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Three Awe Inspiring Canadian Winter Adventures
See human sized icicles and get an otherworldly view from behind a frozen waterfall, snowshoe a 420 foot suspension bridge or take on the Pine Tree loop.
The Maligne Canyon Icewalk in Jasper National Park
For a unique winter adventure that’s perfect for all ages, try the easy and stunning Maligne Canyon Icewalk, located a short drive away from Jasper. With some insulated winter boots and a pair of crampons, you can safely negotiate a section of the frozen Maligne River. Best done with a guide, the walk provides a lesson in geology as well as the chance over the length of the 90 minute walk to see human sized icicles and an otherworldly view from behind a frozen waterfall. Guided hikers will also have the chance to slither into a cave on their bellies and look out at the ice-covered world. Without a guide you likely wouldn’t find the cave. A highlight for all is the sight of ice climbers on the largest of the frozen waterfalls, located at the end of the walkable section of canyon.
Snowshoeing the Iron Man Trail at Scenic Caves Natural Adventures Near Collingwood
For a winter workout with a spectacular view across the southern part of the Georgian Bay, you would do well to head for the Iron Man Trail accessed via the Lookout and Deepwoods Trail at Scenic Caves Natural Adventures. Located just 15 minutes west of Collingwood, the trail is according to Julie Card of MyCollingwood.ca, the best one in the region to snowshoe. Over its eight kilometer length, you are treated to a landscape of hills in an area of magnificent 200 year old maple, beech and oak trees. You’ll pass the high point of the Niagara Escarpment and have the chance to cross a 420 foot suspension bridge, the longest in southern Ontario. Trails are well marked and almost always sheltered. Skiing is $19 per day for an adult. For free snowshoeing, try the 7.1 kilometre moderately difficult Loree Forest Loop or a section of the family friendly Georgian Trail, a rails to trails conversion running between Collingwood and Meaford.
Cross-Country Skiing in Algonquin Provincial Park
With a winter visit to Algonquin Provincial Park, you can look forward to some of the finest cross-country skiing in southern Ontario. The park is incredibly beautiful in winter, especially on a blue sky day after a recent snowstorm. Trails ranging in length from 5 -30 kilometres are uncrowded, yet lovingly maintained and extremely well marked.
There are three areas for cross-country skiing within the park. The finest trails are found in the Leaf Lake area, just minutes from Algonquin’s east entrance. Although there are several easy, and family friendly loops, strong skiers will want do the 13 kilometre Pinetree Loop. It’s been called the best ski trail in southern Ontario. After a couple of stiff climbs you are rewarded with expansive views and some fun, fast downhill. But before you begin the descent, take a lunch break at the cozy Pinetree Cabin (one of several along the trails), located at the high point of the trail. And don’t forget to feed the blue jays with the birdseed available in the cabin.
Leigh McAdam is a well-respected travel blogger at: HikeBikeTravel. Her adventurous spirit has taken her to fifty plus countries and recently she’s completed 100 outdoor adventures in Canada for her new book “Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures”. Readers can purchase the book on her website for 25% off by using the code: healthy.