21 perfect valentine’s day outdoor activities

Treat your sweetheart to these romantic winter date ideas—enjoy the cold weather outside so you can get cozy inside later.

Ontario’s snowy winter wonderland is perfect for romantic Valentine’s Day outdoor activities. Glide arm-in-arm down a torchlit skating trail, make a toast around a flickering bonfire, cuddle beneath starry skies, or take your special someone winter camping in a cozy hot tent or cabin. If you are looking for married Valentine’s Day ideas or Valentine’s Day date ideas, this list is guaranteed to make you a Valentine’s Day hero. Just don’t forget the chocolates!

Dogsledding on a lake with snowy trees in background.
Doing the dogtrot in Algonquin Park. Photo: Destination Ontario / Goh Iromoto

Take Your Sweetie Dog Sledding

This one is sure to tug at a few heartstrings. Feel the pull from the cozy cocoon of your sled, or take turns driving your loveable dog team down powdery trails. Tours range from one hour to mulltiple days. Visit Northwestern Ontario’s Borealis Dogsled Tours, or choose from outfitters near Algonquin Park: North Ridge Ranch (Huntsville), Sugardogs Adventure Company (Sundridge) or Snow Forest Adventures (Algonquin). See the complete list of Ontario dogsledding adventures here.

Someone skating on a trail through the woods lined with tiki torches.
Heat up Valentine’s evening at Arrowhead Park. Photo: Destination Ontario

Fire and Ice Skating

The popularity of skating trails in Ontario has soared in recent years, but there is something extra special about gliding across the ice after dark to the accompaniment of flickering torchlights. Even better, the intimate width of these trails makes them perfect for skating hand-in-hand. In the city, hit Sault Ste. Marie’s Clergue Park Skating Trail or Sudbury’s Ramsey Lake Skating Path—where the annual Valentine’s Day Warm-Up features a bonfire, free hot chocolate and s’mores for star-crossed skaters.

To experience the magic of the winter forest by firelight, take your date to Muskoka’s Arrowhead Provincial Park Ice Skating Trail—200 tiki torches and two blazing bonfires make this Valentine’s evening one they won’t forget! Après skate, Huntsville’s Three Guys and a Stove restaurant serves up delicious meals and upscale rustic ambience.

Chairlift at a ski resort
The best day of the year to ride double. Photo: @searchmontresort

Ride the Double Chair

While it may not be everyone’s idea of romance, riding the classic double chairlift at your favourite downhill ski area is bliss for outdoorsy beaus and belles. After all, what some might call cramped, we call cozy. Cuddle your powder pal on timeless doubles at Thunder Bay’s Loch Lomond and Mount Baldy ski areas, and Algoma’s Searchmont Resort.

People in a hot tub in the winter at a spa.
After a day on the trails, treat your sweetheart to an outdoor spa. Photo: Destination Ontario / Goh Iromoto

Couple’s valentine's day trip ideas

Spoil your Valentine with an overnight getaway in Ontario’s finest winter landscapes. These cozy lodges and resorts offer extra-special packages for adventurous couples.

North of Sault Ste. Marie, Stokely Creek Lodge is perfect for nature lovers and lovers of great cuisine. Their all-inclusive packages include access to breathtaking cross-country ski and snowshoe trails, warming huts, Scandinavian-style saunas, and outstanding homemade meals with a special Valentine’s dessert.

In Northeast Ontario, enjoy snowy trails and outdoor hot pools alongside the Mattagami River at Cedar Meadows Resort & Spa—their “Love & Romance” package says it all.

Nestled on a frozen lake inside Northwestern Algonquin Park, Voyageur Quest’s Algonquin Cottage was featured by the Globe & Mail as the Best Place to Spend Valentine’s Day. On the park’s east side, the lakeside Couples Resort offers five-star luxury and all the outdoor equipment you need to explore Algonquin’s winter trails. The “Fondue Rendezvous” package at Huntsville’s Deerhurst Resort will have beloveds enjoying cross-country ski trails, a starlit snowshoe path, outdoor skating and, of course, cheesy fondue goodness.

Cyclists riding the trails in the winter.
Get your special someone in the saddle this Valentine’s. Photo: @colingfield

More to Love—Fat Biking

Featuring oversized frames and monster tires for flotation on snowy trails, these go-anywhere bikes are outrageously fun to ride. If it’s your first time—or your sweetheart’s—Thunder Bay’s Centennial Park trails are easy and especially awesome in winter. Rent equipment and get the scoop on trails and conditions at Thunder Bay’s friendly bike shops: Petrie’s Cycles, Rollin’ Thunder and Fresh Air Experience.

In the Sudbury area, rent bikes and ride the trails at Kivi Park and Walden Cross Country’s Trail Centre.

Cycling couples in Sault Ste. Marie can make it a chill Valentine’s—spend the day spinning 20 km of groomed fat bike trails at Crimson Ridge, then unwind with perfect pub fare and microbrews at Outspoken Brewing. Search by region on Ontario Trails to find a fat bike trail near you.

Woman and dog staving in ice cave
Discover the magic of ice caves on Lake Superior. Photo: @emmablanchet_

Plan an Ice Cave Picnic

Search for these icy natural wonders along the frozen shores of Lake Superior Provincial Park and Sault Ste. Marie’s Gros Cap headland. Savour the otherworldly beauty of these cerulean caverns with a hot picnic. We recommend thermoses of steaming cider or cocoa, hearty soup, Valentine’s brownies and an insulated outdoor blanket. Bon appetit!

Woman sitting in Muskoka chair inside holding a mug
Ontario Parks cabins are perfect for Valentines. Photo: @arrowheadprovpark

Snuggle in at Ontario Parks

Many Ontario provincial parks offer cozy, heated yurt or cabin rentals so you can extend your date through the weekend. Although winter camping and outdoor activities may seem like unorthodox Valentine’s Day ideas, we’re sure you’ll enjoy an exhilarating day on the ski or snowshoe trails, followed by stargazing, bonfire and snuggling at these parks in Northern Ontario and the Near North: Killarney (yurts and cabins), Windy Lake (yurts), Sleeping Giant (cabins), Quetico (cabins), Arrowhead (cabins), and Algonquin (yurts).

Couple holding hands while walking on boardwalk
The end to a perfect Valentine’s Day, Kakabeka Falls. Photo: @j.nine.images

Cupids and Cascades

Waterfalls have an undeniable romantic essence—must be all that endless flow and resonant power. Fortunately, cupid has you covered in Northern Ontario, where winter’s deep freeze transforms falling water into glittering curtains of chandelier ice and delicate crystals of hoar frost. These are three of our favourites:

Plunging into 40-metre-deep (130 feet) gorge near Thunder Bay, Kakabeka Falls is the second highest waterfall in Ontario. This provincial park is open year-round, with a beautiful boardwalk and viewing platforms at the top of the falls. Bring your skis, and enjoy 10 km of groomed cross-country trails as well.

On the north shore of Lake Superior, the 30-metre (100-foot) Aguasabon Falls and gorge are a breathtaking sight in the town of Terrace Bay. Valentine’s snowshoers can continue past the falls on the wild Casque Isles Trail.

In North Bay, winter walkers can witness the tumbling Duchesnay Falls from vantage points along a scenic 3 km loop trail.

Man and woman smiling in the woods
Valentine’s Day is better outside.
Photo: Destination Ontario / Goh Iromoto

Plus 10 More Perfect Valentine’s Day low budget Ideas

1. String a slackline outside and take turns practicing (tip: hands-on help may be required!)

2. Bake heart-shaped cookies and use them to make backyard bonfire s’mores.

3. Cozy up under the night sky in a sleeping bag-built-for-two and learn a new constellation.

4. Create an outdoor scavenger hunt for your significant other with a special gift at the end.

5. Find a neighbourhood hill and go tobogganing.

6. A twist on the classic snowman—build a Valentine’s-themed snow couple.

7. Rent a hot tent and try winter camping in comfort.

8. Treat your sweetie to the ultimate adventure date in Collingwood: Nordic skiing and snowshoeing hand-in-hand across Southern Ontario’s longest suspension footbridge, followed by steamy relaxation at Blue Mountain’s Scandinave Spa.

9. Build a backyard quinzhee and sleep in it (use the sleeping bag from #3).

10. Enjoy a swoon-worthy sunset—hang a hammock and bring some bubbly into the backcountry.

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Ontario’s winter wonderland is perfect for romantic Valentine’s Day outdoor activities. This year, instead of a traditional gift, why not warm your sweetie’s heart with a special winter date or getaway.

About Virginia Marshall

Virginia Marshall is a freelance outdoor adventure writer, photographer and editor with roots in Muskoka and Lake Superior. Read her work in Adventure Kayak, Canoeroots, Rapid, Paddling Magazine and Backroad Mapbooks.

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