Thu. Dec 7th, 2023

Brrr! Temperatures are dropping and the icy grip of winter is almost upon us.

We bet you feel almost ready to enjoy a nice long winter hibernation. Not so fast! Outdoor activity is important for our physical and mental health throughout the year. Getting outdoors is good for you even when the weather isn’t ideal.

Ontario Parks has 31 parks open in winter. Each park offers many ways to stay active in the cold months.

Here are some great ways to stay healthy and enjoy winter!

1. skate

What could be better than gliding through the trees at one of Ontario’s two park skating rinks?

Four skaters on ice rink with torch in foregroundArrowhead Provincial Park

Both Arrowhead and MacGregor Point offer forested trails for skating. You can also skate on large outdoor rinks in Algonquin and Pinery.

Are you thinking about visiting Arrowhead? Here are some tips for a successful trip.

Skating strengthens your lower body muscles and helps you get cardiovascular exercise, which is good for heart health.

2. Walk

Is winter hiking available? The answer is yes!

Woman walking at Big Bend Lookout in winterArrowhead Provincial Park

Hiking can be a little more challenging in winter, making it even better exercise. The health benefits of hiking are from head to toe, including increased cardiovascular health and muscle toning, and decreased stress and anxiety.

How about starting the New Year with a healthy walk? Taking a first-day walk promotes a year of health and happiness outdoors.

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3. Cross-country skiing

Cross country skiing is an amazing winter exercise. Skiing is an aerobic exercise, so you can expect better cardiovascular and muscular fitness. Work the muscles of both the upper and lower body.

Three cross country skiers on wooded trailWindy Lake Provincial Park

Nineteen Ontario parks offer cross-country ski trails with more than 450 km of trails, either half-groomed or piste. If you are looking to rent, there are cross country ski rentals available in Arrowhead, Pinery, Wasaga Beach, and Windy Lake.

Not sure about the conditions? Be sure to check the snow report before you head out!

4. Snowshoes

Snowshoeing is a great option for exploring park areas with deep snow in the winter. Explore the La Cloche Mountains in Killarney, see the frozen Kakabeka Falls or traverse pristine snow-covered forests at Silent Lake.

Algonquin Provincial Park

It’s good for you too! Snowshoeing is a challenging cardiovascular exercise, and snowshoers can even burn up to 1,000 calories per hour![i]

Don’t have your own pair? Snowshoe rentals are available in Arrowhead, Frontenac, Killarney, Pinery, Wasaga Beach and Windy Lake.

5. Play in the snow!

Outdoor play is important for children’s health all year round. Playing in the snow provides physical exercise in the winter months.

Children drawing on ice sculptures.Algonquin Provincial Park

Snow is also a great vehicle for your kids’ creative play! They can make snow angels, snow forts, snow people, or anything else they can imagine!

Looking for a fun activity in the snow? Teach your kids to identify snowflakes!

Ready for your winter adventure?

Don’t forget to dress appropriately for the weather!

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Sledding in BrontëBrontë Creek Provincial Park

Use our park locator to find a winter wonderland near you. We also have many covered rooms to keep you warm and cozy this winter.