When friends and family ask about your visit to Ontario’s Highlands, you’ll be able to tell them about your trip of a lifetime when you opt for one of these unique winter adventures.
Enjoy being at one with nature as you glide through the snow on a dogsled, a truly Canadian experience, or experience the excitement of a more extreme sport such as ice climbing.
You might be familiar with luge from the Winter Olympics, but have never known where to try it. We have it all right here in Ontario’s Highlands! Even if it’s as simple as throwing your first curling rock, there are many exciting winter experiences to choose from.
Escape into the brisk and beautiful winter wilderness while gliding over snow drifts on a sled drawn by a pack of huskies. It may sound surreal, but this truly Canadian winter adventure is waiting for you in Ontario’s Highlands. Experienced tour operators will prepare you with everything you need to know before embarking on this journey. Get ready to yell “mush!”
|Dogsledding, Haliburton Forest & Wildlife Reserve – More than 300 kilometres of groomed trails and more than 130 exuberant Siberian Huskies await you|
|Dogsledding trails, Ontario Trails Council – Find dogsledding trails in Haliburton, Smiths Falls, and Tweed|
|Sled Dog Races, Marmora Snofest – Watch these swift and excited huskies pull their masters quickly towards the finish line at the Marmora Snofest’s 30-mile, 6-mile, 4-mile, and 2-mile sled dog races|
|Winterdance Dogsled Tours, Haliburton – Book a tour with this family-run business that operates with more than 140 registered purebred Siberian Huskies|
|Dogsledding, Yours Outdoors, Haliburton – Glide through winter on a dogsled for an amazing experience filled with adventure, beautiful winter vistas, and exuberant, trained Siberian Huskies|
|Dogsledding, Highland Wilderness Tours, Maynooth – Experience this amazing winter thrill as a high-powered dog team shows you the way through the snow|
|Dogsledding, Ottawa Valley – Discover how it feels to soar down snow-covered trails behind a team of beautiful and athletic sled dogs|
|Dogsledding, Pure Life Adventures, Ottawa Valley – Learn hands on how to navigate your dog team through the corners and over the hills|
Ascend a cascade of frozen water and icicles on your journey to the icy summit. You’ll reach cool new heights with your ice climbing experience, and can choose to scale man-made ice walls through an experience package company or natural formations on your own terms in the great outdoors.
|Ice climbing, Yours Outdoors, Haliburton – Scale a 50-foot man-made ice wall with experienced instructors guiding you along the way|
|Ice climbing, Haliburton Lake – Climb the icy ascents of Phantom Krispies, Frosted Flakes, Slim Pickins, Froot Loops, and Captain Crunch – note that permission is needed to cross private property|
|Ontario ice climbing app – An ice climbing guidebook for Ontario ice climbers|
|http://www.qnetnews.ca/?p=5302 & Ice climbing on QNetNews.ca, Bancroft – An article about the rising popularity of Bancroft as an ice climbing mecca|
|Climber’s Guide to Ontario Rock and Ice, Bancroft – Seven ice climbing spots mapped out near Bancroft|
You may recognize luge as the Olympic sport where an athlete propels himself and a sled down an icy tunnel on a fast-paced descent to the bottom. In Ontario, you can experience this exhilarating activity in Bancroft – with the safety of a helmet – on your choice of a proper, manmade luge track or natural track down the side of a hill.
|Luge, Bancroft– Steer yourself down the only luge track in Canada located east of Alberta. Call 613-332-4908 for more information.|
Lace up a pair of skates, don your favourite mittens, and get gliding across the ice for an afternoon of active entertainment. You choose whether to skate across a frozen lake surrounded by the frosty white outdoors or to head inside and take advantage of well-maintained rink ice in milder temperatures. Either way, ice skating can provide hours of enjoyment for all ages throughout the winter months.
|Skating, Ottawa Valley – A list of indoor/outdoor skating rinks to enjoy from mid-November through to March|
|North Hastings Community Centre Ice Skating Rink, Bancroft – Get on the ice and get ready for a great ice skating experience|
|Stirling District Recreation Centre Ice Skating Rink, Stirling – Founded in 1976, this indoor rink is open year-round|
|Marmora Arena Ice & Roller Skating Rink, Marmora – Founded in 1949, this indoor rink is open year-round|
|Tweed-Hungerford Community Centre Ice Skating Rink, Tweed – Enjoy ice skating, ice hockey, pickup hockey, and skating lessons at this year-round ice rink|
|Carleton Place Arena Ice Skating Rink, Carleton Place – Take part in public ice skating, figure skating, skating lessons, and hockey at this seasonal rink that is open September through March|
Now’s your chance to try curling, one of the coolest sports around. The rules of this ice-based sport are easy to learn, when the basics involve perfecting how to throw a curling rock down a sheet of ice towards the circular target. Grab some friends and head over to the nearest curling club to get started.
|Curling, Ottawa Valley – It’s easy to find a sheet of ice for tossing a few stones in the Ottawa Valley|
|Haliburton Curling Club, Haliburton – Club features state-of-the-art ice-making plant, a full-time ice maker, and a newly renovated clubhouse|
|Bancroft Curling Club, Bancroft – Located in Bancroft on Newkirk Boulevard|
|Perth Curling Club, Perth – One of the oldest clubs in the Ottawa Valley|
|Smiths Falls Curling and Squash Club, Smiths Falls – A sports and recreation complex serving the community of Smiths Falls|
|Carleton Place Curling Club, Carleton Place – Club offers bonspiels, leagues, and rentals|
|Almonte Curling Club, Almonte – Established in 1855, this club is the eighth oldest curling club in North America|
|Minden Curling Club, Minden – Check the club’s website for the current schedule and upcoming events|
|Land O’ Lakes Curling Club, Land O’ Lakes – Club offers free, 30-minute lessons to anyone who wants to learn the game; also check out the Land O’Lakes Curling Club Facebook Page|
Haliburton Winter Activities
Make the most of the winter during your visit to the Haliburton Highlands. Avoid hiding indoors and get out into the fresh air, where you can ski or snowboard down the local ski hill or even try your luck at luging – a sport that isn’t just for Olympic athletes. For family-oriented activities, there’s always tobogganing and ice skating.
Check out the Haliburton Highlands Trails & Tours Network website for more information on winter activities.