There’s no need to hibernate in the winter. Ontario offers plentiful snowy adventures, from exciting downhill skiing to relaxing snowshoeing, as well as unique experiences like dogsledding and skating on natural ice. You don’t have to compromise on comfort to enjoy these activities, either. Choose from a range of accommodations across the province, including cozy log cabins, upscale resorts, mountainside chalets and more.
Find a romantic getaway with gourmet meals and quiet seclusion, or a family-friendly retreat that’s perfect for the March Break. The options are numerous, but we’ve pared down a list of some of the top resorts that offer a gateway to the best of wintertime in Ontario.
1. Stokely Creek Lodge
This Scandinavian-style cross-country ski resort is located 30 minutes north of Sault Ste. Marie in the Algoma Highlands. Stokely Creek Lodge is alluring in many ways. First and foremost, the resort attracts serious nordic skiers with over 100 km of groomed trails in a wilderness setting. It also features over 20 km of backcountry snowshoeing trails. All that activity builds up a serious appetite, and Stokely doesn’t disappoint, with gourmet meals served family-style with all-you-can-eat portions.
- While you’re visiting Algoma, be sure to check out Sault Ste. Marie, one of Northern Ontario’s most vibrant cities. Enjoy a locally brewed beer at Northern Superior’s brewpub adjacent to the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Museum.
- The Clergue Park ice skating trail is another great downtown Sault Ste. Marie attraction.
2. Algonquin Log Cabin
You won’t find a cozier cabin than this one, located on the edge of Algonquin Provincial Park and three hours north of the GTA. Voyageur Quest offers a picture-perfect, off-grid log cabin with a massive stone fireplace that’s ideal for couples and families. The lodge serves homemade meals and offers access to great winter activities like cross-country skiing, dogsledding and snowshoeing.
- Between Huntsville and North Bay you’ll find plenty of winter adventures. Check out Arrowhead Provincial Park for some of the best cross-country skiing in Central Ontario and their unique ice skating trail through the forest. Remember to purchase your daily vehicle permit in advance online.
- North Bay embraces its Lake Nipissing shoreline at all times of the year. You can rent an ice fishing hut and test your luck jigging for walleye on the lake’s big, frozen water. Rent from Reed’s Outdoor Adventures or take a guided tour with Bam’s Tours.
3. Deerhurst Resort
This upscale resort near Huntsville makes for a perfect getaway, offering access to a variety of winter adventures. Onsite you’ll find winter disc golf, fat biking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, ice skating on an outdoor rink, kick-sledding and outdoor curling. If that’s not enough, Deerhurst is located a stone’s throw away from downhill skiing and snowboarding at Hidden Valley Highlands, a surprising lift-serviced area that’s aptly described as Ontario’s friendliest ski hill. The resort itself is renowned for its well-appointed accommodations and fine dining, made all the better by its beautiful location on the shore of Peninsula Lake.
- Deerhurst is located a short drive from Algonquin Provincial Park, which features trails for hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
- While in Huntsville, check out Seven Main Cafe, located in the town’s oldest commercial space and serving locally roasted Muskoka Roastery Coffee.
4. Searchmont Resort
The “Mountains of the Midwest,” located about an hour’s drive north of Sault Ste. Marie, feature the highest vertical downhill ski runs in Ontario, with rugged terrain that’s perfect for intermediate to advanced alpine skiers. Recent upgrades have made Searchmont Resort more beginner- and family-friendly, too, with an improved learning area. While their slopeside accommodations are under renovation, The Water Tower Inn in nearby Sault Ste. Marie is a great alternative that will allow you to enjoy all Searchmont has to offer. Spend days on the slopes and evenings enjoying the onsite dining, swimming pool, outdoor hot tubs and luxe suites.
- While in Sault Ste. Marie be sure to make a stop for some authentic Italian cuisine at Giovanni’s Restaurant.
- Do you love cross-country skiing, too? Sault Ste. Marie boasts an excellent 40-km network of groomed trails at Hiawatha Highlands, only a 10-minute drive from downtown.
5. Minaki Yurt Adventures
Minaki Yurt Adventures’ unique vacation rentals are located 45 km north of Kenora, in Northwestern Ontario. Four yurts and a tipi are available for small group rentals. The main attraction for winter guests to this off-the-radar retreat is excellent cross-country skiing, with 20 km of groomed trails. Larger groups can book the 2,800-square-foot Mee-nah-kee yurt, which features a kitchen, several bathrooms and space for up to 11.
- While you’re in Northwestern Ontario be sure to check out the interactive Lake of the Woods Discovery Centre in Kenora.
- The Lake of the Woods Brewing Company features a popular taproom in a reclaimed historic Kenora firehall.
6. Browns’ Clearwater West Lodge
Located near Atikokan, west of Thunder Bay, Browns’ Clearwater West Lodge offers the quintessential Canadian fishing lodge experience year-round. Rent a four-season cabin and try ice fishing on pristine freshwater lakes. The remote location is also a great way to escape the bustle of city life; immerse yourself in the outdoors on a snowshoe hike or simply enjoy the scenery.
- Nearby Quetico Provincial Park is open in the winter months for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and backcountry camping. The park maintains 15 km of trails at the Dawson Trail Campground.
7. Bellevue Valley Lodge
Looking for backcountry skiing you don’t have to travel outside of Ontario to enjoy? Look no further than Bellevue Valley Lodge in Goulais River, just north of Sault Ste. Marie. Your family or group can rent a chalet and book a guided backcountry ski adventure in rugged, snowy terrain—with the deepest powder in the province. Not quite up for backcountry skiing? No problem, snowshoeing is an easier way to experience this magnificent landscape.
- Trained interpretive guides from Forest the Canoe, another Goulais River-based tour provider, offer beginner-friendly snowshoe hikes throughout the Sault Ste. Marie area.
- The Canal District of Sault Ste. Marie offers easy winter adventures and great dining. Go for a winter hike on the trails at the Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site of Canada, and enjoy upscale dining and craft beers at the Mill Steakhouse and Wine Bar and Outspoken Brewing.
8. Beyond the Giant Nature Retreat
Experience the magic of winter on the Sibley Peninsula, just east of Thunder Bay. Beyond the Giant Nature Retreat offers cottage-style accommodations with easy access to the great skiing and snowshoeing trails of the iconic Sleeping Giant. Families and friends will enjoy private cabins on the frozen shore of Lake Superior, with a traditional sauna to warm up in after a hard day of playing outdoors.
- The Sleeping Giant Loppet is one of Ontario’s best cross-country ski events, with a variety of distances for all levels of skiers in the stunning hills of Northwestern Ontario.
- A trip to Northwestern Ontario wouldn’t be complete without great dining. Check out the Caribou Restaurant and Wine Bar in Thunder Bay for an upscale, locally inspired menu.
9. Canadian Ecology Centre
This unique facility near the town of Mattawa on Highway 17, east of North Bay, offers 32 cabins for year-round use. Visitors will be immersed in the stunning landscape that inspired the establishment of the Canadian Ecology Centre, with access to the Mattawa River and dozens of kilometres of ski and snowshoe trails. Cabins are equipped with kitchens so you can bring your own food and enjoy a quiet retreat with family and friends.
- Mattawa boasts a little-known downhill ski area that’s one of Ontario’s finest. Antoine Mountain features 630 vertical feet and 15 runs—including the longest alpine ski run in the province at 2.92 km.
- Nature’s Harmony Ecolodge, also in the Mattawa area, offers a similar winter experience with snowshoeing, kicksledding, tubing and a sauna.
- Additionally, the Mattawa River Resort offers 15 cabins on the shores of the historic Mattawa River—open year-round with a pet-friendly policy.
10. Fern Resort
This waterfront resort on Lake Couchiching, near Orillia, offers an easy winter getaway within a short drive from the GTA. Fern Resort provides inn- and cottage-style accommodations with meals. Winter activities include ice skating, tobogganing and snowshoeing. The resort is especially attractive to families, with kid-friendly packages available for the holidays, Family Day and March Break.
- Central Ontario is a snowbelt region with outstanding downhill skiing at several resorts, including Mount St. Louis Moonstone.
- One of Ontario’s finest networks of cross-country ski trails is located at Hardwood Hills, near Barrie. Experience pristine grooming and heart-pumping trails for classic and skate skiing techniques through varied terrain.
11. Great Spirit Lodge
Lake Temagami is a popular summer destination for paddlers. In the winter, this expansive body of water located an hour north of North Bay is a forgotten treasure. Great Spirit Lodge offers four heated cottages for winter use, providing weeklong rentals for families and winter enthusiasts. Try ice fishing or explore the frozen bays of Lake Temagami by ski or snowshoe for a unique perspective of one of Ontario’s greatest lakes.
- Looking for a more “hard core” winter adventure? Book a winter weekend getaway with Temagami Outfitting and try winter camping in the frozen wilderness with heated prospector tents, snowshoes and toboggans.
12. Sportsman’s Lodge Wilderness Resort
Located just east of Sudbury, this all-season wilderness resort on Kukagami Lake is gaining a reputation as a gateway to some of Ontario’s finest landscapes, including old-growth forests and pristine lakes. Set off on snowshoes to witness massive red and white pines and enjoy spectacular views of the starry night sky. The Sportsman’s Lodge Wilderness Resort offers guest rooms in their Main Lodge and Tower Building, as well as private cabins.
- Sudbury is an outstanding winter destination, with a plethora of adventure sports and family-friendly activities on offer. There are multiple cross-country ski areas within city limits, including Kivi Park, Laurentian Nordic Ski Club and Walden Cross Country.
- Need to spend a few hours warming up inside? Science North is a great destination for families, with a huge array of interactive exhibits that will keep you busy for an entire day.
13. Cedar Meadows Resort and Spa
Experience the vast snowy wonder of Canada’s boreal forest in Timmins. Cedar Meadows Resort and Spa offers a surprisingly luxe experience in Northern Ontario, with suite and chalet accommodations, and gourmet meals. Go on one of the daily wildlife tours they offer through the snow-covered, 100-acre wildlife park for the chance to see bison, elk and fallow deer. Enjoy a Nordic spa experience, alternating hot and cold baths in a relaxing outdoor setting.
- Northerners take winter seriously, and you’ll find one of Ontario’s most vibrant cross-country ski clubs in Timmins. Porcupine Ski Runners maintains over 25 km of ski and snowshoe trails for all levels of winter enthusiasts.
Book a Stay and Play in Ontario’s Winter Wonderland
Don’t wait until the snow is on the ground—now is the time to plan your winter adventure. Choose from accommodations with rustic charm or luxurious amenities, in remote or highly accessible locations. No matter where you go, you’ll be able to make the most of the snow and ice and have a wintry experience to remember.