Winter Wanders: Scenic Hiking Trails to Check Out in Ontario Before the Snow Melts

Winter trail

Winter in Ontario doesn't have to mean hibernation. Get out and explore our wintery landscape with a visit to these scenic hiking destinations. Photo: Photo: Pamela Joe McFarlane/Getty Images

Getting outside is key to our health and well-being. And not just from a physical perspective. Science tells us that being surrounded by nature is good for our mental health. And getting your heart rate up is key to longevity.

So bundle up and hit the trails! They are ready to be explored year-round and offer a variety of ecosystems and landscapes waiting to be discovered by hikers, cross-country skiers and snowshoers. Snowshoeing is a safe and inclusive activity for all ages and skill levels, and one of the easiest ways to bring the entire family together.

A few of these popular treks we’ve listed below feature trails as short as four kilometres and as long as 20. The Bay of Quinte area near Belleville even has a spot for your furry best friend to come along on the hike, leash-free. (We’ve focused on the South Eastern Ontario Winter Trails but if you’re not in that province, checking out Parks Canada’s website is also a good place to start.)


Murphy’s Point Provincial Park (Rideau Canal)

Murphy's Point
Photo: Courtesy of Murphy’s Point Provincial Park


Perth, Ont.

  • More than 12 kilometres long
  • Located on Big Rideau Lake, part of the historic Rideau Waterway
  • Silver Queen Mine, an early 1900s mica mine
  • Hiking trails groomed in the winter for skiing
  • Car and RV camping, group camping, back-country camping (boat-in sites on the Rideau)
  • Great mix of wildlife habitat: forest, wetland, old fields and three lakes


Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area (Kingston)

Little Cataraqui Creek Conversation Area
Photo: Courtesy of Cataraqui Conservation


Glenburnie, Ont.

  • Four-season 394-hectare site 
  • There are areas of marsh, field, and forest habitat for nature appreciation
  • Winter is the most popular time of year at Little Cataraqui Creek, with facilities for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing
  • 13 kilometres of trails are groomed when conditions permit


Guindon Park

Guindon Park
Photo: Courtesy of Cornwall Ontario Canada


Cornwall, Ont.

  • 500-acre smoke-free park with access to Cornwall’s off-road bike trails and the St. Lawrence River
  • Winter trails ready for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, fat biking and walking

Summerstown Trails (SDG Counties)

Photo: Courtesy of Summerstown Trails


County Road 27 (Summerstown Road), Ont. (six kilometres north of Exit 804 off Highway 401)

  • 20 kilometres of groomed cross-county ski trails (classic and skating)
  • 12.5 km of snowshoe trails
  • 8 kilometres of groomed fat bike trails
  • All trails have rolling terrain through various forest types and wetlands
  • Trail maps at parking lot during winter season


Quinte Conservation Area (Bay of Quinte)

Bay of Quinte
Photo: Frank King/500px


Belleville, Ont.

  • Quinte conservation looks after 30 conservation areas
  • A few are perfect for cross-country ski buffs while others are good for a slow snowshoe or a stroll through the woods
  • Originally settled in 1815 and later turned into an orchard, this 346-acre property that runs north from the Bay of Quinte just east of Belleville is Quinte Conservation’s home base
  • Remnants of the farm and the orchard are visible as you hike, ski or snowshoe the conservation area’s six trails: Orchard Trail (2.3 km); Loyalist Loop (1.7 km); Wallbridge Loop (0.9 km); Creekside Trail Loop (0.8 km); Sumac Trail (0.3 km); and Pooch Path, a 0.6 km unleashed dog trail


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