Best Places to Snowshoe in Ontario, Canada
Posted by Crescent Moon on Oct 30th 2020
Mighty winter snowfall and an excellent network of parks and trails make Ontario a fabulous destination to snowshoe: one of North America’s best. Floating along in your Crescent Moon snowshoes, you’ll relish crisp sunshine, snow-muffled woods, glazed lakes and rivers, and maybe even a glimpse of moose, red foxes, or other hardy critters—or at least their tracks.
Here we’ve rounded up some of the very best snowshoeing destinations in Ontario, yours to enjoy to the fullest with Crescent Moon foam snowshoes!
Algonquin Provincial Park Snowshoe Trails
The world-famous Algonquin Park turns into a veritable winter wonderland once the flakes start falling, and the drifts start accumulating. You’ve got virtually endless snowshoe opportunities here with great options for all skill levels and ambitions.
The nexus of Algonquin winter recreation is the Highway 60 corridor, given the road’s plowed all season long. As long as you stay off groomed ski trails (and frozen lakes), you can ramble to your heart’s content. Front-country trails include beginner-friendly snowshoeing routes as the 1.3-kilometer Algonquin Logging Museum Trail and the 1.5-kilometer Spruce Bog Boardwalk as well as somewhat more challenging ones, including the 2.3-kilometer Two Rivers Trail and the 10.8-kilometer Mizzy Lake Trail. The 16-kilometer mixed-use Old Railway Bike Trail between Rock and Cache lakes is another excellent place to snowshoe.
You can also head into the Algonquin backcountry via the Highland and Western Uplands backpacking trails, enjoying more solitude and the thrill of winter camping. Experienced snowshoers savvy in wilderness navigation can go cross-country, too. Keep an eye out for wolf tracks (and an ear open for wolf howls!).
It’s also worth highlighting the park’s Winter in the Wild Festival in mid-February: Guided snowshoe outings during this Family Day Weekend soiree serve as a fine introduction to winter adventures in one of Canada’s most celebrated preserves.
Snowshoe Mashkinonje Provincial Park
A more off-the-radar destination for excellent Ontario snowshoeing is Mashkinonje along the West Arm of Lake Nipissing, within easy day-tripping distance of Sudbury. This free provincial park boasts a fascinating ecological matrix of extensive wetlands of multiple types and granite ridges, and snowshoers will find some 30 kilometers of trails exploring it all. One of the best places to sample the scenery and give those Crescent Moons a chance to shine is the easy, 2.9-kilometer Loudon Peatland Trail, which edges an impressively large bog complex.
Killarney Provincial Park Snowshoe Trails
This outstanding wilderness park, set along the northern shores of Georgian Bay, and rising to the La Cloche Mountains stunning quartzite heights, makes another topnotch snowshoeing playground. Trails such as the 2-kilometer Granite Ridge, 3-kilometer Chikanishing, and 4-kilometer Cranberry Bog routes introduce you to Killarney’s scenic charms. If you’re up for a bit of a strenuous snowshoe, tackle the 6-kilometer trail to The Crack, which delivers a knockout vista of the La Cloche peaks and ridges.
You can pitch a tent or luxuriate in a heated yurt in the park’s campground, or give backcountry winter camping a try. Either way, prepare to be dazzled by the after-hours heavens: Killarney’s an officially designated Dark Sky Preserve, and clear, calm, and cold winter nights provide “stellar” stargazing opportunities.
Gatineau Park Snowshoe Opportunities
You don’t need to travel to remote woods to find excellent snowshoeing opportunities in Ontario by any means. A case in point is Gatineau Park, where you’ll find 61 kilometers of snowshoeing trails just minutes from downtown Ottawa. Heck, some of the access points here are reachable by public transit!
Among the great routes here are the Wolf Trail and its scenic lookouts and the trails to Philippe and Renaud lakes.
World-class Snowshoeing in Ontario
Armed with your Crescent Moon snowshoes, you’ve got some incredible winter-scapes to enjoy in Ontario. The above destinations are only a sample—but what a sample!