Just because it’s snowy and cold, you don’t get a pass to skip exercising. In fact, winter is one of the best times in Ontario to get your heart rate up and get some fresh air. Strap on your skis and do some serious cross-country skiing this year. No matter what your skill set, there is a path just for you.

Ottawa is a cross-country skier’s haven with places like Gatineau Park and the Greenbelt. Gatineau Park has groomed and ungroomed trails, plenty of backcountry to explore and nice facilities with warming huts and toilets. The Greenbelt has over 50 km of trails that take you by wetlands, wildlife and farmlands. The city is nearby for easy rentals and the access is free, making this a perfect place to bring the family for an afternoon outing.

Just an hour from Toronto is the Albion Hills Conservation Area. If you are a beginner, this is the best place to learn cross-country skiing. Beginner and intermediate trails go on for 27 km. You can spend the whole day exploring. There is also 6.5 km of skate trails, perfect if you want to learn skate skiing instead of classic skiing.

Algonquin Park has two trails that get yearly top ratings for their cross-country opportunities. Fen Lake Ski Trail is groomed; track set, and perfect if you love nature. Skill levels vary from easy to moderate on looped trails that go from one to 14 km in length. Beginners will enjoy this trail near the west gate. For cross-country skiing only, the Leaf Lake Ski Trail is five to 30 km of easy to difficult trails with some of the most amazing views in Ontario.

Get off of the sofa and explore Ontario’s trails today. Make a trip of it and stay at cottage in Algonquin Park, a cottage rental in Loretto, Ontario, or chalets in Gatineau, Quebec. You can find these vacation rentals and many more on CanadaStays!

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