During the winter the abundance of trails make this area a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you prefer to glide, snowshoe or walk, there’s a trail close by, surrounded by a landscape of trees or overlooking a beautiful body of water. Hibernating is not an option when there are so many beautiful trails to explore.
Cooler weather doesn’t have to slow you down, in fact, some of the most beautiful nature hikes happen during the winter. Explore the trails on foot, on snowshoes or on cross-country skis and you’ll spot beautiful snow-covered trees, glistening waterways and perhaps even a glimpse of one of the brave critters who live here all year long.
With many all-season parks and conservation areas, South Eastern Ontario has ample opportunities to get outside and enjoy the winter scenery.
Here are a few of our popular trails that offer cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and winter hiking:
Frontenac Provincial Park – The entire park’s network of hiking trails are available throughout the winter but many people enjoy the moderate 3 km Doe Lake Loop and the easy 1.5 km Arab Lake Gorge Loop. Snowshoes with trekking poles are available for rental when the office is open.
Although there are no groomed cross-country ski trails, the staff normally trackset 6kms of ski trails. The best places to check out are Big Salmon Lake Road and the Corridor Trail. Located in Sydenham, Ontario.
Two Creeks Conservation Area – If you love spotting wildlife, this is the place to go. The coastal ecosystem, grassland flood plains, and lowland forests make this the best type of eco-region in Canada to support the greatest number of living species. Strap on your snowshoes and explore the 4.5 km trail. Located in Morrisburg, Ontario
Quinte Conservation – One of the best places to go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing is Potter’s Creek, which is the headquarters for Quinte Conservation. This 140-hectare paradise was a former farm and has great winter trails. Located on Old Highway 2, Belleville
Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area – 13 km of groomed trails are waiting for you to explore. Visit the Outdoor Centre for cross-country ski, skate and snowshoe rentals and make the most of a beautiful winter day. Located on Perth Road in Glenburnie
Vanderwater Conservation Area – This lovely outdoor spot is picturesquely located along the banks of the Moira River, where the water cascades over a series of limestone steps. In the winter this is a popular spot for cross-country skiers, with scenic views and 15 km of trails. Located on Hwy. 2, Belleville
Murphy’s Point on the Rideau Trail – Nestled between Westport and Lombardy you will find a majestic destination for cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. With over 20 km’s of groomed trails, captivating scenery and quaint chalets for warming up. Located on Big Rideau Lake, part of the Rideau Waterway
Mac Johnson Wildlife Area – This breathtaking conservation area has 11 kms of trails that cross woodland, wetland, and field areas. The Wildflower Loop (trail 1) has been developed as an interpretive trail. In addition to being a popular place for cross-country skiing, Mac Johnson is also a host to a variety of outdoor events during the winter. Located on Hwy 29, Brockville
Jones Creek Trails – Jones Creek is a great place to spot wildlife and admire the biodiversity of the Thousand Islands. And with easy trails, it is also a great place to try out snowshoeing. Located between Highway 401 and the 1000 Islands Parkway
Whether you are a newbie or an experienced winter adventurer, there are lots of opportunities to get out and about this year and perhaps even learn a new skill. If cross-country skiing or snowshoeing is on your bucket list to learn, check out some of the places where you can take lessons below. There are also ample events to take part in.
Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area – Winter is the most popular time at Little Cataraqui Creek with facilities for cross-country skiing, skating and snowshoeing. Not only can you rent equipment, you can also take cross-country ski lessons.
Frontenac Provincial Park – If you enjoy cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and winter hiking Frontenac Park has a Wilderness Skills Program that teaches outdoor enthusiasts valuable outdoor skills.
Tay Valley Ski Club – A loppet is a fun winter skiing event that draws its roots from Scandinavian history – referring to a route that the King skied over 500 years ago. Today, the tradition is alive with a fun-filled day of cross cross-country at Tay Valley. The Ski Loppet and “Cookie Race takes place on February 11, 2018.
Dion Frontenac Snowshoe Race – For those with a bit more snowshoeing skill and savvy, check out the 2020 Dion Frontenac Snowshoe Race. This 6.5 km route follows a rugged, broad and single track that will get your adrenalin going. There are also limited rentals available.
Quinte Conservation – Sign up for a 1-hour hike to go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.