FLOAT ME TO THE MOON: SNOWSHOEING AFTER SUNDOWN

Snowshoeing at night is a magical, multi-sensory experience.

Hear the soft crunch of snow underfoot. Feel the harmony of the cathedral-like forests sparkling under a blanket of snowflakes. Set out onto fields of white illuminated by the light of the moon. And be rewarded with a cup of hot chocolate by a warm fire upon your return.

With its flat, wide surface, the ingenious snowshoe is designed to distribute your weight evenly, allowing you to float on the snow rather than sink in.

So, follow in the footsteps of generations of Indigenous peoples, voyageurs and trekkers on this timeless Canadian tradition.  Strap on some snowshoes and set out on one of these guided after-dark winter hikes.

Crawford Lake Conservation Centre, Milton
Crawford Lake’s reconstructed 15th century Iroquoian village is a fitting spot to go on a guided moonlight snowshoe hike. Traverse over eight kilometres of trail, followed by hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows around the campfire. Aluminum frame snowshoes are available for rent and the park offers less strenuous sunset outings for families (moonlight hikes are age 14 and up).

Yours Outdoors, Haliburton
Explore the ecology, heritage and culture of the Haliburton Highlands, and learn to ‘Snowshoe Like a Canadian’ on this full-day guided package. The experience is totally customizable so ask about nighttime trekking opportunities.

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Scenic Caves Nordic Centre, Blue Mountain
The magical ‘Guided Night Snowshoe Hike’ leads you through a majestic forest of 100-foot tall hardwoods, alongside creeks and fields, up to a lookout point that offers views of the village and ski hills on a clear night, and across a 420-foot suspension footbridge overlooking south Georgian Bay. Keep an eye out for deer, rabbits and owls.

LivOutdoors, Bracebridge
Explore Muskoka’s winter trails on a nighttime trek through 120 acres of diverse woods and along the quiet Muskoka river. You’ll be fitted with all the necessary equipment, including headlamps, and provided with guided instruction.

Lure of the North, Espanola
Step up your snowshoeing game and embark on a multi-day snowshoe-in winter camping adventure. You’ll be treated to winter wilderness under a canopy of stars and illuminated by the moon. This is the kind of expedition you plan for well in advance and brag about for years to come.

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Look for more unique outdoor snowshoeing events like Moonlight Snowshoeing at Horseshoe Resort, the Snowshoe Ecotour at Wye Marsh, Moonlight Snowshoe & Fondue at Hardwood Ski & Bike in Oro Station and Under the Stars Snowshoeing at Ski Snow Valley. And most of Ontario’s winter-loving resorts offer a variety of ways to get out and enjoy the snow, including complementary snowshoes and trail access.

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In addition to unbeatable function, the aesthetic form of snowshoes is undeniable. Traditional wood and leather add a touch of rustic charm showcased on your mantle or hung on the wall and make the statement that winter adventurers live here.