If you think you’ve experienced all that the Heart of Georgian Bay has to offer, we challenge you to visit during the winter months, when a whole other side comes alive. Get your winter on by embracing the cold, bundling up and participating in some of our favourite snowy activities.
One of the most beloved winter activities in the Heart of Georgian Bay is snowmobiling. The region is connected by over 1,000km of groomed multi-use trail, managed by the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs – District 8. Make sure to consult their website for trail and ice conditions, as they can very quickly become dangerous as the weather changes.
If you prefer a slower pace, head to the Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre! This National Wildlife Area is open year-round to allow visitors to connect with nature and learn about the vital role that wetlands and forest play within the environment.
In addition to the 31km of regular trails, snowshoers can explore the Graham MacDonald Snowshoe Trail – available exclusively in winter months when the marsh is covered by a layer of fluffy snow. And for the cross-country skiiers, the bike trails are transformed for winter exploring. And don’t miss your chance to feed the chickadees right from the palm of your hand!
Bring your own equipment or rent cross-country skis, modern or traditional snowshoes. Participate in a guided eco-tour or explore the trails on your own. Any way you build your adventure, it is a fun outing for any age and any skill level. You can even bring your dog!
*Dogs must be on-leash at all times, and are not permitted on the cross-country ski trails or in the Birds of Prey area.
If you are looking for a magical evening at the Wye Marsh, reserve a spot for Marsh by Moonlight.
Embark on a guided snowshoe excursion to experience the sights and sounds that snowshoeing along the moonlight trails provides! After learning about the marsh at night through the hoots, chatters, coos, yips and howls, relax by the warm fire to enjoy a roasted snack and a warm drink.
Spaces are very limited to allow for the best experience possible.
For a more advanced, back-country adventure, escape to Awenda Provincial Park. Known primarily as a campground, this 2,900 hectare park is so much more than that. It is open year-round for day use, offering incredible views of Georgian Bay in all four seasons.
Bring your gear and start at the cozy Trail Centre to explore 17kms of semi-groomed cross-country ski trails or go off the beaten path and into the woods for a more rugged snowshoe experience. This winter wonderland is not to be missed.
We don’t have enough snow, so the trails aren’t open for use yet. Stay tuned to the latest trail conditions here.
What goes better with snowy days than a nice warm cup of coffee?
The friendly staff at Grounded Coffee Co. will craft your favourite latte, cappuccino, or tea-based beverage just the way you like it. Their beans are ethically sourced and roasted in-house.
This hip little coffee shop is definitely a local hot spot. Start counting the number of iconic lime green lids you see passing you on the streets of Downtown Midland and you’ll see how much locals love it!
Between February and April, when days begin to get warmer but it’s still below zero degrees at night, maple trees absorb water from the soil they grow in. During the day, warmer temperatures create pressure in the tree, which pushes that water back down the trunk. By piercing a hole in the trunk, the maple water can be interrupted and collected, boiled down and transformed into maple syrup!
Head to Windlee Farms or Williams Farm during Ontario Maple Weekend on April 1-3 to learn about the process, partake in fun activities and try a sample of their delicious liquid gold.
Don’t forget to bring home a bottle for your family and friends!
Did you know that Ontario’s longest-running winter carnival is right here in the Heart of Georgian Bay? Penetanguishene Winterama takes over locations all across town during the Family Day long weekend, bringing fun for all ages! This year, we celebrate the 75th edition!
Purchase your commemorative button for access to all of the activities. This year’s highlights include a crash up derby, parade, sleigh rides, and cardboard box races – and that’s only the beginning.
Back this year is the Back Breaker 5000 Snowmobile Poker Run (*additional registration fee) and a few more surprises are yet to come!
While you’re here, you’ll need a place to Stay and some great places to Eat. We’ve got you covered, so browse our website for more information.