Beating the Winter Blues: Your Winter Activity Guide

Kick off the New Decade in Northeastern Ontario

Usually, by the time February rolls around, many people are growing weary of the ice and snow brought on by our Canadian winters, and are counting down the days until spring. Luckily, February is also the month when Northeastern Ontario comes to life with its winter festivals and events, which will be sure to rekindle your love for the beauty and culture of our Canadian winterscapes. 

Cochrane Winter Carnival 

Beginning on February 7 is the annual Cochrane Winter Carnival. Taking place over a span of 10 days, there’s lots of time and opportunity to partake in one of the many events. This year’s itinerary includes classic winter sporting events, such as hockey games and curling spiels, as well as exciting snowmobile drag races.

If you prefer to avoid the frigid temperatures, there are many events taking place in the warmth of the indoors, including dances and hoedowns, or food-related events such as the “Wing-a-thon.” There are different events to suit every age group, so make sure to check out the Cochrane Winter Festival website to see the full itinerary, as well as to make accommodations for your stay in Cochrane, so that you can enjoy as much of the festival as possible!  

Friends of Killarney Park Winter Weekend 

This year, Family Day is on February 17, which means that the annual Friends of Killarney Park Weekend will be taking place February 15-16. And what better way to spend the weekend than with your family than enjoying the beautiful scenery of Killarney Provincial Park? Take part in the weekend by renting a pair of snowshoes and going on a guided tour. Or, for the more adventurous, enjoy the cross-country skiing trails throughout the park.

After all the excitement of the day, make sure you get a good night’s sleep at one of the local inns—or if you’re looking for a more authentic experience, you can book a stay in one of the yurts located in the provincial park. But be sure not to fall asleep before doing some stargazing in the park’s observatory, where the view of the winter night sky is sure to be spectacular.

Ice Fishing Derbies

For all the sportspeople looking to make the most of their winter, be sure to register for one of the Ice Fishing derbies taking place across Northeastern Ontario, and try your luck at some big prizes! The Rotary Club of Chapleau will be hosting their 23rd Pike Ice Fishing Derby on February 8, where you can drop your line in either Chapleau River or Mulligan Bay and hope that the fish are biting... because you could be reeling in a Grand Prize of $10,000!

A more recent addition to the derby circuit is the Manitoulin Ice Showdown. Organized by the Wiikwemkoong First Nations on Manitoulin Island, this ice fishing derby is another great opportunity to win prizes, while enjoying some time on Lake Manitou and Manitowaning Bay. The two-day derby will be taking place on February 22 and February 23, with fishing champion Bob Izumi as guest host for the event. Lots of excitement and the chance to take home some of the $50,000 worth of prizes—this is one event you won’t want to miss.

So whether you’re an avid lover of the outdoors, or simply looking to partake in local camaraderie and fun, make sure to take a trip through our beautiful province—especially during the month of February—and make the most of what winter has to offer!

About Northeastern Ontario Tourism

Whether planning a fun-filled family road trip, a quick weekend expedition, or a romantic getaway, Northeastern Ontario is undeniably BIG and unbelievably close.

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