dog sledding, one of the things to do in Kawartha Lakes during the winter

Things to do in Kawartha Lakes during winter

Some people see winter as a time to hibernate. Others can’t wait to get outside and enjoy playing in the powder and being energized by the nip in the air. For those fans of Jack Frost we’ve prepared this compilation of unique and fun things to do in the Kawartha Lakes during winter.

Activities involving ice

1. Feel what it’s like to be an Olympic speedskater

Make your way down to the Ontario Speed Skating Oval in Lakefield. That’s right Lakefield has a 400-metre speed skating rink. A team of volunteers maintain the ice all winter, so it’s always sleek and smooth.

Every Sunday from 10:00-3:00 PM you can rent actual speed skating skates. The cost for this activity is just $5 and you’re given a brief lesson on how to use the speed skates too. Of course, if you just want to use your own regular skates you can do that too.

2. Drive a Zamboni

Any Canadian that has sat in arena mesmerized by the methodic way the Zamboni driver prepares a fresh sheet of ice has said, “I’d love to drive one of those just once.”

Well, cross it off your bucket list because it’s a winter thing you can do in the Kawartha Lakes. In Lakefield, Ontario to be exact at their Ontario Speed Skating Oval.

It happens once in February, and it’s called “Zamboni Day”. Check their website for this year’s date and time.

Winter things to do in the Kawartha Lakes on a trail

1. Try snowshoeing

Enjoy hiking along a wooded trail during the winter but want more grip or to not sink into the snow as much? Then you should give snowshoeing a try.

A great spot for this for beginners is the Kawartha Nordic Ski Club. Besides having 46 KMs of trails for classic cross country skiing and 27 KMs of trails for skate skiing, they have 3 snowshoe trails totaling 9 KMs. You can rent snowshoes for the day from the ski club, and you’ll need to purchase a day pass from them to access the snowshoe trails.

Another place where you can rent snowshoes and hit the trails is Silent Lake Provincial Park. They have two trails you can traverse. One is 3 KMs and weaves past trees and a beaver pond. It also provides a bird’s eye view of a lake. A second trail you can hit is the 5 KM Yellow Ski Trail. To access the trails you’ll need to purchase a day pass for the park. Contact the park for the most up to date pricing.

2. Go on a winter night hike

A really cool thing to do in Kawartha Lakes during the winter is to go on a guided night hike.

When the sun goes down and the sky turns dark you have the opportunity to hear owls or coyotes calling in the distance. Stars seem to twinkle brighter in the cool, crisp air. And at the end of your hike there’s usually a crackling fire to come back to.

A couple of organizations to check out for winter night hikes is the Kawartha Lakes Land Trust and Ken Reid Conservation Area.

3. Hit a trail on a fat bike

Another way to get out and enjoy the serenity and beauty of a Kawartha Lakes trail this winter is on a fat bike.

A fat bike is a bicycle that has tires that are much wider than the tires on a traditional mountain bike. The wider tires allow the bike to float on top of the snow vs. sinking and getting stuck in the snow like a bike with regular-sized tires would.

Some places that are ideal for this winter activity are the Ken Reid Conservation Area and the Victoria Rail Trail. You can rent a fat bike at Wild Rock Outfitters in Peterborough.

Winter outings in Kawartha Lakes that will be a rush

1. Re-discover the thrill of the hill!

When you were a kid there was nothing more exhilarating in the winter than tobogganing down a hill. Experience the adrenaline rush of this activity all over again by making a beeline to your local retailer, buying a crazy carpet, and heading to a local hill.

To find the best tobogganing hills in your part of the Kawartha Lakes region go on Google Maps and search for “tobogganing hills near me”.

2. Guide a dogsled team

Always wondered what it would be like to be gliding down a remote, forest trail on a sled pulled by a team of Siberian Huskies? Winterdance Dogsled Tours gives you the opportunity to find out.

Their guided dogsled tours take you out into the winter wonderland of backcountry. You even get the opportunity to take the reins and drive the sled.

Even though Winterdance is located just minutes outside of the Kawartha Lakes region, this winter thing to do is so magical, we just had to include it.

3. Dash away on a horse-drawn sleigh ride

Add a little nostalgia to your winter’s day by going for a horse-drawn sleigh ride. At Merrylynd Organics sleigh rides have been taking place at their farm since it was established back in 1825.

Book your excursion for the daytime or, if you’re feeling romantic, go for a moonlit dash through the snow.

Feel like an adventurous winter activity?

1. Book a winter camping weekend

If you love camping in the summer you have to try winter camping. There are a number of ways you can do this.

At Silent Lake Provincial Park they have electrical and non-electrical campsites available so you can pitch a tent or bring a tent trailer. If you’re not that adventurous, the park also has heated yurts and rustic cabins you can book.

During the winter the park definitely has less visitors than the summer, so you’re in for a real escape. Outdoor activities you can enjoy include hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing. Call ahead to see which equipment you can rent from the Park, and what you’ll have to bring with you.

Winter activities that will give you a warm feeling

1. Embark on a hot chocolate tasting tour

The Kawartha Lakes region is blessed with a bevy of bakeries, cafes and coffee shops serving up delectable hot chocolate. Who has the best? You be the judge.

For this fun thing to do in the Kawarthas this winter go on Google Maps and type in the search bar “hot chocolate near me” and hit return. A bunch of results will pop up in the column on the left and on the map to the right. Pick 5 or 6 locations, head to your first stop and let the hot chocolate tasting tour begin!

2. Invite friends over for a campfire

Sometimes it’s the simplest winter activities that are the most enjoyable. Haven’t seen extended family or friends in a while? Re-connect and catch up around a backyard fire. All it takes is clearing a path to your fire pit, a couple bags of wood, some chairs, snacks and a batch of hot chocolate.

Some say winter is long. We say that’s great because it gives you time to experience every one of the activities on our “Things to do in Kawartha Lakes during winter” list! Have fun.

Looking for an indoor winter activity to do?

Go on a treasure hunt searching for a unique antique or vintage item. Read our article titled “Discover a find—Kawartha Lakes antiques stores & vintage shops”.

Photo credit: Jack Ross on Unsplash