So, what's one to do when we don't yet have ice or a lot of snow? A lot apparently.
Go for a winter paddle
This has to be a first for Jacqueline and Jordan Boileau who went for a canoe ride on the Atikokan River on an unusually warm December day.
Go for a boat ride
What? In December? Yes, on December 6th this photo was taken boating on Lake of the Woods near Sioux Narrows, Ontario! The average temperature in December is about -13C (8.6F) so we're not generally boating in December.
Skating on clear ice
While not thick enough to drive on, Howey Bay in Red Lake was certainly thick enough to skate on. It's not very often we get to skate on the lakes without any snow on them. It makes for such a fun experience! Thanks to Jayson Botel for sharing on the Red Lake facebook page.
Enjoy a good old hockey game
Another shot of Howey Bay. This iconic video was posted by Derek Yutzy on Instagram.
Take part in a special event
Many of the Santa Claus' parades this year were blessed with balmy weather. The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train passed through Thunder Bay, Ignace, Dryden, Vermilion Bay and Kenora at what seemed like record temperatures.
Go for a hike
There are many walking trail systems in and around the communities in Northwest Ontario. Soon we'll be skiing the cross country ski trails or snowmobiling the OFSC trails, but in the meantime, enjoy the balmy weather and get in some vitamin D by taking a hike.
Historical highs in the area for December range from -6C to -10.5 C (22F to 13F). Many of the communities in Northwest Ontario experienced temperatures above freezing for the first 10 days of December. Red Lake reached 4.1C on December 5th, Kenora reached 5.6C and Fort Frances topped out at 7.1C on December 4th and Thunder Bay reached a whopping 10.1C (50F) on December 5th!!
Winter is taking its time this year, but it will get here and we will be out sledding and ice fishing before you know it. If you're heading to Sunset Country, there are plenty of outfitters that are open in the winter. Our brand new Ontario's Sunset Country Travel Association is about to shipped from the printers. You can order your free copy of the guide and outfitter map on our website.