Sometimes we just need a break from the daily routines of our lives. Sure, a tropical holiday is always a nice rest, but it's not always easy to get away that far for that long. Ontario's Algoma Country has super escapes made for the perfect three to four-day weekend sneak-away or mid-week refresher.
1. Winter Cabin IN the Woods Getaway
Many cottage resorts here are open year-round, offering warm and cozy cottages nestled in our beautiful winter wonderland. Many types of cottage resort experiences can be relaxing, romantic getaways. Bring your cross-country skis and snowshoes to explore the area and pick out animal tracks in the snow. Relax in hot tubs and saunas, and bring your skates because some cottage resorts build skating rinks out on the lake! It could even be the simple fun of building a snowman or watching the Northern Lights. Enjoy the solitude together on a peaceful remote lake in Algoma Country ice fishing for lake trout, walleye and northern pike. Bring your snowmobile, pack a lunch, and access dozens of far-flung fishing spots on nearby lakes. Join in the friendly competition at one of the local ice fishing derbies where you have chances to win cool prizes.
2. Stay and Ski Getaways: Downhill and Snowboarding
You'll love the winter skiing adventures that can be found in Algoma. The region's average snowfall is 10 feet, which means lots and lots of snow! There are two great destination ski hills located here:
Searchmont Resort offers an impressive 700-ft vertical drop and long runs (22 trails) which are perfect for partners looking for beginners, intermediate, or challenging skiing. Skiers who stay slope-side in one of the chalets will find meals at The Kiln restaurant & bar, a full-service lounge, and access to the hot tub and sauna. Rentals are available for performance skis, helmets and snowshoes. You can also stay in Searchmont at lodges and chalets. If you're looking for an urban setting there are a wide variety of hotels, motels and cottages in Sault Ste. Marie.
Mount Dufour, located in Elliot Lake, offers a 320-ft vertical drop (7 trails) and has short lift lines allowing for more ski time. Once off the slopes, you'll love to kick back and relax in the fireside lounge that serves hot and cold beverages. The Canteen serves breakfast and lunch, and rentals are available for skis, snowboards and equipment. Stay at Dunlop Lake Lodge only a 15-minute drive from the hill.
3. Sled Algoma: The North Shore Loop
This is the adventure for the couple who wants to sled where no one else has sledded before. The North Shore Loop is the first OFSC signed loop in Algoma: scenic views of Lake Huron's north shore, it takes you to a side loop on St. Joseph Island, it has lots of staging areas and all the amenities of home. This two-day loop is a combination of awesome wilderness, lots of miles and lots of open trails, with links to good eats and great stays. If you're arriving from the U.S. you can access the loop from the Drummond Island Ice Bridge.
- Plan now: www.sledalgoma.com
- Algoma Snowmobile Trails: www.algomatrails.com
- Buy your Ontario Trail Permit here: www.ofsc.on.ca
4. Stay and Explore Getaways: Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoe
Winter brings new and exciting ways to connect with nature and each other. Cross-country skiing is one of the favourite pastimes of local couples. Find Nordic ski trail systems within driving distance of cities and towns. If you're looking for even more freedom to explore some back-country spots, we recommend snowshoeing because walking on snow is fun. End the day refreshed and ready to relax with that special someone at any of the bed and breakfasts, hotels and motels. B&B owners, hotel and motel properties will cater to your needs to ensure you have the best getaway; they are local experts who know all the best snow, restaurants, shopping and entertainment spots.
Nordic Ski and Snowshoe Trails: View All Ski Trails in Algoma
5. Urban Winter in the City
Algoma Country's largest municipality, Sault Ste. Marie offers a mix of outdoor fun and urban amenities during the winter months. There are a variety of accommodations to suit every couple's budget from branded hotels, family-owned motels, and even chalets all within the city limits. No matter where you stay, you're always close to entertainment, restaurants, shopping and winter adventures.
- Bon Soo Winter Carnival is held annually each February and is Northern Ontario's largest winter carnival. There are concerts, games and activities, pancakes breakfasts, dinners, foodie events and more.
- Hiawatha Highlands offers cross-country ski trails and snowshoe trails. Rentals are available.
Getting to Algoma Country
Travel by Car
Below are a few travel distances that may apply to you:
- Toronto to Sault Ste. Marie (687 km, approx. 7 hours)
- Detroit, Michigan to Sault Ste. Marie (347 miles, approx. 5 hours to the International Bridge)
- Grand Rapids, Michigan to Sault Ste. Marie (288 miles, approx. 3.5 hours)