Cross Country Skiing Near Toronto

Cross Country Skiing at Horseshoe
Nordic Skiing at Horseshoe
Cross Country Skiing through the woods at Horseshoe Resort
Wooded Trails at Horseshoe Resort

Winter has descended on southern Ontario with a vengeance so it’s time to start thinking about winter sports. Many resorts and conservation areas that are perhaps an hour’s drive from Toronto offer cross-country or Nordic skiing. Picture a winter day cross-country skiing through sunlit forests and fields. Put a camera in your pocket to capture pristine snowfalls or maybe just a wineskin to warm up. Cross-country skiing is one of the most vigorous exercises working more muscles than downhill skiing. Most cross-country ski resorts have a variety of trail lengths to suit both beginner and advanced skiers and many have cross-country skis, boots and poles for rent. Daily trail passes typically cost between $15-$20.

Kortright Centre for Conservation

If you want to get in some cross-country skiing without driving very far, check out Kortright Centre at 9550 Pine Valley Drive, Vaughan, 905-832-2289. Kortright has 16 kilometres of groomed cross-country ski trails amidst ecosystems that include rivers, forests, meadows, valleys and marshes. The cross-country trails are good for beginners because there are not too many hills. Warm up at the cafe after skiing. Adult trail passes are $6.50, Seniors and Students $5.50 and Children up to 15 are free. Parking is $4 per vehicle. Open Mon-Fri 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sat-Sun 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Albion Hills Conservation Area

Skiing at Albion Hills Conservation Area
Skiing at Albion Hills, photo Toronto and Region Conservation

Albion Hills at 16500 Hwy 50 (eight kilometres north of Bolton), Palgrave, 1-800-838-9921 offers 26 kilometres of groomed cross-country ski trails that run through the forest and provide a spectacular view of Caledon Hills. You can relax in the heated chalet with cafe. Cross-country ski trail passes are Adults $14.60 plus HST, Seniors $11.95 plus HST, Children $8.19 plus HST and Family pass (1 or 2 adults and kids under 14) $35.40 plus HST. Skis, boots and pole rentals are Adults $19.75, Child $13. Open in January from Mon to Fri from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sat-Sun 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. February hours are Mon-Fri from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sat-Sun from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Seneca College King Trail

Seneca College Nordic Ski Centre at 13990 Dufferin Street (north of King Road), King City, 905-833-3333 X5169, has 14 kilometres of groomed cross-country trails, as well as washroom facilities. Adults trail passes are $10, Children $5. The facility does not provide cross-country ski rentals, but does offer snowshoe rentals. Open weekends only.

Horseshoe Resort

Cross Country Skiing at Horseshoe
Nordic Skiing at Horseshoe

Horseshoe Resort at 1101 Horseshoe Valley Road, Barrie, 1-800-461-5627, has 35 kilometres of Nordic ski trails with long, sweeping runs that wind through the protected Copeland Forest. There are both short trails for beginners and longer-distance cross-country trails with challenging hills for advanced cross-country skiers. Enjoy a post-ski drink by the fireplace in the bar. Open Mon-Sun 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Take Highway 400 one hour north of Toronto, then take Exit 117 East and turn right onto Horseshoe Valley Road. Adults (17-59) $21, Seniors (60+) $17, Junior (6-16) $17, 5 and under Free. Snowshoe trail pass is $11 for 6 and up and free for 5 and under.

Dagmar Resort

Dagmar Resort at 1220 Lakeridge Road (Durham 23), Ashburn, 905-649-2002, located between Ajax and Whitby, has 25 kilometres of cross-country ski trails. Adult and Intermediate (13-59) trail passes are $18.58, Senior (60+) and Junior (6-12) $16.81, 5 and under $7.08. Ski, boots and pole rental $26.55. Private cross-country skiing lessons (one hour) $43.36. Open Mon-Fri 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Sat-Sun 9 a.m. to 4:30.

Hardwood Ski and Bike

Formerly called Hardwood Hills, Hardwood Ski and Bike at 402 Old Barrie Road, Oro, 1-800-387-3775, has groomed cross-country ski trails with six different loops from five kilometres up to 22 kilometres. You can also snowshoe at this facility. Adults $22.95, Seniors (60+) $20.50, Students 13-19 (with valid student I.D.) $20.50, Children 5-12 $14.75, 4 and under Free. Snowshoe only is $12.25. Open Mon-Fri 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sat-Sun 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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