It’s always a fantastic day on the trails at Windy Lake Provincial Park!
Windy Lake is a fantastic winter recreation destination in Ontario located just 45 minutes from Sudbury.
Experience the sound of fresh, crunchy snow squeaking beneath your snowshoes as cross-country skiers glide down nearby trails.
Exploring the trails
The park is associated with the Onaping Falls Nordics Ski Club, which maintains and grooms over 15 km of high-quality, well-designed cross-country ski trails.
Volunteers can often be found after a fresh snowfall, grooming trails on the Club’s Piston Bully or snow machine to set tracks. The trails begin at the ski chalet in Windy Lake Provincial Park, where some of the easy trails are located, and continue to the Club property adjacent to the park.
Trails wind through snowy Jack Pine, spruce and birch forest, and on the most challenging trails, climb hills and valleys.
The park also features 4 km of snowshoe trails that take participants along an ancient beach high above Windy Lake, with great views of the frozen lake. Another 6 kilometers of trails were recently opened on the club property, making for more than 10 kilometers of trails to enjoy.
Without snowshoes? Rent a pair when you arrive!
The trails at Windy Lake are often the first in the area to receive snow, holding it well during periodic thaws and lasting well into the season.
The club rents snowshoes, skis, boots and poles on weekends at the chalet, the center of the trail system located in the park.
From Monday to Friday, visitors can contact the Club via their Facebook page or email [email protected] before their visit to arrange xc ski and snowshoe rentals.
The wood stove allows skiers and snowshoers to stay warm, and the seats and tables provide plenty of space to sit and enjoy your lunch. Bathrooms are available when the chalet is open.
Windy Lake’s winter season begins just after New Year’s and continues through March. The park and area retains snow until late winter, so when the trails melt to the south, Windy still offers great skiing and snowshoeing.
Where legends are made
Onaping Falls Nordics Ski Club established some excellent trails where Devon Kershaw, world champion cross-country skier and Canadian Winter Olympian, first learned to ski and spent much of his youth skiing.
Devon grew up in Sudbury and started cross-country skiing at 15 months old. In 2010, the Club named its 5km trail, a more challenging outdoor loop connected to the park’s main trails, the “Devon Kershaw Trail” and presented Devon with a plaque in recognition of his achievements.
A January 2014 article in the Toronto Star called Devon “Canada’s most successful male cross-country skier” to that date.
Ski and stay
Next to the trail there are four yurts open during the winter season. The yurts are winterized and have electricity, heating and lights.
Yurts available along the trail
Two large bunk beds comfortably sleep six people. For meals, there is a large barbecue on the terrace and a table and chairs inside for dining. Each site has a campfire and park staff provide firewood.
The park has a slide to transport equipment from the parking lot to the yurt. Park staff are available seven days a week to help visitors get settled and can make arrangements for late-arriving campers. There is a heated toilet near the yurts and bathrooms are available on weekends during the day in the chalet.
Two cabins sit on the shores of Windy Lake. For park visitors looking for other winter experiences, these cabins provide excellent lake access for ice fishing. They are located just a short distance from Sudbury’s famous network of snowmobile trails. The cabins can be reached by vehicle along one of the park’s internal roads.
The cabins have a kitchenette and dining table for indoor meals. It sleeps six people and mattresses are provided in the beds. Outside you will find a gas barbecue and picnic table. A propane fireplace provides a cozy temperature and atmosphere inside.
Camping in winter is a unique experience. Staying in covered accommodation makes it warm and comfortable. With ski and snowshoe trails right at your door, it’s healthy and fun, too.