It seems that all roads head north in the summer, but we say head in that direction in winter too.
A 10-minute drive north of Huntsville in the heart of Muskoka is Arrowhead Provincial Park. Situated around Arrowhead Lake, it’s a top summer destination, offering sandy beaches, three campgrounds, 10 cabins and 15 km of hiking trails. But it’s also a hot spot in the winter.
The park opens in December for a full slate of winter activities from skiing, snowshoeing, tubing and skating around the 1.3 km skate trail.
We took our first glide under crisp blue skies on opening day this season. It was cold but if you dress in layers, you’ll stay warm as you zip around the loop!
Getting there: Arrowhead Park is approximately 250 km north of Toronto outside of Huntsville, ON. There are parking lots throughout the park and one near the Skate Trail. Map of park: Arrowhead_Brochure_2018_LR6 (002)
Low-down: There is a fee per car for entrance to the park. A daily vehicle pass ($17 weekdays, $20 weekends – this covers anyone in your vehicle. A daypass is also valid for entry to Algonquin Park.) Winter Park hours are December and January: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; February 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; March: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Ice Trail opens daily at 11 a.m. until park closes. Skate rentals available in the warming centre.
Trip tip: There is no indoor space to put on your skates (head up the road to find one), but there is a fire pit near the start.
Trip tip: The park often hits capacity on weekends, so call 705-789-5105 or check @arropark on Twitter for the latest info.
And it’s stroller-friendly!
Mark your calendars: There are Fire and Ice nights where the skate trail is open for torchlit skating between 6 and 9 p.m.(weather permitting)
- Saturday, January 6, 2018
- Saturday, January 20, 2018
- Thursday, February 1, 2018
- Saturday, February 10, 2018
- Thursday, February 22, 2018
- Saturday March 3, 2018
- Saturday March 17, 2018
Other Winter Activities: Arrowhead’s tubing hill is included in the daypass. Tubes are provided (only park-provided tubes are allowed on the hill; no toboggans) There are 28 km of classic cross-country skiing trails and 16 km skate ski trails, ranging from beginner to expert level. There are 8 km marked snowshoe trails, as well as off-trail snowshoeing through mature hardwood forest. You can also go on hikes or try skijoring. You can even camp in the winter.
Stuck in the city? Here are some of the Skating Trails in and around Toronto: https://kidsinto.com/2016/01/28/skating-trails-in-toronto/
Stuck trying to learn? Here are some tips to get the kids gliding: https://kidsinto.com/2017/01/19/tips-for-little-skaters-in-toronto/