Skating is about as Canadian as a beaver wearing plaid. Although Canada was the first to introduce the concept of the indoor rink, this quintessential pastime is getting a modern makeover and fast becoming Ontario’s hottest winter trend. Some skate trails turn up the cool factor even more when the sun goes down by adding tiki torches or festive lights.
Arrowhead Provincial Park
The trendsetter. It’s no secret that the trail at Arrowhead is epic. It reaches maximum capacity on the weekends, so consider a mid-week jaunt to Huntsville and enjoy some après-skate at one of many resorts in the area.
This 2 kilometre trail hugs the Georgian Bay shoreline at the 19th century naval outpost in Penetanguishene Bay (open weekends only) and features historic storyboards along the way.
Woodview Mountaintop at Blue Mountain
NEW this year at Ontario’s most popular snow destination, Woodview promises spectacular views, tiki torches and 1.1 kilometres of mountaintop trail to skate on.
Guests are invited to skate the enchanting 1.5 kilometre trail through forested countryside at Fern, an all-inclusive gem on Lake Couchiching. Best part; there`s a mid-way resting area with an open fire pit.
Look for the green flag at the Peterborough Lift Lock on the heritage Trent-Severn Waterway to announce the canal is open for skating.
MacGregor Point Provincial Park
The Ice Trail at MacGregor Point, on the shores of Lake Huron, is a 400 metre loop, lit up at night for skating under the stars.
Cranberry Ice Skating Trail
Show off your spins and spirals on this 1.2 kilometre loop around the 12 acre cranberry fields, followed by hot mulled wine and local cheese by an open fire. Winter was made for this.
Never one to miss a top eleven list, Toronto is building a brand new, über-cool, 250 metre skate trail snaking underneath the downtown Gardner Expressway.
The Rideau Canal
At 7.8 kilometre, Ottawa’s Rideau Canal is the world’s largest outdoor groomed skateway, and a must-do for this list. Like the city itself, you have to experience it firsthand to understand how cool it is.
Ravine Vineyard Skating Rink
Though technically not a trail, the rink at Ravine in St. David’s made this list due to it being exceptionally awesome – skating among the vines. Open to guests during the winery’s operating hours, you can break for hot chocolate or mulled wine.
Ramsey Lake Skating Path
Glide up to the front doors of Science North in Sudbury on this 1.5 kilometre skating path. The heated change facilities at both ends of the path are a huge bonus.
Get more info on skating as well as other great snow based adventure in Ontario.
Featured Photo (Top): Ontario Travel
Second Photo: Kawarthas Northumberland
Third Photo: Fern Resort
Fourth Photo: Heather Douglas at Cranberry Marsh
Fifth Photo: Ottawa Tourism