If there is one thing we Canadians are exceptionally great at (other than easily locating the nearest Tims), it is embracing sub-zero temperatures wholeheartedly. And for anyone looking to plan the perfect winter getaway for Valentine’s Day or Family Day, we have just the place for you— Huntsville!
We already know that this historic town in Muskoka is quite the beauty. It is, after all, our go-to cottage country come summer. Turns out, the place also transforms into a magical snow-covered playground come winter.
Whether it is with your S.O., your beloved fam or your pals, the town has plenty of activities to keep you entertained. There’s so much to do that they even have a fun quiz to help you discover your ‘winter adventure persona’!
To help you pick out some ideas, from epic sleigh rides to thrilling ski adventures to calm-inducing ice fishing trips, here are 7 experiences in Huntsville that make for the perfect winter getaway.
Ride the sleigh and the sled
This classic winter experience is a sure-shot way of enjoying the freezing outdoors. Bundle up in a blanket and enjoy a cuddly ride along forested trails in a horse-drawn sleigh with Back of Beyond equine experiences. Then warm up by a private campfire sipping hot chocolate and roasting marshmallows. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, embark on a dog-sled tour with North Ridge Ranch. The many twists and turns will leave you wanting more.
“Walk with Light” (and sound) at Rotary Village Station
The Rotary Village Station in Huntsville offers a unique and interactive experience they call Eclipse “Walk With Light.” The artistic experience takes you on a night walk through a circular forested trail. There’s music, interactive lights, heritage buildings, illuminated soundscapes and a lot more to explore. It is quite a memorable experience.
Skate the trail at Arrowhead Provincial Park
This Huntsville experience is pretty epic to need an intro. Often dubbed “Fairy Take Skate Through the Canadian Forest,” this 1.3km trail is one of Muskoka’s most popular attractions. And also, one heck of a skating wonderland. Pro tip: Avoid Saturdays as the trail reaches max capacity.
While the park owes its popularity primarily to the ice skating trail, you can enjoy many other winter activities here. Think skiing, skijoring, snowshoeing and more.
Snowmobile your way through scenic views
Muskoka’s well-groomed, snowmobile trails are no secret. Snowmobiling through these trails is a great way to explore the incredibly scenic wilderness and get your adrenaline pumping. Plus, with 1200 kilometres (not exaggerating) of trails, it is practically a riding haven with unlimited touring opportunities. You can rent snowmobiles and book tours with Muskoka Wild.
Fat bike at Algonquin Provincial Park
There are few experiences as joyful as riding a bike through the snowy natural beauty that is the Old Railway Bike Trail in Algonquin Park. It’s a great way to explore the pristine outdoors. You can do it by yourself or book a guided tour with Algonquin Outfitters. This is also where you can rent a bike and get expert advice to ensure a smooth ride.
Ice fish at Three Mile Lake
Spending a weekend (or weekday) in a rustic, heated Ice Hut with periodic ice fishing adventures is a true Muskoka experience. It is particularly great if you’re looking for a relaxed yet exciting weekend. And you can find some really amazing ice fishing packages with heated ice huts, BBQ Shack, Wash House and more at Muskoka Shores Cottages.
Ski & snowboard at Hidden Valley Highlands
Is it even a winter getaway without skiing on the list? We say not! Especially when you have a ski resort as cherished as the Hidden Valley Highlands. The resort has 15 trails for skiers of all ages and skill levels and three quad chair lifts to get you there. First-timers, worry not, there is also a beginner hill with a handle tow. Oh, and if you wish to take a few lessons, Hidden Valley has an excellent ski school program.
That was our list of all the incredible experiences that make Huntsville the perfect winter destination. And we, for one, are ready to (re)explore it. So pack your bags, take the quiz, and we’ll see you there!