Please note: all ski hills are currently closed due to the province-wide lockdown. Please avoid all non-essential travel and consult your public health units for more information.
Attention skiers, snowboarders and snowshoers: Northeastern Ontario offers pristine trails and runs at great prices, with a season that starts earlier and ends later than its southern Ontario counterparts. Here are some fantastic ski areas to consider. (Be sure to call ahead or check each venue’s social media or website for up-to-the-minute information on opening dates and snow conditions, as well as COVID-19 safety requirements.)
This local favourite in North Bay has a vertical of 350 feet, with four moderate runs, two black diamonds and two double black diamonds, with several types of lifts. There’s also a beginner hill. A popular addition is the terrain park, considered one of the very best in Northern Ontario, which includes mini rails and a beginner box as well as a 30-foot jump, 30-foot DFD Hubba tube and 30-foot shotgun rail, along with its own dedicated lift. Hungry? Pop into the licensed café in the Lower Lodge. Laurentian aims to open December 18.
Learn more www.laurentianskihill.com
This small, attractive ski area is located 30 km east of Kirkland Lake. It has five downhill runs to suit a variety of ski and snowboard abilities, a T-bar lift, plus a sliding hill and 10 km of cross-country ski trails. The weekend fun begins January 2, 2021 (or earlier if conditions permit—a small lake needs to freeze to allow safe access to the hill).
Learn more www.facebook.com/larderlakeskihill
With lovely trails carved through rolling dunes in the boreal forest, Temiskaming Nordic Ski Club, opening in December, offers plenty of opportunities for cross-country skiers near the town of Temiskaming Shores. There are three well-groomed track-set skate and classic trails of varying lengths and levels of difficulty (one each for beginner, intermediate and advanced), adding up to 20 km in all. And, there are two loop snowshoe trails as well. When you’re ready for a break, warm up with a snack by the wood stove in the log chalet.
Learn more www.temiskamingnordic.ca
Porcupine Ski Runners in Timmins is a winter wonderland for snowshoers and Nordic skiers. This large venue has 30-plus km of groomed ski trails for skate and classic, and 11 km of snowshoeing trails, all covering varied terrain and difficulty levels so there’s something for everyone. During the season, which typically opens in early December, the new chalet is open seven days a week, including night skiing until 9 pm on 3.5 km of lighted trails. And for the junior skiers out there, it offers a “ski playground” with a soccer field, slalom, hoops, toboggan run, firepit and other fun features.
Learn more www.porcupineskirunners.com
Sudbury's Adanac Ski Hill is one of two hills in the city (Lively is the other) and both generally open in between mid-December and mid-January for downhill skiing. Friendly and easy to get to, Adanac is located in the New Sudbury Conservation area and has a 240-foot vertical. You’ve got your choice of two beginner, five intermediate and one advanced run, served by a new quad chair lift and a magic carpet for the beginner area.
Learn more www.facebook.com/adanacskihill
Tucked into Windy Lake Provincial Park, about a 40-minute drive north of Sudbury, Onaping Falls boasts an excellent trail system winding through mature pine trees. Its location is about 1,300 feet above sea level, which means an extended season (sometimes opening in mid-December) and snow when no one else in the area has it, yay! There are 15 km of groomed trails for both skate and classic, consisting of three trails made up of varying terrain and difficulty, as well as two snowshoe loop trails. You can also stay at a cabin or yurt right in the park for the ultimate tranquil winter getaway.
Learn more www.onapingfallsnordics.com
The trails at this gem at the south end of Ramsey Lake in Sudbury were designed by ecologists to nestle into the landscape through a series of loops that are both beautiful and ecologically sound, with plenty of opportunities to see wildlife. It’s traditionally open in December. Mix and match trail lengths, ranging from 1.5 km to 10 km, with a total of 17 km altogether. Or, try the 5-km snowshoe trail, which can also be broken down into smaller distances via cut-offs. The snowshoe trails also have two scenic lookouts, one with a view over Ramsey Lake and the second over the whole area. The ski cottage is open on weekends to pick up a snack or drink.
Learn more www.bioski.ca
Remi Ski Club is located about 20 km east of Kapuskasing, near the small community of Moonbeam. Considered small but fun, the downhill area offers three runs for snowboarding and skiing (one each for beginner, intermediate and advanced), with a 138-foot vertical and one double tow rope. Want more? There is also a toboggan hill and opportunities for fat biking and snowshoeing. It generally opens around December 20.
Learn more www.facebook.com/remiskiclub
With 15 groomed runs, including the longest run in Ontario (2.9km), as well as a true vertical of 630 feet, Antoine is a local favourite, and for good reason! Located just a ten minute drive from Mattawa and about 50 minutes east of North Bay, this resort in the Laurentian Mountains is located at the base of one of Ontario's tallest peaks. Antoine Mountain also features a Doppelmayr quad chair lift as well as a custom terrain park. Snowboarders can check out the Rossignol Experience Centre, home to the Burton snowboard fleet and professional snow school where guests receive lessons from CSIA ski and CASI snowboard certified instructors. The recently renovated chalet offers an elevated après ski experience with Canadian cocktails, local draft, and great atmosphere.
Learn more: https://antoinemountain.ca
Say you’ve skied on a volcano—an extinct one that is. Kamiskotia Snow Resort is found on Mount Jamieson, about 20 km northwest of Timmins and surrounded by snow-capped trees. With 18 runs for beginners, intermediate or experts, there’s something for every downhill skier or snowboarder. The vertical is 400 feet and the longest run clocks in at a cool 3,280 feet (1,000 metres). Get to the top of your run via two quad lifts, a T-bar or a rope tow. And, there’s a tube park too, for plenty of sliding fun, as well as a bar and cafeteria to fuel up. They generally open for the season in late November or early December.
Learn more www.kamiskotia.com
Located in Iroquois Falls, about 70 km northeast of Timmins, this cross-country ski area has 20 km of trails, divided into four one-way trails, groomed for both skate and classic (with one exception, which is classic only). There’s also a 5-km snowshoe trail, where dogs are permitted. One colourful touch is the “Artistic Trail Signs,” hand-painted wooden signs to designate a particular part of a trail, often in memory of someone who loved the area.
Learn more www.iroquoisfallscrosscountryskiclub.com
Grab your gear, avoid the crowds, get some fresh air and discover a small, friendly Northeastern Ontario gem!