Winter in Ontario’s Highlands

I am fortunate enough to be a resident of Ontario’s Highlands. What does this mean? It means I live in an Ontario postcard.

But here’s a little more info for you.

“Ontario’s Highlands is a tourism destination located just 2.5 hours east of Toronto and 30 minutes west of Ottawa and is quickly gaining popularity for its pristine snow trails, small-town charm and one-of-a-kind winter activities. With 23,000 square kilometres of untouched wilderness, over 7,000 frozen lakes and some of the deepest snowfalls in all of Ontario, nobody does winter like Ontario’s Highlands. Visitors to our region — which spans all the way from Haliburton to the Ottawa Valley — leave with the ultimate in cold-weather bragging rights. “

One of my favourite winter activities to do in Ontario’s Highlands is wildlife watching. This is something I often do from my kitchen window but whether you are travelling by car, snowshoeing or cross country skiing through Ontario’s Highlands then there is a chance you may run into one of these beautiful creatures.

20131222-223449.jpg

20131222-223502.jpg

20131222-223455.jpg

20131222-223525.jpg

20131222-223516.jpg

20131222-223551.jpg

Looking for a bit of adventure? Then try one of my favourite winter activities, ice climbing. The Ottawa Valley has some of Ontario’s best ice to offer. Located just behind Calabogie Peaks is the Manitou Mountain Trail which is a popular snowshoeing trail as well as an ice climbing destination. Why should you try ice climbing? Because there is something about ascending a frozen waterfall that makes you feel good.

20131222-224131.jpg

20131222-224137.jpg

20131222-224144.jpg

20131222-224158.jpg

20131222-224256.jpg

Two more of my favourite activities that can be done in Ontario’s Highlands is snowshoeing and cross country skiing. The Madawaska Nordic Trails have a variety of trails that can offer scenic views or wild life sightings along your journey.

20131222-224818.jpg

20131222-224832.jpg

20131222-224843.jpg

20131222-224826.jpg

20131222-224930.jpg

20131222-224910.jpg

Looking for a bit more speed?

Tour a 70,000 Acre Private Woodland Forest by snowmobile. Visit Ontario’s Higlands for more information.

Are you a skier or snowboarder?

Calabogie Peaks has the highest elevation and longest run in Eastern Ontario. It’s new snowmaking equipment allows for an early ski season. It is my local ski hill and also my favourite ski hill in Ontario.

20131222-230032.jpg

20131222-230041.jpg

20131222-230141.jpg

20131222-230120.jpg

20131222-230105.jpg

Finished skiing and looking for something to do?

Ice fishing is the most popular activity that you will find the locals enjoying.
Whether you enjoy fishing for pickerel out of a shack on a moonlit night or touring into one of the many trout lakes in the area by skis or sled, the Ontario Highlands has it all.

20131222-230711.jpg

20131222-230716.jpg

20131222-230725.jpg

Pond Hockey is another fun evening activity that I enjoy at the Calabogie Community center. The Ottawa Valley has many indoor/outdoor rinks where you will always find someone to shoot the puck around with.

Two activities that Ontario Highlands offer that I haven’t tried are dogsledding and sleigh rides through a maple bush. Last year was our first year making maple syrup and it turned out so great that we will be upping the production for this spring.

20131222-231818.jpg

20131222-231824.jpg

I would love to take a sleigh ride through a maple bush to learn more about Ontario’s maples.

But the one thing I must try this winter because it is on my bucket list is dogsledding. I feel like it’s one of those winter activities that every Canadian needs to try at least once.

20131222-232133.jpg photo by Ontario Highlands

Those are just some of the activities you can enjoy in Ontario’s Highlands from my (a local’s) perspective.

So as Ontario Highlands says “Escape the hustle and bustle of the city this winter with a relaxing day trip or memorable weekend getaway to Ontario’s Highlands. Whether you’re going solo, travelling as a pair or bundling up the entire family, the region is packed with opportunities to experience the season like nowhere else, and never before.”