We are lucky to live in a place where winter adds an elegant touch to our magnificent wilderness, creating new adventures with so many different ways to explore it. But I think the most fun way to explore the Algoma Country winter landscape is by snowshoe.
What began as a tool for fur traders, trappers or anyone who depended on the need to get around areas with deep snow, snowshoeing definitely become a recreational hit that lets hikers continue their hobby into the winter months. I don't exactly remember how old I was I learned how to snowshoe but I remember how much fun it was! I remember bundling up in layers of warm winter clothes and setting out into the crisp winter air to explore the woods and fields around me. Nothing else compares to the sound of soft crunchy new-fallen snow under your boot while you explore the silent, peaceful landscape. It's like the entire land has gone to sleep and you're tiptoeing through it.
A Snowshoe Walk in Algoma
If you're a snowshoe newbie, or an experienced one looking for a new winter destination to explore, Algoma Country is the perfect place to snowshoe because you're going to experience the most breathtaking winter scenes. Imagine white, snow-capped mountains with pine trees thickly glazed in snow and ice. Imagine looking up sheer rock faces caked in glistening frozen icicles. Picture frozen waterfalls and winter wildlife in the rugged, rocky Canadian Shield. Visualize yourself snowshoe walk through a landscape after a snowfall where literally no one has walked before you have. This is a real snowshoe adventure that you can have in Algoma.
About Snowshoe Gear
The list of what you need to snowshoe is pretty simple:
- Ski poles to help your balance (optional)
- Warm winter clothing
If you're looking to buy snowshoes, you should consider the following:
There are three types of snowshoes:
- Recreational Hiking - great for newbies and work best on simple flat terrain
- Aerobic / Fitness - best for active snowshoers
- Hiking / Backpacking - great for powder conditions and experienced snowshoers
Snowshoes can be priced from $100 and up depending on the manufacturer.
Generally, you measure in inches and the length depends on your weight. The most common adult sizes are 25", 30" and 36".
This website gives you the key elements for buying snowshoes: https://www.backcountry.com/explore/how-to-choose-snowshoes
PLACES to Snowshoe in Algoma
There are many amazing places to snowshoe and below are some places we think you'll love:
- Hiawatha Highlands
- Stokely Creek Lodge
- Community-based Trail Systems
- Cottages and Cabins offering winter getaways
- Backcountry snow hikes try Lake Superior Provincial Park or other parks that allow winter activities beyond their gates.
- Blaq Bear Eco Adventure Routes - Guided Snowshoe Hikes
*Depending on what trail system you choose to snowshoe, you may need to purchase a day pass.
Five Important Things to Remember When Snowshoeing
1. It's a great low-impact sport and burns about twice as many calories at walking. And it's fun!
2. Dress in layers - if you get warm, you can always remove a layer. Remember to wear waterproof pants, jackets and boots, and wear a woollen hat, mitts, socks and bring sunglasses. A strong glare comes off of snow when sunlight hits it.
3. Get the gear - snowshoeing is inexpensive and you don't even have to own a pair if you don't want to. You can either rent or buy hand-me-downs.
4. Bring your camera - definitely a must because you'll want to capture your winter adventure to share with friends and family.
5. Find Trails - if you're a newbie, it's a good idea to start on groomed trails to get the hang of snowshoeing. Many accommodations in Algoma can offer you trail maps.