Ontario’s Bruce-Grey-Simcoe region is famous for downhill skiing and snowboarding. But it also has some of the province’s best cross-country skiing; a winter sport that has gained in popularity this winter season. There are thousands of trails, many of them groomed and even some back-country trails for the more adventurous explorers.
Here’s my pick of the what the region has to offer.
Wasaga Beach Provincial Park
Wasaga Beach isn’t just for beach volleyball and sunbathing. It has some of the best cross-country skiing in Central Ontario. The Blueberry Trail is the most common of the combined 30 kilometres of both classic and racing trails. For a more challenging trail, try the groomed and track set "High Dunes Trail.”
A grand total of 50 kilometres of trails loops throughout the rolling terrain just south of Collingwood. It’s all backcountry, and you’ll have to set your own tracks after a fresh snow. The trails are well marked, however. Just remember to pick up a trail map at the Ravenna General Store before heading out.
The majority of the 27 kilometres of the Scenic Caves trail system is perched on top of Blue Mountain, near Collingwood. The view of Georgian Bay is stunning. There’s both classic and skate-ski groomed trails. Make sure to check out southern Ontario’s longest suspension foot bridge while you’re there.
MacGregor Point Provincial Park
This park is situated alongside the rugged shores of Lake Huron in Port Elgin. The well-maintained back roads provide perfect access to the 11-kilometre Deer Run trail, suitable for both novice and experts. It winds through upland woodlands and low-lying wetlands.
Sauble Beach Cross-Country Ski Club
Close to 20 kilometres of groomed trails, beginning and ending at a quaint chalet, are set through the forested area west of the Rankin River. There are various loops that offer routes for novice and expert skiers.
This place isn’t all about the downhill skiing possibilities. There’s a grand total of 45 kilometres of groomed trails with a good mixture of loops, groomed for both classic and skate-skiing, and various levels of difficulty.
Highlands Nordic has been labelled Ontario’s premier cross-country ski centre. There are amazing views of Georgian Bay from on top of the Niagara Escarpment, and 25 kilometres of single track or trails for racing.
Sawmill Nordic Centre
The Sawmill Nordic Centre, located in Hepworth, offer Nordic skiing through a sheltered forest of hardwoods and pine. A total of 11 kilometres of trails are groomed for both classic and skate skiing, with gentle loops for beginners and challenging hill for the advanced. A bonus is the illuminated loop for cross-country skiing at night.