If you’re not into the adrenalin rush of downhill skiing or the technical nature of cross country skiing, but still want to get moving outdoors, snowshoeing can totally be your sport. We kind of see snowshoeing as one of the great underappreciated of winter sports – you don’t need a lot of expensive equipment, and virtually anyone can strap on a pair of snowshoes and get moving in just a few minutes.
No matter your winter activity, at the end of a day on the trails you’re ready for a place to curl up and snuggle in warmth and luxury. If you’re keen to give snowshoeing a try, or are a pro looking for a new place to explore, read our list of places you can snowshoe your heart out, and then spend the night in cozy comfort.
It may be tempting to try out your snowshoes on the beautifully groomed cross country skiing trails, but that is a no-no in snowshoeing etiquette. Keep to the trails marked for snowshoeing or hiking only, and leave the skiing trails for skiers.
Rock Hill Bed and Breakfast - Frontenac
The rugged terrain of Frontenac County is even more stunning when blanketed in snow. Stay for two nights at Rock Hill Bed and Breakfast and explore the K&P Trail, located just a short walk from the bed and breakfast. Book their snowshoe package and receive a trail-side catered lunch, a gourmet dinner, and two breakfasts, so you can work hard all day and then cozy up at night without having to lift a finger.
Snowy Walks: A short walk from the bed and breakfast is the K&P Trail, which stretches 180-kilometres from Kingston to Renfrew County. You can also make the short drive to Back Forty Artisan Cheese to snowshoe their trails and pick up some cheese at the same time.
Rentals: Snowshoes can be rented from the bed and breakfast.
Bonnie View Inn - Haliburton
There are few areas more beautiful for a snowshoe trek than the snowy forests of Haliburton. Get cozy in one of Bonnie View Inn’s 28 rooms available in the “big house,” many of which have fireplaces or whirlpool baths to soak your muscles at the end of the day. Use the inn as your homebase for any number of winter activities at the resort, including ice skating on Kashagawigamog Lake, tobogganing, ice fishing and more.
Snowy Walks: Trek a private, three-kilometre trail on the property.
Rentals: Snowshoes are free for guest use.
Somewhere Inn – Ottawa Valley
Somewhere in Calabogie…is Somewhere Inn, a newly renovated motel that has a minimalist, Zen-like interior that is the perfect spot to relax at the end of the day. The folks at Somewhere Inn will arrange for snowshoe rentals, and the inn itself is close to a range of trails. After your snowy walk you can relax around the bonfire pit to share stories and warm frosty toes. Also in Calabogie is Calabogie Peaks Resort, within walking distance of most snowshoeing trails.
Snowy Walks: Manitou Hiking and Snowshoeing Trail is a nine-kilometre trail accessible from Barrett Chute Rd., near Calabogie.
Rentals: Mad River Paddle Co. rents snowshoes or ask the staff at Somewhere Inn for help in sourcing a pair.
Marmora and Lake Inn – Hastings County
Add a bit of heritage to your winter getaway at the Marmora and Lake Inn, off Highway 7 in Marmora. Dating back to 1906 and originally owned by a lumber baron, this mansion has all the amenities you need to relax at the end of a day on the trails, including an indoor pool and onsite restaurant.
Snowy Walks: Bring your own snowshoes to O’Hara Mill Homestead (10 min. drive), and explore their seven snowy trails ranging from a few hundred feet to two kilometres.
Almonte Riverside Inn – Lanark County
When you spend the day on a snowy trail, a little luxury is a welcome thing, and luxury is one thing Almonte Riverside Inn has in spades. This micro-hotel dates back to the 1800s and has been completely modernized for comfort. Dine at the onsite eatery, relax in the lobby to take in the view of the Mississippi River, or head up to one of the six stateroom to stretch out and unwind your muscles.
Snowy Walks: The Ottawa Valley Rail Trail (OVRT) runs 296-kilometres from Smiths Falls to Mattawa and has access from Almonte Old Town Hall. Nearby, Beckwith Trails offers a network of trails totaling more than 12 kilometres, accessible from the Beckwith Recreation Park.
Rentals: Rent a pair of snowshoes from the Township of Beckwith.
Sir Sam's Inn & Spa - Haliburton Highlands
For a phenomenally beautiful snowshoeing landscape, Eagle Lake is the place to go. At the end of the day you'll appreciate a spa treatment to unwind your tired muscles at Sir Sam's, or relaxing in their soothing water circuit before dining at the on-site Twin Fires Restaurant.
Snowy Walks: Sir Sam's Inn is adjacent to Sir Sam's Ski & RIDE, where you can choose between high adrenalin escapades on skis or snowboards, or more sedate wanders by snowshoe over three kilometres of snowy trails. You can also explore Glebe Park or Haliburton Forest for even more options.
Rentals: Snowshoe rentals are available at Sir Sam's Ski & RIDE.
Algonquin Eco-Lodge - Haliburton Highlands
What better place to explore the wilderness on snowshoes than in Algonquin Park? The Algonquin Eco-Lodge is an environmentally friendly accommodation option for those who want to expand their wilderness experience. You begin your adventure here with a two-kilometre trek to reach the lodge itself and from there you can explore the beauty of the region in winter at your leisure.
Snowy Walks: Algonquin Eco-Lodge offers a self-guided snowshoeing experience, aptly titled "The Path of the Snow Walker" that includes two nights accommodations, all meals, and access to three dedicated snowshoe trails.
Rentals: Snowshoe rentals are included in this package, along with lessons on how to use the snowshoes and GPS.