Cross Country Skiing Trails | Ontario Highlands Tourism

Winter Trails in Ontario's Highlands

Winter in Ontario’s Highlands means plenty of of snow – and when there’s snow, adventure awaits! All that you need to explore our expansive network of trails are some cross-country skis and snowshoes. Bring your own, or stop by one of our outfitters to get you all set up for your excursion. You’ll be sure to have fun whether you opt for the quiet solitude of your own company, bring along your friends or family for a great day trip, or join an excursion to meet some new faces. The winter forest is full of wildlife, so don’t be surprised if you run into birds, rabbits, and deer along the way.

Cross-Country Skiing

This at-your-own-pace winter sport is a popular recreational activity that’s in season whenever a thick blanket of snow covers the ground. With two skis, two poles, and the right clothing, you can easily glide down the region’s winter trails – and get a full body workout, too! The wooded areas surrounded by a world of white with their marked stillness are like no other place on earth.

Cross-country skiing, Wikipedia – Basic information about the history, equipment, and techniques of cross-country skiing
Cross-Country skiing excursion with Yours Outdoors, Haliburton – Join us for a morning or afternoon outing with a qualified instructor/guide
Cross-Country skiing at the Pinecone Forest, Boulter – Ski trails for all experience levels and make a day of it, or stay in our cozy chalet for a romantic, winter ski holiday

Opeongo Hills Nordic Ski Club – We are a volunteer-operated, not-for-profit cross-country ski club. We offer quality groomed trails for skate and classic skiing in the Madawaska Valley.

Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing is as easy as hiking – the only difference being that you’re hiking through the snow! Even if its’ cold outside, the exertion of snowshoeing will keep you toasty warm. Once you strap in, there’s a whole winter wonderland out there for you to explore.

If you can walk, you can snowshoe – An article on the basics of snowshoeing and what to expect your first-time out
Snowshoeing, Ottawa Valley Tourist Association – Contact information for snowshoeing outfitters located in Ontario’s Highlands
Snowshoeing, Pure Life Adventures – Stimulate your muscles and senses while exploring places that only snowshoeing can offer

Winter Equipment

Sure, it can seem pretty frosty outside during the winter months in Ontario’s Highlands. But that’s no excuse to hibernate indoors! With the right winter clothing and outer attire, you can enjoy hours of fun in the snow.

Cross-country skiing attire – A guide to the right cross-country skiing attire to make your trip the most enjoyable
Cold weather walking safety tips – Follow these tips to stay as warm as possible while spending time outdoors
Cross-country skiing equipment – Information about skiing equipment based on technique

Winter Trails

Once you’ve decided if you are going snowshoeing or cross-country skiing this time around, you’ll need to pick a trail. There’s a wide selection of trails to choose from, no matter which corner of Ontario’s Highlands you are visiting. Be sure to find out if a trail pass or park fee is required.

Cross-country skiing, Sir Sam’s – Trails feature skate and grooming patterns, a 1.5 kilometre lit-loop for night skiing, some trails suitable for novice skiers, and some of the most challenging terrain for cross-country skiing in the province
Snowshoeing, Sir Sam’s – Ride to the top of the hill on Sir Sam’s covered surface lift then snowshoe through three kilometres of forests and fields with a panoramic view overlooking Eagle and Moose Lake.
Cross-country skiing, Ontario Trails Council – Thousands of kilometres of trails, many of them groomed to perfection
Cross-country skiing guide, Ottawa Valley Tourist Association – A variety of excellent cross-country trails for various skill levels

Cross-Country Skiing Trails, Ontario Trails Council

The Ontario Trails Council website is a great resource for cross-country skiing trails throughout Ontario. The following trails are located in Ontario’s Highlands:

A-Frame Trail & Marshlandside Trail – An easy, 1-kilometre trail part of a larger network of trails in the Haliburton Highlands
Birch Lake Trail – A 3-kilometre trail that follows the scenic shore of Birch Lake
Blue Loop Trail – A moderate, 5.3-kilomtre trial suitable for all abilities and consisting of four segments
Bonnechere Tour Trail – Pass through Stephenson Lake and the Bonnechere River and Crown Land that borders Algonquin Park on this 18-kilometre trail
Bufflehead Trail – This 7.5-kilometre trail loops from the Arab Lake parking lot
Cedar Lake Trail – Travel through Moulton Gorge, Arkon Lake Bog, Black Lake homestead and the Crab Lake mines on this 15-kilometre trail
Chalk River/Deep River Trail – This moderate, 30-kilometre trail starts off highway 17 at the corner of Planet Road and Baggs Road
Corridor Trail – The trail starts at the Trail Centre and goes north to Big Salmon Lake and back for a total of 6-kilometres
David Thompson Ski Trail – A 20-kilometre trail for the advanced skier, the trail features short climbs and pleasant descents through mixed forest
Doe Lake Trail – A 3-kilometre trail that loops past two beaver ponds and climbs to a lookout over Doe Lake
Eastern Ontario Trails Alliance – You will find many old and new bridges along this 450-kilometre trail plus wildlife spotting opportunities
Fen Lake Ski Trail – A 17-kilometre trail that travels through hardwood bush with Sugar Maple, Yellow Birch, beech and hemlock being prominent tree species
Fraser Lake Ski Trail – A short but challenging 2-kilometre trail that climbs from the base of Mud Creek swamp to the top of a level granite ridge
Gibson Lake Trail – A moderately difficult 11-kilometre trail that runs through Frontenac Provincial Park
Green Loop Trail – Designed for the beginner, this 3-kilometre trail begins at the parking lot and travels through a variety of forest types
Hemlock Lake Trail – A small 5-kilometre loop that runs around Hemlock Lake
Little Salmon Lake Trail – This 15-kilometre trail explores the area around Little Salmon Lake and features an excellent view of Moulton Gorge
Minnesing Trails – The 55.3-kilometre trail passes through hardwood forests with views of three lakes along the route
Opeongo Heritage Trail – A 2-kilometre trail with view of the Bonnechere Valley and Madawaska Highlands

Opeongo Hills Nordic Ski Club – We are a volunteer-operated, not-for-profit cross-country ski club. We offer quality groomed trails for skate and classic skiing in the Madawaska Valley.

Orange Loop Trail – A 2.2-kilometre trail with a variety of terrain conditions
Pinetree Ski Trail – A premiere ski trail in Southern Ontario for experienced skiers
Point Trail – Murphys Point – The 5.5-kilometre trail loops around Murphys Point peninsula
Red Loop Trail – Traveling a distance of 7 kilometres, this trail is designed for the experienced skier
Silver Spoon Trails – A 30-kilometre trail of which 20-kilometres are groomed and track-set
Slide Lake Trail – Trails wind through rugged and difficult terrain to Moulton Gorge, Arkon Lake Bog, Black Lake homestead, and Crab Lake mines
White’s Junction Trail – The trail heads north for 10 kilometres from Main Street Palmerston in Perth along a former railway line

Snowshoeing Trails, Ontario Trails Council

There are many snowshoeing trails to choose from in the surrounding area. The Ontario Trails Council website has an extensive listing of trails – here are some that you can find in Ontario’s Highlands.

Beech River Walking Trail – This quick and easy 1.3-kilometre trail can be accessed from Dominion Avenue near the Algonquin Highlands Township Office
Berm Lake Trail – A scenic, 4.5-kilometre trail that loops with beginning and end adjacent to the Achray Campground
Big Pines Trail – A fairly easy 2.9-kilometre trail, subject to the Algonquin Park admission fee
A-Frame Trail & Marshlandside Trail – An easy, 1-kilometre trail part of a larger network of trails in the Haliburton Highlands
Bonnie’s Pond Trail – This 3-kilometre trail leads to a spectacular lookout
Centennial Ridges Trail – Located in the Algonquin Park region, this 10-kilometre trail is moderate in difficulty, taking you up and down rolling hills
Circuit of Five Viewpoints Trails – This 5-kilometre loop in the Haliburton Highlands is designed for scenic value and minimal environmental impact
Devil’s Lake to Victoria Bridge – Ganaraska Hiking Trail – This 37-kilometre trail can be reached by going approximately 6 kilometres down Deep Bay Road in the Haliburton Highlands
Eastern Pines Backpacking Trail – You have a 6-kilometre or 15-kilometre loop option along this trail; the longer version takes you to a set of frozen waterfalls
Forest Trail – A short, easy trail that is only 1.2-kilometres in length and near Dorset in the Haliburton Highlands
Forestry Trail – The 2-kilometre trail is suitable for beginners and meanders through hardwood forest
Frost Centre Hiking Trails – This network of trails spans 35 kilometres and includes the Fire Tower and Lakeshore trails suitable for beginners plus the Vista trail for an excellent view of Lake St. Nora
Hardwood Trail – Nordic Inn – Located 1 kilometre from Dorset on Highway 35, this short and fairly easy trail crosses numerous streams and wanders through a lovely hardwood forest
Harrison Woods Hiking Trail – Located in the Haliburton Highlands, this trail passes through a plantation of red and Scots pines before reaching a beautiful hardwood forest
Head Lake Trail – The trail begins at Rotary Park in Haliburton and the 6-kilometre loop takes you through a sculpture forest
Hemlock Bluff Trail – The Algonquin Park trail leads you through a mixed forest to an impressive view of Jack Lake
High Falls Hiking Trail – You will find this easy, 2-kilometre trail near Wilberforce; the trail travels from the High Falls parking area through a red pine plantation
Minnesing Trails – The 55.3-kilometre trail passes through hardwood forests with views of three lakes along the route
Mizzy Lake Trail – Snowshoe through Algonquin Park on this 11-kilometre, moderately difficult trail that takes you past nine small ponds and lakes and provides a great chance to see wildlife
Birch Lake Trail – A 3-kilometre trail that follows the scenic shore of Birch Lake
Pink Lady Slipper Trail – Nordic Inn – A 5.6-kilometre, challenging trail including a lookout over Charcoal Lake with a view for miles
Two River Trail – This looped trail includes an easy climb to a pine-clad cliff
Western Uplands Backpacking Trail – Overnight snowshoe enthusiasts will marvel in the beautiful scenery found along this 35-kilometre trail located in the Algonquin Park region
Whiskey Rapids Trail – This 2.1-kilometre looped trail leads along the Oxtongue River to scenic Whiskey Rapids
California Road Trail – Found near Calabogie, this 10-kilometre trail follows old logging roads and trails and past hunting camps
Bufflehead Trail – This 7.5-kilometre trail loops from the Arab Lake parking lot
Bonnechere Tour Trail – Pass through Stephenson Lake and the Bonnechere River and Crown Land that borders Algonquin Park on this 18-kilometre trail
Barron Canyon Hiking Trail – This trail leads to and runs along the north rim of the spectacular 100 metre deep Barron Canyon near Petawawa
Doe Lake Trail – A 3-kilometre trail that loops past two beaver ponds and climbs to a lookout over Doe Lake
Carleton Place Trailway – The 7-kilometre Carleton Place Trailway is the portion of the Trans Canada trail that links the Beckwith Trail with the Ottawa-Carleton Trailway
Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority – A trail that follows the former Canadian National Railway line for a distance of 104 kilometres
Cataraqui Trail – Trans Canada Trail – This route is on a railroad grade and passes through many communities
Central Frontenac Trailway – The 35-kilometre multi-use trail on former railway extends east-west through Sharbot Lake
Chalk River/Deep River Trail – This moderate, 30-kilometre trail starts off highway 17 at the corner of Planet Road and Baggs Road
Chevrier’s Creek Trail – Chevrier’s Creek Trail consists of four interlaced loops that wind their way between red pines with a scenic lookout from the top of a steep-sided dune ridge
Deep River Trails – Deep River has a variety of multi-purpose trails that are of moderate difficulty and appropriate for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling
Gibson Lake Trail – A moderately difficult 11-kilometre trail that runs through Frontenac Provincial Park
Hemlock Lake Trail – A small 5-kilometre loop that runs around Hemlock Lake
Little Salmon Lake Trail – This 15-kilometre trail explores the area around Little Salmon Lake and features an excellent view of Moulton Gorge
Eastern Ontario Trails Alliance – Offers a variety of interesting features including bridges and numerous wildlife
Kaladar Trail – Trans Canada Trail Section – Part of the CP rail corridor, this trail links westerly to Tweed and easterly to Sharbot Lake
Kate’s Lake Trail – This trail takes you onto an old pioneer roadway that meanders through Crown Land forest
Marlborough Forest – Rideau Trail – This 26.9-kilometre trail follows Roger Stevens road near Merrickville and crosses the main CNR railway to join an access road under a hydro line
Millennium Trail – Featuring a walkway and outdoor storyboards telling the history of the region’s people, this short and easy trail near Petawawa wanders near and over the Petawawa River
Mount Martin Trail – This 5-kilometre trail runs up and down Mount Martin, across from Deep River, and offers fabulous birds-eye views over the Laurentian Hills, the Ottawa River, and the Valley
Oak Highland Trail – This 1-kilometre trail climbs steeply to a lookout with a panoramic view of the Ottawa River
Silver Spoon Trails – A 30-kilometre trail of which 20-kilometres are groomed and track-set
Slide Lake Trail – Trails wind through rugged and difficult terrain to Moulton Gorge, Arkon Lake Bog, Black Lake homestead, and Crab Lake mines
Opinicon Loop – Rideau Trail – The Opinicon Loop starts at the junction of Opinicon and Maple Leaf Roads, about 3 kilometres northeast of Perth Road Village; for the first 7 kilometres the loop trail follows the Opinicon Road, but the remaining 18 kilometres is through forest and rolling, lightly-wooded meadows
Perth – Rideau Trail – The 32.4-kilometre trail is of moderate difficulty and runs through two locks near Beveridge Bay and along a canal known as “Haggart’s Ditch”
Perth Wildlife Reserve Trail – Spot deer and rabbits along this easy, 3.5-kilometre trail through the Perth Wildlife Reserve
Petawawa Research Forest Trail – Trail terrain includes mixed forest of red oak, red pine, white birch, maple, and white spruce
Point Trail – Murphys Point – The 5.5-kilometre trail loops around Murphys Point peninsula
Renfrew Millennium Trail – The Renfrew Millennium Trail follows the route of the CN railway through the heart of Renfrew for 3.4 kilometres
Silver Queen Mine Trail – Starting at the Lally Homestead, this 2.3-kilometre trail crosses abandoned farm fields to the Silver Queen Mine, a turn-of-the-century mica mine
Smiths Falls – Rideau Trail – The trail passes the century-old Dowson House, past Tay Marsh and through mixed bush and open fields for more than 32 kilometres
Sylvan Trail – This scenic trail winds through a mature hardwood forest for 2.5 kilometres
Terrace Trail – Located in Petawawa, the maintained trail runs for 12 kilometres

Winter Trail Resources

Location: 30 Barrett Chute Road, Calabogie

The ultimate family mountain resort in the Ottawa Valley offers the best ski & ride programs, terrain (29 runs, 2 terrain parks & 3 lifts), snowmaking, and accommodations. Also summer activities: golf, hiking, beach, tennis, xcountry biking & more

(613) 752-2720
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Location: 255 Metcalf Street, Tweed

Your backyard just got bigger! Welcome to the Eastern Ontario Trail Alliance, your guide to outdoor recreation and adventure in Eastern Ontario.

(613) 478-1444
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Location: P. O. Box 2000, Chalk River

The Friends of the Petawawa Research Forest was established to support, promote and protect the PRF for continued scientific study, environmental ed. and public recreation. The PRF Visitor Centre is open June to Sept; forest and ski trails open all year.

(613) 584-7773
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Location: Box 485, Haliburton

The non-profit community based association is dedicated to the maintenance of these high quality groomed trails that will provide enjoyment for skiers of all levels. We offer some of the best cross country skiing in all of Ontario.

(705) 457-1027
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Location: 15906 Hwy 17, Cobden

We have become a favourite family destination in the Ottawa Valley. We offer an endless number of activities from a waterpark, beach, boating, and mini golf. Stay over at our RV park, campground or cabins. Come play a round at our beautiful golf course.

(613) 646-9765
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Location: Drohan Road, Brudenell

Opeongo Nordic is a volunteer-operated, not-for-profit cross-country ski club. We offer quality groomed trails for skate and classic skiing in the Madawaska Valley.

(613) 757-2079
moc.cidronognoepo]ta[iks
Location: 1054 Liswood Road, Haliburton

A Family owned and operated Four Season Ski & Snowboard Area with a Mountain Bike Park that is open Spring, Summer & Fall.

(705) 754-2298
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Location: 691 Pinecrest Road, Boulter

A nature-friendly retreat on the York River in the beautiful Madawaska Valley. Activities include cottage & cabin rental, rustic camping, x-country skiing, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, guided paddle excursions to Conroys Marsh & interpretive forest tours.

(613) 332-3651
ac.no.enocenip]ta[tserof
Location: 258 Hastings St. N, Bancroft

Bancroft based Adventure Outfitting. Bicycles, Canoes, Kayaks, Cross Country Skis, Snowshoing. Sales Service Rentals. Area maps and Information. River Trips, Trip Planning, Guiding and Shuttle Services, Cycling Club, Annual Cycling & Paddle Events

(613) 332-1969
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Location: 1344 Barry Line, Haliburton

Yours Outdoors offers unique experiences in art, culture, and nature in the Haliburton Highlands. Our single and multiday packages are original, engaging, enlightening, and will connect you with communities and the great outdoors

(705) 754-3436
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