Make the most of this winter and explore the far reaches of this dynamic province. Form polar bears to Scandinavian spas to snowmobile adventures, there’s something for everyone. So shake off your winter blues, pull up your long-johns, and see what Ontario is made of with one of these Epic Winter Getaways in Ontario (Arranged in no particular order.)
1. Snow Kiting
Get to Rice Lake for a wonderful weekend of exploration and adventure when the snowkites will appear on Rice Lake for demos, lessons and a poker run! Elmhirst Resort in Keen hold this annual event that introduces the sport of kiteboarding to those who dare. Enjoy a day outdoors watching the colourful kites and try it yourself. On your way back home, do not forget to visit, one of the most unique museums in the world the Canadian Canoe Museum.
Our kite volunteer instructors take the final ride! A very successful 10th year #snowkiteweekend #kawarthas #kawarthaNow #windsports #cottagecountry #kiteboarding #kiting #kitesurf #RiceLakeON #ptboexplores #instagood #instakite #kitingofinstagram #kawarthalakes #onresorts @steamwhistlebrewing @oceanrodeo our sponsors thank you! #epic
2. Snowmobile Bon Echo Provincial Park Tour Loop
See winter on the road less travelled with this 235 kilometer snowmobile loop. Bon Echo Loop has Bancroft on the west, highlands and lake in the middle, and Mazinaw Cottage country on the east. Throughout you will enjoy top notch well signed and well-groomed top notch trails on this premier snow tour. The loop uses a variety of trails including forest access, logging roads, rail lines, and utility corridors. The above link will give you an idea of available fuel and food stops along the way.
3. Angler’s Haven Ice Fishing Adventure
This getaway is not for the faint of spirit! With Angler’s Haven spend 2 nights in an Executive Ice bungalow in Nippissing Ontario angling for world-renowned fish. Angler’s Haven will provide you with transportation to and from the bungalow, a dozen minnows per person, drilled holes, tip-ups, hooks, lines, sinkers, daily waste removal, gas fireplace, gas bbq, propane stove, and dishes. What you do with your time is up to you!
4. Snowshoe Eco Tour at Wye Marsh Conservation Area
Staying indoors may be tempting in the grip of winter, but you’ll be happy you got outside after this Eco Tour. For 3 hours snowshoe 4 kilometers across areas of the Wye Marsh Conservation Area not generally open to the public. In addition to your snowshoeing lesson, you’ll learn to identify trees in winter, interpret bird songs, and search for animal tracks. You might even have a chickadee eat from your mittened hand! Half way through the day you’ll warm up by a fire at Freshet’s Creek and enjoy roasted bannock and hot cedar tea. No experience necessary!
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5. Fire & Ice Glassblowing Workshop Getaway
6. Millcroft Inn and Spa
This luxury spa was originally built as a knitting mill in 1881 and now stands as an architectural beauty. Within the aged walls is a state of the art spa featuring 11 private treatment areas, hydrotherapy rooms, fitness room, outdoor terrace, indoor/outdoor pools, indoor whirlpool, herbal steam rooms, and fully licensed spa café. As well, there are outdoor hot spring pools, fine dining, and of course comfortable private lodgings. Take advantage of one of their prepackaged tours like the Temptations in the Country or the Spa Escape. With all this luxury, you’ll forget about Old Man Winter rapping at the window.
7. Winter in Elora Gorge
Ice Climbing Frozen Waterfalls
One Axe Pursuits will make the impossible, possible for your winter getaway. In beautiful Elora meet up with their team of experts for a full day adventure. Starting at 10am, you will get a lesson on safety and the ins and outs of climbing frozen waterfalls. Before you know it you’ll be stabbing you’re ax into the waterfall like it was no big deal. What’s even better is that this excursion is suitable for the complete beginner and all equipment is included!
Located just north of Guelph, in the city of Elora, Adventure Seekers Tours offers a full day of exciting stunt-style ziplining and rapelling adventures. Seeing the Elora Gorge in winter is quite a different experience, especially from a birds-eye-view. The program offers a rappel instruction to start and then continues on to a 200-ft long zipline along the beautifully frozen Gorge. All technical equipment is provided and the company also brings hot drinks and lunch along on-site. This winter adventure will be sure to provide you with memories that will last a lifetime.
8. Sir Sam’s Inn and Water Spa
This unique water spa at Eagle Lake that ” promotes natural healing and rejuvenation through a variety of treatments that use only the finest natural oils and ingredients to soothe, refresh and stimulate”. Take time this winter to focus on yourself in this tranquil spa atmosphere featuring a water spa, reflexology, air lounge, champagne grotto, Balinese beds, massages, and spa treatments. After the spa indulge in fine dining and an impressive wine cellar before you retreat to the charming rooms and suites. If you need a little wake-me-up, there is easy access to a ski area, Nordic trails, dogsled tours, and plenty of star gazing.
9. Mathews Maple
Satisfy that sweet tooth with a visit to Mathews Maple in Powassan. This family run maple farm is open daily in February and March, otherwise they’re open when they’re home! During March break there are horse drawn sleigh and wagon rides daily; any other time, visit to explore the maple farm, taste the goods, and of course test out the sugar shack. Really, is there anything more Canadian than rolling hot maple syrup on fresh snow and calling it taffy?
10. Rawley Resort & Marina
This chic resort nestled in the Port Severn is just what the doctor ordered! Enjoy fine dining, the lake house spa, and seasonal activity packages before you retire to your beautiful suite, luxurious terrace, waterside loft, or elegant lake house. For your entertainment the resort features ongoing events such as paint nights and live music.
11. Ottawa: Winterlude – Rideau Canal skate way
The coldest month of the year is the best time to party in the great outdoors! For the first two weeks of February, Ottawa transforms into this free family fun world. Take part in exciting outdoor activities including a kickoff party, ice dragon boat festival, international ice-carving competition, snowflake kingdom, and more!
The UNESCO World Heritage Site transforms into the world’s largest skating rink throughout the cold Canadian winter. Rent equipment and glide down the nearly 8km of frozen ice while taking in the unique view of Canada’s capital. The rink features 5 rest areas which each include change rooms, washrooms, fire pits, and food and beverage vendors. Make a day of it and stop at all five!
12. Bayview Wildwood Resort Resort
This family friendly resort was voted “Best Winter Resort” by City Parent Readers, so you know it’ll be fun for the whole family! Rent a room at the lodge or your own private cottage. Indoors you’ll be treated to exciting live entertainment for kids and adults alike. But the real fun happens outside: Roasting marshmallows, snowshoeing, wagon rides, ice hockey, ice skating, horse drawn sleighs, skiddoing, sledding, and so much more!
12. Dog Sledding at North Ridge Ranch
Head over to North Ridge Ranch in Muskoka and experience the thrill of Balto first hand when you pilot a real sled-dog-team for yourself! The ½ day tour will bring your through 20kms of Muskoka wilderness. At the halfway point take a break for hot chocolate and snacks, pet the dogs, take pictures, and get to know your guides.
13. Ogopogo Resort
Ogopogo may be trapped beneath the ice this winter, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t see this resort! Located in the Halliburton Highlands this resort features 1, 2, and 3 bedroom cabins with Jacuzzis and fireplaces. Rent winter activity equipment to make the most of your visit with cross country skiing, ice skating, ice fishing, downhill skiing, dogsledding, and snowmobiling. In your downtime explore the local town, a well-established arts community in its own right. Nothing says Ontario like Ogopogo, and nothing says winter like a romp in the snow.
14. Stay in an Igloo at North Adventure Inn
Who doesn’t want to stay in an igloo, like Yvonne of the Yukon?! You can experience this unique lodging, while still enjoying modern comforts like a kitchenette, double bed, sauna, and restaurant and bar, and more. For even more adventure, there’s also an on-site driving range and endless snowmobile trails. Make a weekend of it and take in nearby attractions like the Polar Bear Habitat (Here you can view rescued polar bears in their enclosures, educated yourself at the learning centre, and feel good knowing that you’re support polar bear conservation, education, and research), while you’re here visit the Cochrane Heritage Village and Snowmobile Museum and may be you can plan your trip during the Cochrane Winter Carnival.
15. Fat Biking
Fat Biking +HORSESHOE RESORT – Like the sound of that???
Fat Biking is a great way of experiencing the natural landscapes of Ontario – in the winter! And Snow Valley Resort is a winter-lover’s dream. Take advantage of Canadian winters and Ontario snow as your explore the mountain’s skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, lessons, racing, and snowshoeing. Located in Barrie, sleeping in luxury by night and carving the slopes by day will be a chilly breeze! If you want to add a newer dimension to your trip, try this fast-paced way to explore your surroundings! The activity can be safe and enjoyable with just a few pointers given by experienced riders. If you feel more comfortable, there are also guided tour options available.
16. Algonquin Park
Visiting Algonquin Park in the winter provides unrivaled wildlife views and vistas. The deep snow and quiet solitude are a welcome getaway from life in the city. The most appealing part of Algonquin in the winter is the vast cross-country ski trail network and untouched outback. The winter recreation at Algonquin also includes snowshoeing, skating, and snowmobiling. The Mew Lake Campground offers campsites year-round and can be booked up to five months in advance. Winter backcountry camping is on a first-come first-served basis. Be sure to get a permit prior to your visit!
17. Icewine Festival
Known for its selection of fine wines and wine tours, Niagara Falls also holds a winter Icewine Festival. Spend the evening cozying up to your loved one or sampling with friends, as you sip your way to over 15 of Niagara’s most exceptional wineries. The evening is filled with live music and dancing. Be sure to also try food pairings from some of Niagara’s top chefs. When you need a break from the party, take a walk through the Icewine Winter Wonderland, complete with lights and ice sculptors. Be sure to book your tickets sooner rather than later: early bird tickets start at $49 and go to $75 at the door.
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18. Arrowhead Provincial Park
Whether you need a winter getaway for yourself and a significant other, or for the whole family, heading north to Arrowhead Provinicial Park in Hunstville is exactly what you’re looking for. As one of the prime locations for various winter activities such as snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, tubing, and skating, the winter adventures are endless. For avid skiiers, be sure to mark your calendars for the annual Muskoka Loppet organized by the Arrowhead Nordic Ski Club. If you’re planning on spending the night, camping is available at the camp cabins only during the winter months.
19. Ice Climbing in Bracebridge
This adrenaline filled activity is not for the faint of heart. Ice climbing is a challenging and thrilling sport, allowing you to ascend 5 routes on natural frozen falls near Bracebridge, Ontario. The tours operate regularly on weekends and last for a duration of approximately 6 hours. Despite being an intense activity, no prior experience is required; however, since it is an intense climbing experience, some physicality is required. The climbing company provides all the latest equipment and instructions that will allow you and the whole family to have fun.
20. Ice Fishing on Lake Simcoe
Step out of your comfort zone and try fishing in the dead of winter! Ice fishing is a winter practice of catching fish with lines and hooks through a small hole in the ice. It is a fun and surprisingly easy way to catch a fish. Ice fishing adventures are available throughout Ontario. You can also embark on a tour if you’re not sure what you’re doing. At RideOnRentals of Lake Simcoe, the company provides all the fishing necessities, does all the planning and preparing, and lets you enjoy the trip!
21. Winter Hike in Ball’s Falls
Fill your travel mug and put on an extra pair of woolies for a wander through winter wonderland. At Ball’s Falls visit the period maintained 18th century industrial hamlet featuring the original Ball family home, operating flour mill, lime kiln, church, blacksmith shop, and carriage shed. Next, experience the timeless natural beauty and breathtaking views of Twenty Mile Creek and Upper Lower Falls. Finally, warm up in the Conservation Centre while admiring their permanent and temporary galleries and interactive displays focusing on nature, conservation, and the area’s cultural history. Ball’s Falls Centre for Conservation was designed to have a limited impact on natural resources while bringing attention to the spectacular scenery and natural beauty of the Niagara Peninsula.
City of Frozen Falls
Head to Hamilton to get a breath of fresh air this winter and hike one of the many trails that lead to a waterfall. Be sure to bring your cameras, as the views of frozen waterfalls will be unlike you have ever seen before. Before heading out on a trail, be sure to check out any safety information related to hiking along the Escarpment.
22. Ice Caves of Lake Superior
See magnificent ice caves and ice formations on the shores of Lake Superior that begins when temperature falls below freezing for more than 24 hours. As the waves from Lake Superior continues to washes over the primary ice that was formed, extraordinary ice creations are formed, rewarding you stunningly beautiful, ice caverns. Details
Now you’ve got no excuse to hibernate this winter away! Whether you want to relax at the spa, ski down the slopes, climb the icefalls, or watch the polar bears, make this winter your adventure. Explore all Ontario has to offer with one of these Epic Winter Getaways.