You’ve skated on outdoor and indoor hockey rinks, on dedicated park paths, on ponds… but have you ever gone skating through a forest? It’s the claim to fame of two Ontario Provincial Parks, Arrowhead Provincial Park in the Muskoka region and MacGregor Point Provincial Park on Lake Huron. Skating trails through the wilderness are created by the natural freezing of the waterways every winter, and the flooding and freezing of roads around the parks.

The paths are quite wide, which is especially important for social distancing. Furthermore, on “Fire and Ice Nights” the wilderness skate trails are lit at night so you can feel at one with nature as you skate under the stars. Keep in mind that Arrowhead in particular is so popular that it often fills up, especially on weekends, so Ontario Parks has implemented an advance daily vehicle permit program – click here to find out more.

If you’d rather play a game of shinny, there are also traditional open-air outdoor rinks. They are available throughout the season at Algonquin Provincial Park‘s Mew Lake and Pinery Provincial Park.

If you want to make a trip of it, these parks are also open for winter camping. Arrowhead has heated cabins and MacGregor, Pinery and Algonquin have heated yurts. (FYI: Campgrounds count towards the 2022 Ontario Staycation Tax Credit!)

Ontario Provincial Park Skating

When: Throughout Winter 2021/22, depending on weather conditions
Where: Arrowhead Provincial Park, 451 Arrowhead Park Road, Huntsville
MacGregor Point Provincial Park, 1593 Bruce Road 33, Port Elgin
Mew Lake, Algonquin Provincial Park, South Nipissing District
Pinery Provincial Park, 9526 Lakeshore Road, Grand Bend

Looking for more winter outdoor activities in the GTA? Click here for more!