10 Winter Family-Friendly Activities

Plan your next winter vacation to Algoma Country.

The winter season in Algoma Country does have towering snowbanks and polar-vortex temperatures. Besides this, winter offers countless activities here to keep you active and having fun with your family. 

1. Ice Fishing

icefishing algoma jamessmedley
(Photo credit: James Smedley Outdoors)

A frozen lake doesn't keep anglers from fishing. Ice fishing is a way of life in the North. Secure in a warm ice hut, a variety of fish species, and peaceful surroundings all make this experience even more enjoyable. Many of the region's operators are open year-round, so there is always a warm comfortable place to stay. These accommodations offer a variety of amenities, such as easy access to snowmobile trails, ice huts, and more.

2. Snowmobiling

Powdershot snowmobilealgoma

Snowmobiling is one of the most exciting ways to experience Ontario's breathtaking winter landscape. Algoma Country consists of over 1,400 miles of groomed trails, carved through the rugged Canadian Shield and old-growth forests. You'll travel through remote areas known only to snowmobilers. There are snowmobile loops for a snowmobile weekend getaway, and trail loops so that you can plan a weeklong trip. There are snowmobile-friendly communities located throughout the trail system where you'll find incredible accommodations, great places to eat, and many services along the way.

3. Cross Country Skiing

(Photo credit: Virgil Knapp)

Nothing compares to gliding across snow through our region's wintery landscape. It's peaceful, with the sights and sounds only found during these months: frozen waterfalls and rock faces glazed in ice and snow, the sounds of winter birds, and the tracks of animals that winter in our region. It's blissfully quiet as if the landscape had gone to sleep. Cross-country skiing keeps you active, but it's also something fun to look forward to doing during the colder months. There are groomed trail systems in the region.

4. Downhill Skiing & Snowboarding

(Photo credit: Searchmont Resort)

Do you love the thrill and excitement of tackling a snow cover mountain on skis? Check out another Algoma favourite: downhill skiing and snowboarding at one of our region's ski resorts. Our ski hills can accommodate every level and all ages from beginner to moderate to experienced. Ski hills are groomed daily so there are always visual trails throughout the hill and there are qualified instructors who can teach you. And did we mention the view? From the top of the mountains, you'll have a spectacular panoramic view of the wilderness. Ski trips are great for families, with groups of good friends, couples, or even solo travellers.

5. Winter Festivals & Carnivals

Everyone jokes about how long the winter season can be but there are so many events taking place that will keep you active and enjoying the season. The region's biggest winter carnival is the Bon Soo Winter Carnival, which hosts an immense variety of events held over 10 days for all ages with indoor & outdoor events, concerts, breakfasts, dinners, contests, tournaments and of course the famous Polar Bear Swim and ice slides!

6. Snowshoeing

snowshoe algoma highlands
(Photo credit: Rob Stimpson Photography)

Snowshoeing has really become popular over the last few years. In the region, you will find dedicated snowshoe trails and guided snowshoe hikes with outfitters ready to take you out to explore the vast winter landscape. 

7. Go Tobogganing & Ice Skating

Tobogganing is a favourite in Algoma Country. What could be better than running up a big hill and racing down the slope at lightning speed? There are many hills in the cities and towns in the region that are dedicated to tobogganing – you just have to find the right one. It doesn't matter how old you are, it's all about having fun. In almost every community in Ontario, you can find an outdoor ice skating rink. 

8. Fat Biking

Fat biking is cool and has become a popular activity to do here during the winter months. There are a variety of trails for those new to the sport, and those seasoned, to enjoy. Some of our favourite trail systems include Hiawatha Highlands, Crimson Ridge, John Roswell Hub Trail, and cycling on St. Joseph Island.

9. Snowball Fights, Snow Angels, Snow Forts & Snowmen

It's one of those days. You wake up, look outside and you have twice as much snow as you did the day before. What do you do? Bundle up and have a snowball fight, make snow angels, or build a fort with your family and friends. All of these are great ways to get everyone outside, active and having fun. People of all ages love to play in the snow especially when you have the opportunity to throw snowballs at each other! Remember how much you loved a snow day? Waking up to listen to the news, realizing the school bus was cancelled due to the weather. A day out of school! Freedom to play in the snow! Even though you may be a little older now, you can still have a snow day. Go outside, dress warm and build a fort with your friends. The more people working on it, the better it will be. After a long day of being outside, go inside and keep warm with a nice hot chocolate. You deserve it.

Here are some resources to help you out:

10. Stargazing And The Northern Lights

In the winter months, skies are clearer and darkness is far longer, this is a great time to view the northern lights! Bundle up warm and head out along the north shore of Lake Superior, or into a country setting where you'll have little to no light pollution. Read this great article about how to photograph the northern lights. 

Track the Northern Lights:

About Algoma Staff Writer

Algoma Country is a spectacular 4-season vacation destination for outdoor and urban adventures. The region borders Lake Superior and Lake Huron and is rich in old-growth forests, and countless waterways.

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