Winter is an ideal time to visit one of Ontario’s 26 provincial parks open for the season. Visitors can enjoy classic activities like skating, skiing and snowshoeing, take part in a special family event or stay overnight in cozy roofed accommodations.
The Ontario Government understands the importance of our provincial parks – and the expansion and promotion of access to parks is an important part of Ontario’s environment plan.
“Exploring a provincial park in winter is a great way to see Ontario at its most beautiful,” said Rod Phillips, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “With our new made-in-Ontario environment plan, we will protect these pristine environments, and make it even easier for Ontarians to take part in the many recreational opportunities they offer.”
Events to enjoy in Ontario’s provincial parks this winter season include:
New Arrowhead Provincial Park Visitor Centre
Home to the world-famous 1.3 km skating trail through the forest, Arrowhead Provincial Park is the hub of winter activity at Ontario Parks. A new visitor centre features a large warm-up area with a lounge, fireplace and a ski, skate and snowshoe rental shop.
New roofed accommodation option at Windy Lake Provincial Park
Ten provincial parks now offer roofed accommodation throughout the winter season, including a new cabin at Windy Lake Provincial Park. The cabin is set on the shores of the lake and provides space to enjoy a cozy, winter adventure. The park also offers ice fishing equipment rental packages and snowshoe rentals. The local ski club grooms more than 20 km of ski and snowshoe trails within the park and offers ski rentals.
Hikes on New Year’s Day
Participating in a First Day Hike on January 1 in a provincial park is a fun and healthy way to start the new year. First Day Hikes are part of Healthy Parks Healthy People, a worldwide movement that works to promote and understand the link between a healthy environment and healthy society.
Fun for the whole family
From Victorian farmhouses to star-gazing in a dark sky preserve, there’s something for everyone, including:
Victorian Christmas at Bronte Creek Provincial Park – Experience an authentic Victorian Christmas with crafts, refreshments, songs and stories December 27 to 30 and January 3 to 6.
Winter in the Wild at Algonquin Provincial Park – The February 16 to 18 Family Day weekend festival offers guided bird walks, guest speakers, snowshoe excursions, skating, winter camping demonstrations, marshmallow roasting and a special evening program.
Winter Weekend at Killarney Provincial Park – Enjoy the winter beauty of Killarney on February 16 and 17. Enjoy a guided snowshoe hike, guest speakers and guided stargazing at the Killarney observatory in Ontario Parks’ first dark sky preserve.
Ontario Parks Ski Report provides up to date trail conditions for provincial parks.
Ontario Parks receives more than 10 million visits per year which supports tourism, jobs and businesses across Ontario.
Visit the Ontario Parks website for information on programs, reservations, day-use and seasonal passes.
Photo Credit: Ontario Parks