Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024
First day hike destinations

New Year’s Day is quickly approaching – have you chosen a park for your first day walk on January 1, 2023?

This list of 10 parks sums up some hot spots for their first foray in 2023:

Northern Ontario

Killarney Provincial Park

Killarney George Lake Winter

Killarney’s iconic wilderness looks even more beautiful when covered in snow. The park’s hiking trails take on a whole new character as snowshoe trails in winter.

Join a guided walk about which of Killarney’s creatures brave the cold, head south for the winter or sleep all day, organized by park staff. Meet outside the front door at 2:00 p.m.

Reserve your permit online!

Killarney is 1 hour south of Sudbury and 4 hours north of Toronto.

Near the north

Algonquin Provincial Park

Wooded trail in winter

Algonquin offers both winter and summer visitors!

Look these Cold Events Algonquin will be hosting on January 1st:

History on the Camino (km 42.5) — self-guided walk

Come see Self-Guided History on the Trail!

The Story of Billy the Beaver is for families with young children.

You’ll find out all about Billy and his friends who live in the Algonquin swamps!

Located on the Spruce Bog Boardwalk (the trail is 1.3 km, flat, and rated “easy”), story boards will be posted along the trail to read with your family.

This self-guided walk is available from December 28 to January 3.

Winter Airfield Walk: Guided Walk

Join Peter on the first day of 2023 walk in search of snowbirds and other signs of wildlife.

We will meet at the Old Railway Bike Trail parking lot at 1:30 pm, 1 km south (or second on the left) on Mew Lake Campground Road (at km 30.6).

Reserve your permit online!

Algonquin is 3.5 hours from Toronto or Ottawa.

Arrowhead Provincial Park

Arrowhead in winter

Arrowhead’s winter offerings are well known throughout Ontario, and for good reason! When the snow falls, it is truly a winter wonderland and is the perfect place to spend a day of adventure.

See also  Winter Biking in Algonquin

Reserve your permit online!

Arrowhead It is located just north of Huntsville and is 3-4 hours from Toronto and Ottawa.

southern ontario

Frontenac Provincial Park

Shrub with red berries in winter.

Winter is a great time to enjoy Frontenac! Visitors to the park can enjoy the network of more than 100 km of hiking trails year-round. The trail network features short loops for beginners, as well as routes longer than 20 km for seasoned adventurers.

The park office will be open for winter adventurers to warm up!

Reserve your permit online!

Frontenac is located less than 1 hour from Kingston and 2 hours from Ottawa.

Brontë Creek Provincial Park

Two people walking in a winter forest

Winter is a great time to explore Bronte Creek! This park offers a full day of winter adventures and is just a short drive from the heart of Toronto. In addition to its trails, perfect for a winter walk or snowshoeing, there are 5 km of cross-country ski trails that run throughout the park.

Forest Therapy with Soul Nutrirer

This two-hour event will give you a taste of the practice and allow you to experience the physical and emotional benefits that nature has to offer.

The forest has gifts to share if we slow down and come closer to receive them.

Nature and forest therapy, often called forest bathing, is inspired by the Japanese practice called Shinrin-yoku.

This practice helps us reconnect with our place among all things. In a time when our lives are overwhelming and overstimulating, this subtle practice groundes us and brings us to a place of balance and connection.

We will meet at 9:00 am at the green shelter in the Burloak day use area.

Reserve your permit online!

Brontë Creek is located in Oakville and is less than 1 hour from the heart of Toronto and 1.5 hours from London.

Pinery Provincial Park

sunset behind the tree

Delight in the stunning beauty of the snow-capped Oak Savanna in Pinery! With cycling, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and skating, you’ll have an action-packed January 1st!

Join the naturalists at 3:00 pm on the Cedar Trail to start the new year with a guided hike!

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Pinery is on the shores of Lake Huron, just 1 hour from London and 3 hours from Toronto.

Rondeau Provincial Park

couple walking with dog in the snow

A great way to start the new year is to get outdoors and experience something new!

On the Tulip Tree Trail you’ll find beautiful Carolinian habitat as you explore trails and boardwalks through unique habitats.

To enhance your experience, Rondeau has partnered with Caldwell First Nation to offer you a “Storywalk,” a self-guided story that unfolds along the trail as you find each page at a different stop.

The story follows Rainey and Mkinaak as they explore the trail and connect what they see to their culture while using the Anishinaabemowin-Ojibwe language.

With just 1.2km of gently sloping trail with boardwalks, this first day hike is perfect for the whole family and is available all day.

Rondeau is 3 hours from Toronto and 1.5 hours from London.

Murphy’s Point Provincial Park

river in winter

With over 20km of winter-groomed hiking trails and cross-country ski trails, Murphys Point is a perfect destination for your first day of hiking. This provincial park has a great mix of wildlife habitats, including forests, wetlands, old fields, and three lakes!

Join Samantha, the park’s lead naturalist, for an easy to moderate hike on New Year’s Day from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm in the main winter parking lot. It will be fun for the whole family, including your leashed pets.

Let’s start those New Year’s resolutions right!

Murphy’s Point It is 1 hour from Kingston and Ottawa, and 4 hours from Toronto.

Wasaga Beach Provincial Park

snowshoe person

Enjoy a free day of snowshoeing, skiing and a discounted rate for equipment rentals at Wasaga Beach on January 1!

Get a self-guided hike booklet from Nordic Chalet that can be used on any trail. The activity takes between 1 and 2 hours to complete.

The Wasaga Nordic Chalet will offer free hot chocolate to visitors on the first day of the hike.

Wasaga Beach is just 40 minutes from Barrie and 2 hours from Toronto.

Stay safe

Always remember to give yourself enough time to complete the trail before dark. Check the start time and trail length before you begin. If you think you don’t have enough time, don’t start! Winter temperatures can be very cold and even colder at night.

Avoid frozen bodies of water and stay away from ice. Ice conditions can be unpredictable. And of course, dress for the weather.