Guest blog by Jen Johnson.
One of the best things about living in Ontario is having such easy access to the outdoors. With all of that beauty so close at hand, winter doesn’t have to mean hunkering down and hibernating. Save those cozy quarters and a roaring fire to warm up your toes after an invigorating day of cross-country skiing.
A couple of weeks ago my family was getting itchy to find some outdoor fun. We took a day off and grabbed our skis and headed to Kolapore Uplands Ski Trails near Collingwood. That’s the beauty of Nordic skiing, no elaborate plans, scheduling or lift passes necessary. Spontaneity can be an awesome ingredient in an adventure.
We needed some laughs and a laid back day after the busy holiday season, so we slept in and arrived just after lunch. After loading up a couple of daypacks with snacks, water, extra mittens and our map, we headed out into the stunning forest landscape.
The air was crisp and had that clean cold smell that only winter offers. And when the sun decided to pop out its head, the snow sparkled and shone for us. We laughed and laughed as we tried to find our snow legs but were soon shooshing like old pros.
As we found our way back to the parking lot we were wishing that we had more time, but were thrilled that we had managed to steal a day mid-week to have the woods all to ourselves. Adults and kids alike need a rejuvenating break every once in a while.
You can be as keen or as casual about cross-country skiing as you want to be. Put in some time and plan a longer trip, sleeping over in a tent, yurt, cabin or B&B. Or make a last minute decision to pop out on the local trails for a sweet afternoon get-away. There is plenty of winter left and the trails are waiting for you.
To discover lots of great cross-country skiing adventures, visit ontariotravel.net/outdoor
Meet the Blogger:
Jen Johnson has worked in the outdoor industry at Mountain Equipment Co-op for the last 18 years. She and her husband, Fraser, trip regularly with their two sons Luke 11 and Zach 8. When not paddling, hiking or skiing Ontario’s beautiful backcountry, you can find Jen writing for backcountrywiththekids.com.
2 replies on “Any Day or Every Day: Cross-Country Skiing in Ontario”
It’s not easy is it Aleasha? I think you’re already doing the right thing which is exposing them early and often. We started taking the boys when they were about three and one. Our older son was sensitive as well. We found that modelling imperfection (like falling ourselves on purpose) and then reacting with laughs and jokes showed that we dont need to perform like top level athletes to have fun.
We also found that we had to tailor our trips to their level and put longer, more technical and challenging fare on the back burner until they were able to improve their skills.
That meant shuffling around the backyard on skis until they could do one kilometre of trails by our sides. Now at ages 8 and 11, they are completely capable of doing the trails and trips that we like to do. Remember not to try to accomplish too much on a trip. It’s not the destination, but the journey when it comes to kids. Take lots of breaks for fooling around and snacks. It takes a lot of time and patience but they will get there and it is so worth it to be able to share beautiful places and meaningful time with your family. Good luck 🙂
I have two boys, 4yrs and 20mo. I am finding it extremely challenging to get out and enjoy the sports that we used to enjoy with them: rock climbing, Xc skiing, backpacking, mountain biking etc. We have towed a chariot with both of them up until now, they are getting too heavy. We have purchased aki gear for My 4 yr old. He is a sensitive perfectionist and the first time we took him out on his skis it was painful. He hated falling down. And my 20 mo old wanted nothing to do with sitting still in the chariot. Needless to say, I’m a little gun shy about taking them out again. How early in your boys lives were you able to introduce them to and were successful with the sports you love. HELP!!!