Five Things Worth Doing in the Winter

The snow makes for some incredible adventures
Gerry Cariou
By Gerry Cariou

Gerry Cariou is the Executive Director of Ontario's Sunset Country.

Last Updated: October 19, 2020

Five Things You Can Do Outside

Winter presents endless opportunities for outdoor activities many of which you can't do any other time of the year. 

Snowshoeing: Nothing like getting out in our Provincial Parks or in the woods on a bush road and snowshoe through the Boreal forest. Once under the Boreal's spruce and pines, the wind is often a non-issue and you can enjoy winter in all its splendour. A camera is a must and you should be on the lookout for songbirds like chickadees and larger birds like a raven. They jump off the white background of snow. If you're lucky you could spot a deer or a fox

Cross-Country Skiing: Many of the towns and cities in the region have groomed cross-country ski trails that carve through the Boreal. The sight of white snow on the pine branches and rocky outcrops is a sight to be seen. Provincial Parks like Quetico offers exceptional skiing.  Local clubs in locations near KenoraAtikokanSioux LookoutDrydenFort FrancesRed Lake, and Sioux Narrows also have excellent ski trails. You can go downhill skiing or snowboard at Mount Evergreen in Kenora or the Dryden Ski Hill

Cross-country ski on a wilderness trail. Photo: Gerry Cariou

Some of Ontario's Best Snowmobile Trails

Snowmobiling: There are thousands of kilometres of snowmobile trails in Ontario's Sunset Country. No matter what community you visit, the local snowmobile clubs, all affiliated with the OFSC, ensure safe and well-groomed trails throughout the season. Clubs in Sunset Country coordinate under the umbrella group Northwest Ontario Snowmobile Trails Association (NWOSTA) and they produce a regional trails guide and map. 

Snowmobiling is a fun activity you can do with friends & family. Image: Atikokan Sno-Ho Club

Ice Fishing

Ice Fishing: With 70,000 freshwater lakes that freeze each winter, Sunset Country has some of North America's premier ice fishing locations. Most people target walleye and lake trout through the ice in addition to panfish such as perch and black crappie. Given the freezing water temperatures the fish come out of, their flesh is firm and exquisite in texture and a winter shore lunch could be just what the doctor ordered. 

Sauger taste as good as walleye and they definitely bite during the winter months! Photo: Gerry Cariou

The Aurora Borealis

Winter Camping - Stars & the Aurora Borealis: While only for the hardiest of outdoor adventurers, well-prepared winter campers will get a phenomenal experience in Sunset Country. We highly recommend you use the services of an outfitter if you're not familiar with the Boreal in winter. Those who do get out at night, you'll most often find a super clear, star-studded sky and if the solar cycles are in your favour, you could be treated to a spectacular showing of the Aurora Borealis - the Northern Lights!

Purple, green, even yellow sometimes shows up in the Northern Lights. Photo: Gerry Cariou

Enjoy Winter in Sunset Country

These are just five things you can do outdoors in Sunset Country over the winter months. One thing we didn't mention but you might want to consider is a romantic weekend getaway. Our proximity to Winnipeg allows easy access yet a stunningly private location in the midst of the boreal. Find a place to stay that is open in winter.

The sights and sounds are just as beautiful in the winter. Photo: Gerry Cariou