Muskoka Stories

Go Play Outside this Winter

By Lauren MacDermid.
January 2016, updated for 2017


When winter arrives and the weather forecast calls for -20? C, it might seem like a good idea to stay indoors. As wonderful as winter hibernation may sound…it is even more inspiring to experience the natural beauty of Muskoka.

The very first step is to dress for winter. Outdoor enthusiasts recommend layers because they are easy to adjust based on your activity level. Start with a Merino Wool base layer (long underwear) which provides temperature regulation and moves moisture away from your skin. Then add a mid-layer if more warmth is needed, finishing with a water resistant, wind proof jacket and snow pants. Avoid cotton when dressing for the outdoors as it absorbs moisture; this also includes your socks. Be sure to take care of extremities with insulated waterproof boots, water resistant hand protection (mitts are warmer than gloves) and a hat to prevent heat loss and protect ears from frostbite.

By bundling up and getting outdoors we do our bodies a favour by increasing our exposure to natural light. During the winter months it can be hard to get your daily dose of “rays” and Vitamin D. In addition to natural sunlight, the scent of pine needles in fresh air has been shown to lower anxiety and promote a feeling of relaxation. So why not go for a walk amongst the tall pines of Muskoka.

Get Active and Go Play
When cabin fever has begun to set in, burn off some steam with nonstop activity at The Rosseau! Get those exercise endorphins pumping by snowshoeing, cross country skiing at The Rock or playing shinny on an outdoor rink. When time permits, drive one hour to Arrowhead Provincial Park and give the ice skating trail a try. This is an unforgettable winter wonderland experience as you skate on a 1.3 km loop through snow-covered evergreens.

If the need for speed is more your thing, rent snowmobiles and go for a guided tour of OFSC groomed trails in Ontario’s back country with MSR. The popular northern Ontario pastime provides a unique perspective of the wild back country, not accessible by automobile. It is also the perfect time of the year to find out if dog power is the best way to travel with Winterdance Dog Sled Tours at The Rosseau.

Go Exploring in Muskoka
Extend your passion for Instagram and go outside to find countless photo opportunities in a snow-covered winter landscape. Practice your wilderness trekking and photography skills in the photographer’s paradise known as Algonquin Park. The park is home to several interpretive walking trails open year-round and over 95 km of Nordic ski trails, not to mention the park is known for excellent wildlife sightings such as red foxes, deer or even a moose wandering about in the undisturbed wilderness.

Embracing all the activities winter has to offer creates exciting adventures and lasting memories. After a day in the outdoors, warming up by the fire with a hot chocolate or Bailey’s seems that much more rewarding.

Ready to get outside this winter? Book now at JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa