Snowshoeing in Ganaraska Forest

Yes, for the next few months, you’ll be shivering. You’ll be battling stormy weather. And thanks to daylight saving time, there won’t be a chance to see the sun after work.

So why not boycott the Misery Olympics, and just get outside and enjoy the winter?
As in, embrace it!

No one ever said toques, scarves and lovely layers can’t be fashionable, so bundle up and get out there…

Skating at Harbourfront Park

Skate at Harbourfront Park

Celebrate the things you can only do in the cold season, like skating outdoors with the sun shining on your face and rosy-red cheeks. The old-fashioned oval rink in Cobourg’s Rotary Harbourfront Park has a view of Lake Ontario, tall trees and spectator benches, and a warm-up shelter for changing into your skates. It’s very picturesque.

Skate some laps, (try a few jumps like Jamie Salé) and you’ll see how fast you’ll heat up to beat the chill. This is free fun and a perfect excuse for hot chocolate or hot toddies in one of the downtown cafés after your skate. (Downtown is a five-minute walk away! Urbanites will appreciate the quaint and easygoing small-town strip.) Plus, the peanut butter brownies at the family-run MillStone Bread right by the rink are outrageously good.

Cross-Country Skiing in Ganaraska Forest

Go Cross-Country Skiing in Northumberland Forest

Boost your mood and your calorie burn (and look for wildlife) along the rustic forest trails, free to use and specifically marked for cross-country skiing. This is the kind of back-to-nature experience that makes you feel alive and amazing! Picture the serenity and natural beauty of the woods, sunlight filtering through the trees, as you head out solo or with friends to share the moment. Push, glide and pump the adrenaline…

Northumberland Forest has seven different trail loops for skiing, ranging from the 1.6 km kiddie loop to the 13.3 km Green A loop. They’re well-marked, and not mechanically groomed, so they are narrower and you get more of a woodland vibe. The forest is situated on the Oak Ridges Moraine, so be prepared for some hills and dips (and take advantage of the benches at lookout points along the way for a break).

Stop for pulled pork on a Kaiser at Rico’s Bar & Grill on Division Street on your way back into town. The tasty reward!

Snowshoeing in Ganaraska Forest

Try Snowshoeing in Ganaraska Forest

Ready for some heart-pumping outdoor adventure? Canada’s early hunters, trappers, explorers and surveyors used snowshoes to survive in areas where snow lay deep throughout the winter. The snowshoes actually float on top of the snow by distributing the weight of the walker. (It’s easy to learn, there’s little risk of injury, and what a workout! Snowshoers can burn more than 45% more calories than walking or running at the same speed.)

The Ganaraska Forest, southern Ontario’s largest, has hundreds of kilometres of trails, including many along the Oak Ridges Moraine. The Ganaraska Forest Centre, a quick drive east of Cobourg, organizes special events throughout the year, like the Family Cross-Country Ski and Snowshoe Day on January 21 with free snowshoeing sessions. Great for first-timers. You could also go off-trail for some backcountry hikes to find the holy grail of Mother Nature: deep unscathed powder! If you’re new to the sport, check out this gear guide to layering from Explore magazine (bring on the chilly temps).

Excited yet? (See, it’s all about mindset.) Plan your snow day and get out there!

Best wishes from Cobourg, Ontario’s Feel Good Town. #AdventuresInCobourg