied the Eastern Bluebird 2.6 km loop to find we needed to do some rather tricky advance maneuvering around fast corners. A few hills were steep with little width to snowplow down in comfort. We managed nicely but I would avoid it if icy.
Skiing the two other loops the Wild Turkey 3.3 km and the Barred Owl 2.9 km, have wider paths but some inclines may still need to be walked.
If you head northeast from the parking lot the landscape is easier to manage. The Cottontail Rabbit trail 2.1 km is an easy straight path that goes around along access roads in a rectangle. Not much excitement here, but it does lead to the White-tailed Dear loop 3.7 km which is much better.
For Snowshoeing you can traverse any of the paths or make your own way through the bush. There are some nice ravined valleys to wander through.
Long Sault does get a lot of hikers and this does tramp down the trails quickly. I found little fresh snow on the margins to cut my own tracks and just skied the trampled snowbase. I am OK with this as long as it does not get icy.
You need to get there right after a snowfall for the best skiing as it likely will be all flattened over in a few days by walkers and dogs. And this year it is popular as most areas seem to be!
For some beginners unsteady and comforted by set tracks you should look elsewhere. The same goes for Skate skiers picky about groomed paths, there are none. I’m guessing maybe about 14 km of it you could Skate ski if the conditions are right.
It is suggested by the signage found on the loops that hikers walk in the opposite direction to the skiers. It’s a great idea to see each other coming, though not everyone I encountered understood that tidbit.
Afterwards, there are few opportunities locally for lunch or dinner till you head south to Bowmanville or Oshawa. Enjoy your visit!