Winter Wanders

A Voyageur Cycling Route Experience

Embrace winter in Northeastern Ontario with family-friendly, beginner winter trails activities – try kicksledding over frozen terrain, horseback riding winter trails, cross-country skiing  through snow laden forests and snowshoeing under a full moon. In the timeless words of Aristotle: “To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake, it is necessary to stand out in the cold.”


Winter Hikes

Laurier Woods Conservation Area in North Bay is the perfect place to start a winter wander. 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. After a fresh snowfall, be on the lookout for tracks left by white-tailed deer, snowshoe hare and red squirrel, all active in winter. A great way to keep little explorers engaged is with our Hike-and-Go-Seek winter scavenger hunt designed for local winter trails.

Next stop: Cranberry Trail. This is an easy trail with interpretive signs, rest areas and a lookout platform to the expansive cranberry marsh adorning Callander Bay. It’s fun to watch the chickadees as they forage for their hidden food caches, chattering to each other and clinging to branches, sometimes upside down! Fill your pockets with birdseed before setting out and with a little patience you can feed chickadees from the palm of your hand. Hulled (no shell), plain sunflower seeds are their favourite.

A winter hike on The Pines trails needs only winter boots and an adventurous spirit.  The Pines in Powassan offers beautiful views of the Almaguin Highlands and on a clear day you can see Lake Nipissing and the city of North Bay on its northeast shore.


A truly magical experience is snowshoeing in the woods at night with the snow sparkling under a moonlit sky. Wasi Ski Club hosts a monthly full moon snowshoe event when conditions allow. Non-members are welcome for a fee but you’ll need to bring your own snowshoes to participate.

Glide Over Winter Trails Nordic Style

Cross-Country Ski

Experience the pure joy of gliding along freshly groomed forest trails at North Bay Nordic Ski Club. Novice skiers can try the easy, relatively flat yellow trail to get started before working your way towards the more advanced trails with rolling terrain and longer distances. With a stock cross-country ski and snowshoe rentals in all sizes, this is for visitors wanting to experience a popular northern activity.


Kicksledding is an activity with Scandinavian origins used to transport goods and people across frozen terrain. Much like a scooter, a kicksled uses human power to propel the sled and its cargo over snow-packed trails. Put aside its utilitarian purpose and you’ve got a fun and exhilarating winter activity. Try it with Sisu Adventure Rentals who’s mission it is to build wellness and community through outdoor adventure. Their curated kicksled and snowshoe adventures are suitable for all ages and abilities.

You’ll need a whole day and then some to discover all the exhilarating winter activities at Nature’s Harmony Ecolodge near Mattawa. This winter playground, nestled in a remote wilderness setting overlooking the Laurentian Mountains, offers a winter day pass that includes kicksledding, backcountry skiing, tubing down a groomed sliding hill, skating on a frozen pond and so much more!

Animal Powered Winter Trail Activities

Dog Sledding and Skijoring

Dog powered sport is becoming a popular and fun way to make the most out of winter. Harness the energy of your Lab, Boxer or Corgis, or go for a fully supported experience with Northbound Huskies offering guided husky kicksledding adventures, introduction to dog powered sport, skijoring and much more.

Winter Trails by Horseback

Experience winter horseback riding at Von Doeler’s Ranch on stunning winter trails to Talon Chutes where the Mattawa River thunders between towering cliffs. The ranch offers a variety of trips to choose depending on level and and experience from beginner to more advanced with steeper, rugged terrain on the “Rough N’ Tough Trail”. Make it a winter weekend staying at their cozy log cabin.

Learn to Fat Bike Wintery Trails

Learn to ride like a local with Remedy Rides. Just a few pedal strokes away from the trailhead for the 20Km groomed Stepping Stones trails in Corbeil, Remedy Rides offers full fat bike rental service, guided rides, bicycle transport and more. Find them on Facebook @remedyrides


“To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake, it is necessary to stand out in the cold.” - Aristotle

Tips & Tricks to Make the Most of a Winter Adventure

Plan Ahead

Make the most out of your winter adventure with these Tips and Tricks:

  • Bring quick and easy-to-eat snacks high in protein and carbs for energy. Stopping too long time to eat will leave you cold, and your muscles will have a harder time warming up again.
  • Keep hydrated using an insulated water bottle to slow down freezing. Dehydration speeds up the onset of hypothermia, so stay hydrated.
  • With shorter daylight hours in the winter, it’s best to hit the trail early to avoid being out in the dark. Bring a headlamp with an extra set of batteries just in case. Technology can fail in cold temperatures, so don’t rely on your phone to light the way.
  • If you are heading out to a more remote trail, consider that deep snow can hide the trail and trail markers. Always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back.

How to Dress for the Cold

What is our secret to getting the most out of a winter wander? Dress for it! You can take off a layer when you get hot and put it back on when you get cold!! It’s hard to imagine getting ‘hot’ in sub-zero temperatures, but the science behind it is that you burn energy traipsing through the snow and your core body temperature rises causing you to sweat. Dressing in layers is the key to making sure that sweat doesn’t sit on your skin and cool you down. Check out this great resource on the Science of Layering.

If you need a little advice on how to choose activity-specific gear Lefebvres Source for Adventure is a local outfitter that has served the community for over 100 years. That’s a whole lot of knowledge and experience outfitting the demands of Northern Ontario’s great outdoors!!

Fill your Soul and Your Belly

After an invigorating day in the snow try some of our local haunts to warm up and fill your belly. Get a hot drink and share your day’s adventures with free WIFI at locally-owned Twiggs Coffee Roasters. For a scrumptious sweet treat Good Glaze in downtown North Bay makes homemade donuts! 1886 Lake House Bistro is an experience made even better when dining in The Dome.

Winter Yurts & Glamping

A winter wander is made even more memorable when fully immersed in the experience with an overnight getaway. Nature’s Harmony Ecolodge authentic Mongolian yurt or geodesic domes are a truly unique winter experience. Or, cozy up in the rustic cabin at Von Doeler’s Ranch – the perfect way to relax in nature, reflect on life and restore your soul.

“I love how the kids are completely worn out after a great day playing in the snow”

Supported By:

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.