Winter Weekends: Killarney Provincial Park

A secluded, enchanting atmosphere provides visitors with a unique outdoor adventure.

As soon as the snow falls, Killarney is transformed into a pristine winter playground for visitors of all ages. The village of Killarney and Killarney Provincial Park, both open all year round, take on a secluded, enchanting atmosphere that provides visitors with a unique outdoor experience. The park is quiet and still, the crowds have thinned, and wildlife sightings are all the more magical. Whether you’re a fan of winter weather or not, a snowy weekend in Killarney can prove that Northeastern Ontario’s long winters are quite beautiful.

Set along the iconic Georgian Bay Coast, made famous by the Group of Seven artists, Killarney is ideal for a snowy two-day adventure with friends or family. Whether you are an active adventurer or an armchair traveller,  Killarney is one of the best places to enjoy the wintry solitude of the north. Escape the pressures of city life, leave the electronics at home, and make new memories in Killarney’s winter wonderland.

What To Do

Go Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing seems to get more popular every year. From basic one-hour trips to all-day advanced trails, Killarney Provincial Park’s stunning hiking trails become alluring snowshoeing trails once the snow falls. The 2-km Granite Ridge Trail leads snowshoers through pristine white and red pine forests, to stunning panoramic views overlooking Georgian Bay to the south, and the La Cloche mountains to the north. Keep your eyes out for graceful white-tailed deer bounding through the forests lining the trail.

More adventurous snowshoers can take on the famous Crack Trail, which is a 7-km trail through the heart of the park’s interior. Pass endless forests, frozen lakes, and snow-covered hills while working toward jaw-dropping views at the top. Keep your eyes open for wildlife such as wolves, moose, and deer.

Insider Tip: Plan your winter visit for mid-February to catch the special Friends of Killarney Park Winter Weekend. This free annual event offers guided snowshoe hikes, presentations from guest speakers, a BBQ lunch, and a star-gazing session at the park observatory.

Go Cross-Country Skiing

Find solitude while getting a great workout as you glide along Killarney’s groomed cross-country trails. Beginners can start at the Chikinashing Trail, a 6-km track set and groomed for classical and skate skiing. The trail meanders along the scenic Chikinashing Creek. For a longer adventure, hit the Freeland Trail for an 11-km outing. For a steeper and more adrenaline-inducing ski, traverse the 14-km Collins Inlet wilderness loop trail.

Want to rent cross-country skis or snowshoes while you’re in Killarney? The Friends of Killarney Park has several pairs available for day use.

Snowmobilers have access to Killarney, as well as Manitoulin Island and the Greater Sudbury Area when Georgian Bay freezes solid. Always confirm that ice conditions are good enough for safe crossing, and if you're not sure, DON'T CROSS!

Photo: Emily Baillie

Go Snowmobiling

Snowmobiling is popular in Killarney, particularly as southern Ontario has seen declining snowfall in recent years. If you want snowy trails, Killarney is a great place to find them!

Hop on your snow machine and ride through glistening white powder on Killarney’s frozen lakes and glacier-sculpted pink granite cliffs. From the village of Killarney on Georgian Bay, O.F.S.C. trails give direct access to Sudbury Trail Plan Trails to the east. Once the bay freezes solid, snowmobile 35 kilometres west to reach Little Current on Manitoulin Island.

While out on the sleds, try your luck at ice fishing. Frazer Bay is known for lake trout or rainbow trout, and Killarney’s secluded Panache Lake is home to lake trout and pike.

Where To Stay

Sportman’s Inn Resort & Marina

Good news! The Sportsman’s Inn Resort & Marina is open all year round for the third year in a row. Drift into a cozy slumber while taking in waterfront views of Killarney Channel. Enjoy happy hour drinks and dinner at Sporto’s Pub, socialize with locals in the evening and get a massage at the Island Spa, now open on the mainland. The Killarney General Store and LCBO, both open year-round, are located just steps away from the Sportsman’s Inn Resort & Marina.

The Sportsman Inn Resort & Marina boasts Killarney's best pub!
Photo: Sportsman Inn Resort & Marina
Enjoy cozy, modern accommodations in your hotel room, suite, or cabin rental. 
Photo: Sportsman Inn Resort & Marina 

Yurt Camping

Fall asleep to the sound of wolves howling in the distance in Killarney Provincial Park’s fully equipped yurts. Six yurts—Mongolian-inspired eight-sided, tent-like structures—are available for rent throughout the winter at the George Lake campground. Sleeping in the yurts gives you the feel of winter camping with the benefits of an indoor furnace and an outdoor BBQ. After dark, peer up at the starry canopy over the park. The views of the Milky Way are often magnificent here. Yurts are very popular on weekends, so be sure to book well in advance.

Yurts are very popular on weekends, so be sure to book well in advance.
Photo: Ontario Parks

Park Cabins

Killarney Provincial Park rents out two rustic wood cabins that sleep five people each. With a propane fireplace, kitchen amenities, and comfortable beds, these cabins offer the ultimate in heated accommodations in the wilderness. Cook yourself up a fabulous dinner and get cozy by the fire after a day of snowy adventure.

Winter Camping

If you’re an experienced winter camper and you’re kitted out for an overnight adventure, set yourself up at the George Lake campsite or on one of the park’s secluded backcountry sites. Embrace the peaceful solitude as you nestle among the magical La Cloche mountains. Curious about trail conditions and winter backcountry safety? Call the park in advance to get the latest.


Regardless of how you choose to enjoy a winter weekend at Killarney, the Park is a fantastic place to connect with nature, learn how to embrace winter, and create memories with family and friends.

About Emily Baillie

Emily is a travel writer hailing from rural Ontario. After travelling to over 25 countries worldwide she is on a mission to inspire people to get off the beaten path and explore destinations both near and far. She works with travel brands and new media publications to inspire meaningful travel. 

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