Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Where and what to explore this winter

Northeastern Ontario is home to some hidden gems when it comes to natural attractions—literally, the rocks and minerals found in Ontario are attractions all on their own. Between the exhibits in the mining towns, the parks and trail systems, and the wildlife viewing opportunities, the only question will be what to do first!

The Great Outdoors

Winter in Ontario lends itself to some of the most phenomenal opportunities for activity, usually accompanied by spectacular scenery.

Devil’s Rock fits the bill for this opportunity and scenery. Numerous trails for hiking or snowshoeing lead to a rock ledge sitting 300 feet above Lake Temiskaming, and the view is unbeatable—you can even try to spot the shores of Quebec on the other side.  

There are many other locations in the Temiskaming area where you can get your fill of exploring nature via snowshoes and skis, including Pete’s Dam Park near New Liskeard and Kap-Kig-Iwan Provincial Park near Englehart. These are all easily accessible areas waiting to be explored.

If you are interested in really immersing yourself in the ecology and history of Northeastern Ontario, you can book a stay at the Cedar Meadows Wilderness Park Resort and Spa. Accessible both by car and by snowmobile, the resort is perfect for those who wish to have all the amenities, while also having opportunities to explore the boreal forests blanketed by snow.

The Wild

There is probably no greater symbol of winter in Canada than the Polar Bear. And while these may seem like elusive animals only seen in the arctic regions, you are in fact able to see Polar Bears in Northeastern Ontario!

The Canadian Polar Bear Habitat is located in Cochrane, Ontario, and is the largest Polar Bear habitat facility in the world. This habitat is funded by the Town of Cochrane and allows for researchers from all over the world to be able to study a species whose natural northern habitat is shrinking, and whose way of life is rapidly changing. For visitors to the town of Cochrane, this facility allows for an experience unlike any other. From the viewing building, you can watch the three resident Polar Bears—Inukshuk, Ganuk and Henry—eating, sleeping, and playing in their natural habitat, something you won't soon forget.

The Great Indoors

All year round you can see the “Big Nickel” standing tall in Sudbury, as a symbol of the important role of nickel mining in the city. Although Dynamic Earth is temporarily closed until Spring 2022, and new restrictions may mean Science North also shuts its doors for a little while, keep it on your list for when restrictions ease. You'll discover so much about the world below the surface.

Here you'll find activities for all ages, highlighting the history and legacy of mining in Sudbury. You can learn about the rocks and minerals mined in the area through interactive exhibits, or you can even take a tour down below the surface and get a real, up-close lesson in an underground demonstration mine. Try to strike it rich by panning for gold, and you might even get to take some home with you as a souvenir!

So this winter, whether you're learning about Ontario's natural world through exhibits, or experiencing them first hand, there will be no shortage of things to do. Bundle up and pick a spot on the map—you won't be disappointed!

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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