Winter Trails to Keep you Connected

Winter has arrived in Northern Ontario in all its snowy splendour. To make the best of the season Discovery Routes’ prescription is to spend time outdoors on our vast network of winter trails. To feel nature’s healing power – dress in layers, breathe in the fresh air, revel in the heaps of snow and discover a new trail.

Winter Hike at Laurier Woods Conservation Area

Dog walking at Laurier Woods in the winter

Laurier Woods Conservation Area

Winter gives us a whole new perspective on the trails we love and Laurier Woods is one of our favourites for an easy winter trail adventure. Unless you are the first out after a heavy snowfall, all that is needed to explore Laurier Woods in the winter is a sturdy pair of warm winter boots and a spirit of exploration. A great way to keep little explorers engaged is with this winter scavenger hunt that we created for the local trails. For dog lovers, remember this is an on-leash trail to protect the wildlife you may encounter.

Moonlight Snowshoe at Wasi Ski Club

A truly magical experience is that of walking in the woods under a moonlit sky. All your worries evaporate into the sparkling snow with only the sound of snowshoes crunching on the trail. The snowshoe trails at Wasi Ski Club are one of the best places to share this experience. You’ll want a clear night to get the full effect, so check the weather and a lunar calendar, and pack a headlamp that can withstand the cold (cell phone light not recommended). The club hosts full moon snowshoe hikes so stay tuned as things progress in 2023 for a chance to snow-cialize with other night dwellers.

Snowshoe Duchesnay Falls Trails

View of Duchesnay Falls in the winter from the waterfall trail

Duchesnay Falls

Every season brings new splendour to the majestic Duchesnay Falls with winter being one of our favourites. The ice-capped Duchesnay Creek cascading down the escarpment is a sight to see. The trails are not maintained and can get quite slippery so be cautious, especially with the little ones. A pair of slip-on crampons will help keep traction on the trails.

Winter Fat Bike and Ski Education Centre Trails

Group of bikers on the Education Center Trails in the winter

Education Centre Trails

Nipissing University grooms a 7.5 km network of cross-country ski trails for both traditional and skate ski – free to use and accessible by public transit! Access the ski trails from the far end of Parking Lot 8 at the main campus. Fat bikers are welcome on the trails but asked to stay off the track-set side of the ski trails and only ride the wide trails groomed for skate skiing if the snow conditions are such that the fat bike is not leaving ruts. If it is, lower the tire pressure or move to the singletrack snowshoe trails.

Check out @NipissingTrails on Twitter for the latest trail conditions.

Winter Playground at Nature’s Harmony

Excited people snowshoeing

Into the White Snowshoe Race at Nature’s Harmony

You’ll need the whole day to discover all the exhilarating winter activities at Nature’s Harmony near Mattawa. Ever try kick-sledding? How about backcountry cross-country skiing? Tubing down a groomed sliding hill, anyone? Nature’s Harmony is the quintessential northern winter playground, nestled in a remote wilderness setting overlooking the Laurentian Mountains. A Winter day pass includes access to tons of nature therapy, guaranteed.

Storybook Trail at North Bay Nordic Ski Club

Small child and little brother in winter on ski trails

North Bay Nordic Ski Club

Next on the winter must-do checklist are the ski trails at North Bay Nordic, affectionately known as Nordic to its over 600 members. Every northerner should experience the pure joy of gliding along the groomed forest trails. You may finish the day aching and exhausted but it is the “good hurt” that invigorates and makes you feel alive. With a stock of rentals in all sizes, this is one activity you can try without gearing up the whole family. In 2022, the club added a Storybook Trail to the Beaver Meadow Loop snowshoe trail.

Hike The Pines Trails

A winter hike through the towering Red Pines and up Powassan Mountain is a perfect way to spend an afternoon with the whole family. This is another popular trail that needs only winter boots and an adventurous spirit.  The Pines in Powassan offers some beautiful views of the Almaguin Highlands and on a clear day, you can see all the way to North Bay. Snow fort building is highly encouraged!

Multi-Use Winter Trails at Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park

Out the Mattawa way, the winter trails at the Canadian Ecology Centre within Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park are extensive. They are a series of non-motorized, multi-use winter trails groomed by Park staff perfect for winter fat biking, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. One of the highlights is the section along the shores of the Amable du Fond River. A trail map is available to download from the Canadian Ecology Centre.

Snowshoe Moose Mountain

Two people snowshoeing on Moose Mountain Trail

Moose Mountain Trail – part of the Forgotten Trails Photo: ACED

Off the beaten path, Moose Mountain Trail west of South River offers a place where you can truly unwind in a winter wonderland. Bring a thermos of hot chocolate to savour at the viewpoint.

Ski and Snowshoe Almaguin Community Trails

This is a newer network of trails run by an enthusiastic group of community volunteers. With 8 km of groomed ski trails and 3 km of snowshoe trails growing every year, the Almaguin Community Trails are a wonderful addition to the Alamguin Highlands communities.

Discover the Best Winter Fat Bike Trails

If you have a fat bike and want more recommendations on where to ride this winter, connect with other local riders at the North Bay Mountain Bike Association.

Need more trail suggestions? Search the Trails by Activity section on our website. Or pick up a Discovery Routes’ Adventure Trails Map; a great local guide to over 400km of trails in every season.

And don’t forget to leave your comments in our new feedback section for each trail. You’ll be helping others discover just how amazing winter is in the north!

See you on the trails!

The vast network of trails we celebrate exist on the traditional lands and waterways of the Anishinaabe people within the territory protected by the Robinson Huron Treaty of 1850 and Williams Treaties of 1923.