TDLG
Credit: TDLG

Make the most of your winter with these exciting activities and destinations, coast-to-coast in Canada:

1. Fat Bike in Thunder Bay

Fat BikeHansi Johnson

Blessed with the right terrain, ample snowfall and an outdoorsy culture to foster the movement, Thunder Bay, Ontario, is quickly becoming Canada’s fat-biking mecca. Nearby Sleeping Giant Provincial Park was an early adopter of the sport, having allowed fat bikes to roam the winter trails for a few years—Kabeyun Trail to Tee Harbour is a classic route. The park also hosts the Sleeping Giant Bike Loppet, a fat-tire event that follows the popular annual cross-country ski race (March 6, 2016). Within Thunder Bay city limits, Centennial Park (easy trails) and Shuniah Mines (advanced trails), also attract fat-bikers throughout winter. Petrie’s Cycle & Sports (petries.ca) is the place to go for rentals, sales and local info. thunderbay.ca

2. Traversee de la Gaspesie

TDLGTDLG

Forgo the usual Caribbean beach-week and spend your vacation with Traversee de la Gaspesie—an all-inclusive six-day trek across the winter environs of Quebec’s Gaspe Peninsula. Open to skiers and snowshoers as young as seven, you’ll embark on a self-propelled journey along the Gaspe Peninsula, marveling at the icy Gulf of St. Lawrence and Chaleur Bay on one side and the 1,000-metre peaks of the Chic-Chocs on the other. This trip includes organized activities, regional-fare meals, lodging, luggage transport and daily routes ranging from 20 to 40 km (ski) and 10 to 15 km (snowshoe). (Pictured at top, also.) From $2,300; February 20 to 27. tdlg.qc.ca

3. Snowshoe Jasper National Park

Jasper NPParks Canada/Adam Greenberg

Canada’s largest Rocky Mountain national park is expanding its snowshoe program this winter, with new trail networks stretching into scenic, off-radar regions. Plus, park interpreters are running dark sky snowshoe tours from the new winter hub at Marmot Meadows—learn about starry skies, winter wildlife and Aboriginal culture while traversing the moonlit landscape via snowshoe. For a DIY experience, try the Toe of the Glacier Trail (four kilometres return), which leads to the base of Athabasca Glacier from Icefields Parkway. Or Medicine Lakeshore (three kilometres), at Medicine Lake, which offers wide-open views of the Endless Chain Ridge and travels alongside the Excelsior Wildfire of 2015. Or Big Bend (14 km), near scenic Sunwapta Falls, which wanders to a stunning vista of Dragon Peak. And the Moberly Meadows Walk (two to four kilometres) meanders past former homes of Jasper’s first homesteaders. There are so many more… You could spend an entire season roaming Jasper’s winter wilds. pc.gc.ca/jasper

4. Panorama Mountain Hut Fondue

PanoramaPanorama/RCR

Panorama Resort’s Mountain Hut Fondue is an idyllic way to finish your day at one of British Columbia’s most beloved ski hills. Catch the last lift to the Summit Hut and savour a cheese and chocolate fondue complemented by BC wine as the setting sun casts alpenglow on the Rocky Mountains. But the real highlight is the ski down—under cover of darkness, with a headlamp on each skier and a guide at the helm, you’ll carve by starlight on a serene mountain that seems all your own. $50; panoramaresort.com

5. Self-Drive Dogsled Adventure in Quebec

Dogsled QuebecHugo Lacroix Tourisme Abitibi-Témiscamingue

There are a lot of tour operators who will take you out for a dogsled run. Only a few will let you handle your own 10-dog team. Chenil du Chien-Loup, in Amos, Quebec, is the latter. Their Forfait Expédition Three Jours (Three-Day Expedition Package) is aimed at folks looking for a unique wintertime adventure. The package includes training, equipment, a team of 10 huskies, two nights in a teepee or prospector’s tent, all meals and 100 km of self-drive dogsledding through the beautiful boreal forest of Abitibi-Temiscamingue. $600 per person; chien-loup.com

6. Skate for Your Supper

Raw AlmondEmily Patrician

Set atop metre-thick ice in Winnipeg’s Forks National Historic Site, Raw Almond is a unique dining experience that lasts for only three weeks each winter (January 21 to February 14, 2016). Puffies and toques are welcome at the 20-person tables in this cold-season dining establishment—but if you miss dinner tickets, the skate-up brunch is equally worthy (first come, first served). Bonus—skating fast laps around the Forks’ eight-kilometre-long ice trail will burn off some of the calories from your sumptuous meal. raw-almond.com

7. Learn to Skijor in Arrowhead Provincial Park

Ontario ParksOntario Parks

Pack your pup and drive a couple hours’ north of Toronto to Arrowhead Provincial Park for a skijoring lesson with sports clinicians Lowell Greib and Katherine Ahokas of Huntsville’s The SportLab. Skijoring is like dogsledding—except on cross-country skis—and it’s a great workout for both you and Fido. Sunday afternoon clinics are held weekly on Arrowhead’s three-kilometre-long cross-country trail. If you still have energy afterwards, trade skis for skates and finish your day with a few laps through the park’s forested skating trail. thesportlab.ca

8. Ski Jumping at Whistler Olympic Park

Whistler Olympic ParkWhistler Sport Legacies

So you’ve tried skeleton and biathlon—what’s the next Olympic winter sport to check off? Ski jumping. Running through January and February, Whistler Olympic Park now offers “Night Flights” for Olympic dreamers. Open to participants of intermediate/advanced downhill ability, bring your alpine gear and receive hands-on Olympic-style ski-jumping instruction. Gather up your courage and take flight on the newly constructed training jumps—start with the 20-metre and work your way to the 40-metre. Wednesdays in January and February, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; $20/session (register early). whistlersportlegacies.com

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