Lace ’em up, it’s ice skating time!
December 30, 2018 – MUSKOKA ON
Arrowhead Provincial Park is in full winter swing, with snowshoeing trails, cross country ski trails, and now their famous ice skating trail all open for park guests. Their ice skating trail is an experience that is unmatched, having been recognized by Travel + Leisure as one of 19 stunning natural ice skating rinks in the world.
The recent cold weather conditions have been perfect ice making conditions, with park staff working hard to get the trail up and going for excited skaters. Remember, the skating trail is always weather dependent so please check the Arrowhead Provincial Park daily update before leaving home. The staff at the park update this report first thing in the morning, every day.
One cool new addition to the park has been the construction of a brand new visitor centre, a new building built in 2018 that is as beautiful as it is functional. A great addition to the popular provincial park, the new visitor centre houses the park store, rentals, and a warming station.
Be sure to read the tips below and start planning your magical skate through the Muskoka forest for winter 2019. The attraction is super popular and the tips will ensure you have the best experience possible. If you happen upon the park right after a dumping of fluffy white snow, consider yourself in luck. Snow covered Muskoka pines creating an archway through the forest as you gracefully glide under them is an experience that is second to none.
- Admission into the park is $17 per vehicle from Monday to Friday, and $20 per vehicle on Saturday, Sunday, and holidays
- Skate rentals are available at the park for $10 (or bring your own)
- Helmets are recommended on the trail but are not mandatory
- Dogs are not permitted on the ice skating trail (they are permitted on the snowshoeing trails)
- Baby strollers with rubber wheels are permitted on the ice skating trail (no metal wheels please)
- Skating trail is open daily at 11am, closing at 5pm in January, 5:30pm in February, and 6pm in March
- On Fire & Ice Nights, the Ice Skating Trail will be open from 11am – 3pm, and from 6pm – 9pm.
Tips for the ultimate experience
- Saturdays are the busiest days for the Ice Skating Trail and it often reaches capacity. To avoid disappointment and for the absolute best experience, visit midweek or on Sundays!
- Should you find yourself unable to get into the Arrowhead Ice Skating Trail on the weekend because it has reached capacity, check out the Cranberry Ice Trail, the only skating trail in the world with its own on-site winery. Post-skate, cozy around their campfire and sip on a cup of hot mulled wine.
- After a fresh snowfall there is a certain magic skating on the trail under the snow covered evergreen trees.
- Fire & Ice nights make a memorable date night. When the sun goes down and the stars come out, the tiki torches are lit for a romantic candlelight skate through the forest. These nights are extremely popular, and the Thursday dates expect to be less busy than the Saturday dates.
- If you can’t feel your toes, there are heating stations available for you to go inside and warm up.
More winter activities to do at the park
This place is truly Muskoka’s winter playground and is known as one of the top cross country ski destinations in Ontario. The park is home to 30+km of snowshoeing and cross country skiing trails split up amongst 9 different trails. They also have the only tubing hill in the region, a great activity to wear out the kids as they race down the track and pull their tube back up the hill. The brand new visitor centre is a great addition to their winter activities, equipped with a warm up room to enjoy after spending time in the great outdoors. Lounge by the fireplace and bring your own lunch to enjoy at their large dining table.
Rentals are available for cross-country skis, snowshoes, and ice skates. Helmets are not available for rent, so please bring your own.
Where to stay
Check out these great accommodations nearby. From resorts to cottages to B&B’s, there is a cozy room with your name on it!
- Cedar Grove Lodge
- Hidden Valley Resort
- Deerhurst Resort
- A Muskoka Dream Catcher B&B
- Comfort Inn
- Holiday Inn Express
- Rainbow Inn
- Trillium Resort & Spa
- Tally Ho Inn
- Colonial Bay Cottage Resort