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ontario skating trail

10 natural ice skating trails in Ontario to visit this winter

Skating trails in Ontario are great alternatives to outdoor skating rinks. There's just something extra magical about gliding down natural ice trails surrounded by nature.

Ontario is blessed with many beautiful natural trails to explore, from frozen lakes in provincial parks to torch-illuminated paths through snow-covered forests. Some even have cozy amenities to warm up in, or provide delicious treats and hot beverages.

Here are some natural ice skating trails in Ontario to add to your list this winter.

The Ice Trail at MacGregor Point Provincial Park

The Ice Trail at MacGregor Point is a 400-metre loop in Port Elgin on the shores of Lake Huron. At night, the trail is lit up and you can skate under the stars, but bring your own skates as rentals are not available. Daily vehicle permits are available on a first come first served basis upon arrival.

Cootes Paradise

This winter, you can have the unique experience of skating across one of the largest wetlands at the western end of Lake Ontario. Cootes Paradise is surrounded by the Royal Botanical Gardens. They also have an onsite licensed snack bar with a selection of warm drinks and grab-and-go fare available for purchase. 

Arrowhead Provincial Park

This stunning 1.3 km skating trail winds through forests of evergreen trees in Huntsville. In late January, Arrowhead holds "Fire and Ice Nights," where the trails are lined with tiki torches. You can reserve your permit for Fire and Ice Nights up to five days in advance.

Woodview Mountaintop Skating at Blue Mountain

Woodview Mountaintop Skating is a magical 1.1 km skating loop on top of a mountain with beautiful views of the escarpment at Blue Mountain. Woodview has night skates as well, lighting up the trail with thousands of interactive lights.

Cranberry Marsh Ice Trail

The Cranberry Marsh Trail is a 1.2-kilometre loop around the cranberry fields at Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery. In the evenings, the trail lights up with 400 tiki torches for night skating. Hot drinks like mulled-wine and hot cranberry apple cider are available to warm up with at the winery.

Rideau Canal Skateway

The world's largest skating rink exists right in our very own province and is an experience like no other. The Rideau Canal in Ottawa is a UNESCO World Heritage site and measures a grand 7.8 km in length, winding its way through our nation's capital. Warming huts on the canal provide a cozy rest stop, and many stands sell treats and hot beverages to refuel.

Peterborough Lift Lock Skating Trail

You can skate under a historic Lift Lock in Peterborough this winter. First built in 1904, Lock 21 is one of the largest on the canal and is designated a national historic site. Skating at the Peterborough Lift Lock is free.

Countryside Adventures Skating

Countryside Adventures in the small town of Moose Creek has a 3 km well-maintained ice trail running through a beautiful woods. Skate rentals are available, and they have food trucks offering tasty treats for when you get hungry.

LV Four Seasons Trail

Twinkling string lights illuminate the 1.5 km LV Four Seasons Trail at night in Pembroke. A 2 km snowshoe trail also runs alongside the path. Skating here is free, though donations are welcome for maintenance costs. 

Skate Trail at Fern Resort

This 1.5 km trail winds through forests and offers magical night skate experiences with the help of tiki torches. Skating here is on the Fern Resort property, but they offer skating packages for non-resort guests looking to come for the day.

Lead photo by

Christine Mangiarano

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10 natural ice skating trails in Ontario to visit this winter

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