Ontario Parks is pleased to announce that the new Arrowhead Provincial Park Visitor Center officially opened its doors on December 14, 2018.
For more than 45 years, Arrowhead has provided high-quality outdoor recreation opportunities in the Muskoka resort area.
Between 2000 and 2017, winter visitation increased from 11,000 to more than 50,000, making it the busiest winter program in the Ontario parks system.
Arrowhead’s development of the innovative and world-famous ice skating rink in 2012 had a major impact on the growth of tourism in Arrowhead and the surrounding region. The park has also seen large increases in participation in cross-country skiing and special events.
To accommodate the incredible growth of Arrowhead’s winter program, planning and design for the Visitor Center complex began four years ago and construction of the building began last year. The building was completed in the summer of 2018.
A center for outdoor recreation
Designed by lead architect Matthew Harvey and the Ontario Parks Environmental Design team, the new visitor center and picnic pavilion is a hub for outdoor recreation and discovery.
A winter wonderland
Arrowhead has one of the best winter programs in the province, offering skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing and skating.
With 17 miles of world-class ski trails, 10 miles of skate ski trails, 5 miles of snowshoe trails, and a world-famous skating trail through the woods, Arrowhead is a winter dream.
Located in the heart of the park, the new Visitor Center is now the starting point for the network of cross-country and snowshoe trails.
To ensure functionality, efficiency and maximum comfort, a lot of thought and consideration went into the design of the building.
The Visitor Center was designed to meet current Ontario Building Code requirements for energy conservation.
During the winter, the Visitor Center is used as a warm-up and rest area.
It includes a rental shop equipped with ski, skate and snowshoe rentals, and will host ski workshops and other outdoor training activities.
During the summer, the Visitor Center will be used for Discovery programming and outdoor skills training.
The park store will be located outside the Visitor Center and there will be rentals of canoes, kayaks, SUP boards and bicycles.
Warm up by the fire
With a beautiful stone fireplace, the Visitor Center is a great place to warm up after playing in the snow.
Funds for the fireplace were generously donated by the Huntsville Ski Club and the Arrowhead Nordic Ski Club. Thank you!
The fireplace mantel is made from a Douglas fir log that was recycled from a Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry dam.
Bird friendly glass
The windows are energy efficient and feature the first use of bird-safe glass at an Ontario Parks facility. The glass is designed with a dot pattern that helps birds identify it as a barrier.
A new picnic pavilion
Located next to the Visitor Center is a new winterized picnic pavilion. The pavilion features a stone fireplace and a small food preparation area.
The picnic pavilion also features a five-station ski waxing room with ventilation hoods.
A center for special events.
The Arrowhead Nordic Ski Club (ANSC) operates its programs within Arrowhead and partners with the park to host several annual special events.
Events like the Muskoka Loppet will now use the new Visitor Center as a base.
Visit Arrowhead this winter to see the new Visitor Center!
Learn more about what the park has to offer during the winter here.