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Blog

Muskoka: The Snowshoeing Capital of Ontario

  • Muskoka Tourism Team
  • WINTER
  • News

Over 1,000km of trails in the Muskoka Region

You already know that Muskoka is famous for the extensive trail systems that criss-cross the region and for the vast areas of gorgeous, undisturbed wilderness they travel through. While these magnificent natural spaces rightly receive a lot of attention in the summer, they are, in fact, every bit as (and some would say more) spectacular to travel during the winter months. Needing little more than a pair of snowshoes, winter visitors to Muskoka’s trails can expect splendid snow-capped pine trees, icy waterfalls, and frosty lakeside views around practically every curve of the trail. Welcome to the Snowshoe Capital of Ontario!

Trail Tips & Loops

Snowshoeing is great exercise, so you’ll want to dress in layers that allow you to cool down when necessary. Even on days with a wind chill, the forest can be calm and sheltered. Winter boots, a hat and mitts, and a day-pack with something to eat and drink will all help ensure your body stays comfortable while your soul drinks it all in. Hiking or cross-country ski poles are not a must, but many people find them useful.

Also, be aware that throughout the winter months, not all trailhead parking lots will be regularly cleared of snow, so to ensure your adventure is headache-free, and keep an eye on the weather conditions.

With over 1,000 kilometres of trails in the Muskoka region, there is a perfect snowshoeing adventure for every age and skill level. Here are just a few options to consider:

Just north of Muskoka, wilderness lovers will enjoy the deep snow and solitude provided by any of the interpretive trails of Algonquin Park. At over 7,000 square kilometres, and with relatively little human traffic in the winter, the world-renowned provincial park is the perfect place to view birds and other wildlife in their natural habitat. For more information on trail accessibility and current snow depth, visit the Friends of Algonquin Park.

The Lake of Bays Trails are another great option for snowshoers. With over 10 kilometres of trails, including one main trail and 14 smaller trails, the park offers many options for families and those looking for a more relaxed pace. For some Instagram-worthy winter views, be sure to visit the viewing platform overlooking the park. Three on-site information kiosks are also available to enhance the learning process. For a trail map, visit Lake of Bays Township.

Located just outside of the Town of Bracebridge, the Resource Management Centre Trails are a local favourite for snowshoers. The centre provides 16.5 kilometres of winter-groomed easy-to-moderate trails, suitable for snowshoers and cross-country skiers. You’ll pass by spectacular wooded areas and postcard-pretty vistas along the Muskoka River. For more information, visit the Muskoka Trails Council.

Located just outside of the Town of Huntsville, Limberlost Forest and Wildlife Reserve offers over 70km of complimentary trails for all levels. You must bring your own snowshoes and sign-in upon arrival.

For another option, trekking along one of the Frost Centre’s snowshoeing trails should be on every snowshoer’s must-do list. These 11 kilometres of stacked loop trails take in gorgeous cliff-top lookouts and spectacular ice falls, and offer visitors the chance to glimpse wildlife like deer, owls, and martens. Access to the centre is by donation and trail maps are available at the trailhead. For more information, visit their website.

For a full list of all 1,000km of trails, visit Ontario Trails.

Where to Stay

Could there be a better way to relax after an invigorating, sunny day snowshoeing through the woods than curling up in front of a roaring fire or warming yourself back up in a relaxing hot tub? Book your family into one of Muskoka’s beautiful resorts and make it a perfect day and night. Many resorts have snowshoe trails and rentals on-site. Here’s a selection to get you started:

Resort Region Snowshoe
Trails
Snowshoes
Available
on-site
Bayview Wildwood Resort Gravenhurst  8km Yes
Tuktawayin B&B Gravenhurst No Yes
Deerhurst Resort Huntsville 5km Yes
Blue Water Acres Huntsville Yes Yes
Cedar Grove Lodge Huntsville 7km Yes
Fern Glen Inn Huntsville 10km Yes
Bondi Village Lake of Bays 20km Yes
JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Lakes 2km Yes
Sherwood Inn Muskoka Lakes 2km Yes

 

Local Rentals

No snowshoes? No problem! Several outfitters in Muskoka offer snowshoe rentals, allowing you to explore the nearby trails without worrying about bringing or buying your own.

Well-known for their summer equipment rentals, Algonquin Outfitters also offers a wide variety of winter equipment rentals, including snowshoes. Both their Oxtongue Lake and Huntsville storefront locations provide snowshoe rentals for both adults and children, as well as snowshoe poles. Rentals are by the day and reservations are not required. The Bracebridge and Haliburton locations also offer rentals, although equipment is limited, and it is recommended that you call 705-787-0262 ahead of time to avoid disappointment.

The Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery is also offering snowshoe rentals this year to use on their 10 kilometres of scenic groomed trails. Choose from five different trails, ranging in length from 1.1 to 7.5 kilometres and from easy to advanced difficulty level.

Snowshoe Tours

If you’re curious about snowshoeing but would prefer to leave the planning and details to someone else, you are sure to enjoy a guided snowshoe tour led by an experienced local tour guide.

For a must-try adventure this winter, Algonquin Adventure Tours offers a Guided Snowshoe Tour through the world-famous Algonquin Park. Available daily as a private tour from February 1st to March 15th, the tour is suitable for beginner to experienced snowshoers and includes a brief orientation to snowshoeing followed by a guided trek to explore the park’s inspiring solitude and dazzling winter scenery. You’ll also enjoy a hot beverage and gourmet lunch from Henrietta’s Pine Bakery as a part of your tour. Click here to reserve your Guided Snowshoe Tour with Algonquin Adventure Tours.

 

To get well off the beaten path, take part in a Snowshoe Safari this winter with Find Your Wild. Choose from a guided half-day excursion on the Find Your Wild grounds or a full-day adventure in Algonquin Park. Snowshoes and a light snack are supplied with both excursions. The Algonquin adventure includes wildlife tracking with a local, experienced guide and wild-harvested teaVisit Find Your Wild to book your snowshoe tour.

 

Liv Outside offers both guided and self-guided snowshoe tours through the well-maintained winter trails located on their grounds. For DIY snowshoers, check out the Self-Guided Snowshoeing Tour. This excursion includes snowshoes, snowshoe instructions, and a winter trail pass to access the Liv Outside trail system. The Guided Day Snowshoe Tour is also available, which includes an experienced tour guide for the duration of your adventure.

 

Take your winter experience even further with the Guided Snowmobile, Snowshoe, and Wine Tasting Adventure offered by Muskoka Stay N’ Play Tours. This excursion includes two hours of snowmobile riding a day, fuel, riding gear, a half-day of snowshoeing, a wine tasting at the Cranberry Marsh, and overnight accommodation. At night, enjoy a winter bonfire at the on-site stone fire pit and admire the starry sky. For more information about guided snowshoe tours, visit the Muskoka Stay N’ Play Tours website.

 

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