Enderby BC, is a beautiful place to visit all year, and it is far from Canada's only destination. Another great place to visit at any time of the year is Muskoka, Ontario. This famous lake region within the province of Ontario is a fantastic year-round destination. What follows is a list of the fantastic winter activities people can enjoy while visiting Muskoka.
Muskoka, Ontario Trustfully a Winter Wonderland
The winter wonderland of Muskoka offers quintessentially Canadian activities on the snow and ice, including some unique experiences that cannot be found anywhere else. Ideally placed to take advantage of these wintry opportunities for fun is Muskoka Cottage (muskokacottage.com), an Ontario cottage with a fantastic location for visitors seeking great cottage rentals. The location means that numerous snow and ice escapade sites are close at hand (such as Arrow Provincial Park and ski resorts). This cottage in Muskoka is well-placed on Lake Vernon, a body of water that freezes over come winter, turning it into a snowmobile highway (and presenting the chance to enjoy cross-country skiing as well).
Another perk for Muskoka Cottage guests is that this Ontario cottage is right by Lake Vernon. When this freezes over in winter, it can be explored by snowshoeing, making it pleasantly convenient for guests.
Muskoka Cottage Rentals
There's a huge selection of winter activities to enjoy in the area, and Muskoka Cottage is a great place to experience a winter Muskoka getaway. Ideally situated on Lake Vernon, many activities are practically at the door, and others can be reached by a short drive. Snowshoeing on the frozen lake is one such example, and, as explored below, snowmobiling trails are just as close (with additional trails in easy reach). Ski slopes and Arrowhead Provincial Park can be quickly reached, making Muskoka Cottage perfect for those who want to have fun with winter activities without spending a lot of time travelling to reach them. Now, let's see get a look at all the available winter escapades you can experience in Muskoka.
Downhill and Cross Country Skiing
Fans of both hurtling downhill on skis (or a snowboard) or who prefer the cross-country approach are catered for in the vicinity of this Ontario cottage. Located a very short distance east of Huntsville, the Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area is a conveniently close venue for downhill skiing, with snowboarding also available. There are over a dozen trails from which to choose, with the open period from roughly mid-December to the end of March/start of April (specifics depend upon the climatic conditions). And lessons are available for those taking their first steps on skis.
When it comes to cross-country skiing, this is just as close to Huntsville: simply head north to Arrowhead Provincial Park. This is one of the most famous cross-country skiing sites in the whole province and is just a short drive away for those staying at a cottage in Muskoka on Lake Vernon. With dozens of kilometers of groomed trails, there is plenty of choices, so whether an expert or a beginner, cross-country skiers can find a trail to suit their skill level. In January, the park hosts an all-abilities and all-ages annual race, the Muskoka Loppet.
Arrowhead Provincial Park has a lot of things to do for guests of cottage rentals nearby, and one of the best is the ice skating trail. Glide serenely through an icy trail that weaves its way through the forest of snowy trees for one of the most relaxing yet memorable experiences in Muskoka. The trail can be accessed from January to mid-March (this may change depending on the weather), and crowds can most easily be avoided by visiting on Sundays. Fire and Ice Nights are well worth a visit, as these see the trail lit up during the night for a singularly memorable skating experience.
Another possibility for skaters visiting Muskoka is the Ice Trail of Muskoka Lake Farms & Winery, which typically opens from late December to March (again, weather permitting). Just over a kilometer long, this loop goes around a dozen acres of cranberries with forest to the side. On Saturdays, the trail is lit up by hundreds of tiki torches for a breathtaking nocturnal skate experience.
Those who prefer traveling at a more sedate pace might feel more at home snowshoeing than skiing or skating. Visitors' main problem is deciding which of the many trails suits them best, as there's a lot from which to choose. Arrowhead Provincial Park is once again a viable option for snowshoeing (making it a great place for those who want to try a little of everything), with several kilometers of snowshoe trails and the possibility of off-trail snowshoeing. Self-guided snowshoeing can also be enjoyed at the Adventure Trail System of Liv Outside (no experience required) in Bracebridge. A little further afield is Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery in Bala, where a quintet of snowshoe trails of varying lengths and expertise levels is available (as is hot mulled wine and gourmet snacks).
Snowmobiling in Muskoka
As Lake Vernon itself forms part of the very extensive snowmobile trails network in Muskoka and around Huntsville, those who opt to stay at this great cottage rentals property find themselves on the doorstep of snowmobiling action. There are many additional options in the area for snowmobile enthusiasts to explore as well.
The region has over a thousand kilometers of snowmobile trails. Starting from the Muskoka Wharf staging area in Gravenhurst, the Lake Muskoka Magic Tour is a short drive south of Huntsville. An even bigger option, which is a similar distance but north-east, is the Round Algonquin Park (RAP) Tour, Ontario's most popular snowmobiling choice.
At the other end of the excitement spectrum is the calm, relaxing pastime of ice fishing. Wrap up warm and watch the world go by in Muskoka, home to thousands of lakes and a fantastic destination for anglers of an icy disposition. Many of the lakes have nearby huts for anglers (rental circa $45-50, plus HST), and hot coffee (or chocolate) never tasted better than when under the sun on a crisp, cold day, waiting for the fish to bite.
Whether seeking a leisurely snowshoe stroll or relaxing glide along a skating trail, the high-octane excitement of snowmobiling or skiing (both downhill and cross-country), Muskoka has a plethora of wintry delights for visitors.