Despite the slushy roads and cold temperatures, winter is a fabulous season for exploration and adventure. Sure, there’s always the standard go-to activities like skiing and skating but in Ontario, there’s so much more to see and do during this time of year. Whether you’re planning a family getaway or want some time alone enjoying the crisp air, here’s our top 10 things to do in Ontario this winter.
1. See the Northern Lights
There’s nothing more magical than watching the northern lights dance in the sky. And luckily for Ontarians, you don’t have to go too far to take in this spectacular sight. Located just two hours north of Toronto, the Torrance Barrens Dark-Sky Preserve is definitely worth a visit. The complete darkness and lack of air pollution make it possible to see the aurora borealis in all its glory. And because the Preserve is in the Muskoka region, you could even book a cottage getaway and turn this into a full weekend experience.
2. Take a ‘Scandinavian Bath’
Winter is the perfect time to get pampered head-to-toe. Cozy up at one of Ontario’s finest spas — there’s so many of them — and let the professionals melt your stresses away. One of our favourites is the Scandinave Spa in Blue Mountain. This stunning 25-acre property is surrounded by nature with views of the mountain. Aside from the Scandinave’s popular massage services, the spa is famous for its Scandinavian Baths. Take a dip in therapeutic waters to cleanse the body, release endorphins and stimulate blood circulation.
3. Climb a frozen waterfall
A once-in-a-lifetime trip to Mount Everest sure sounds exciting. Or, you can hack waterfalls and climb ice mountains much closer to home for a lot less! If you’re looking for a day of adventure, consider a trip to Elora. Located just 20 minutes north of Guelph. One Axe Pursuits organizes ice climbing tours up Elora’s biggest waterfalls. Whether you’re a curious novice or a skilled athlete, this challenge is tons of fun. Afterwards, spend some time exploring the rest of Elora — a picturesque village perched on the edge of a breathtaking gorge.
4. Go dog sledding in Muskoka
Did you know one of the best ways to see the beauty of Muskoka is by dog sled? In Huntsville, you can explore picturesque trails on a sled pulled by professional sled dogs. Muskoka dog sledding tours are available all winter long and are fun for both adults and children. Half-day tours typically last up to 3 hours, but shorter excursions are available.
5. Visit the 1000 Islands
Long considered a summertime destination, the 1000 Islands is actually one of winter’s best-kept secrets. Located along the peaceful border of New York State and southeastern Ontario, this paradise is perfect for those seeking outdoor adventure. Many people don’t know this, but there are lots of things on the 1000 Islands during the winter months. Visit a maple sugar shack, watch a hockey game in nearby Watertown, or book a cottage getaway for cheap off-season rates. Loughborough Inn is just one of the many accommodations located near the 1000 Islands.
6. Take a hike in Toronto
When we think of hiking, Canada’s largest city hardly comes to mind but did you know Toronto is home to some of the most interesting hiking trails in Ontario? If you’re taking a trek in the winter, opt for routes that are relatively wide and not as steep. Some of our favourites include Crothers Woods along the Don Valley, and the trail network in majestic High Park. The breathtaking Rouge Valley in Toronto’s east end is also the perfect place for a hike, complete with winter wildlife and views of the river.
7. Go ice fishing in Lake Nipissing
Ice fishing is a famous Canadian tradition but many of us haven’t tried it out. Head up north to Lake Nipissing for some of the best ice fishing in Ontario. Forget the days when you’d sit in the cold holding your rod with not another human in sight for miles on end. Modern-day ice fishing allows you to catch fish with all the comforts of home. Rent an overnight ice bungalow for you and your friends, and spend the day fishing in an enclosed space. Most bungalows come with a gas burner stove, bunk beds and heated toilet facilities. This is essentially the same as fishing in your own cottage, right on the ice!
As you can see, Ontario is one of Canada’s best provinces to spend the winter months. From a soothing spa getaway to an adventurous climb up an icy waterfall, there’s something for everyone. Loughborough Inn is the perfect escape for families or groups of friends. Come see for yourself why our luxury resort is Ontario’s favourite winter destination.
For more ideas on what to do this winter in Ontario, call Loughborough Inn at 1-833-317-0063 or contact us here.