Algonquin in Winter

snowman

There’s lots to explore in the Park, in the immediate vicinity of the Wolf Den, and in our general region, during that magical time when snow blankets the earth – typically between early December and mid-April.  (If you’re coming up between May and late October, check out our Algonquin in Summer sub-tab.)

Our Glorious Algonquin Park

Hiking & Snowshoeing - There are currently 15 interpretive hiking trails to be explored along the park corridor.   They range from short and easy (Spruce Bog Boardwalk and the Logging Museum trail are actually wheelchair and stroller accessible!) to much lengthier and more challenging (such as Mizzy Lake or Track & Tower).  Information on these hiking trails can be found in the park newsletter available on the tea cart in our kitchen or at either of the Park gates.  We would also be delighted to sit down with you when you arrive to offer trail tips and answer any questions you might have.  Snowshoes can be rented at fair rates from our neighbours, the Algonquin Outfitters store at Oxtongue Lake.  And if you’d like to take along a guide, Algonquin Adventure Tours would be pleased to head out into the bush with you, offering you insights into our gorgeous winter ecosystem and tips on staying warm and comfortable on cold days out.

Dog sledding - Our friends at Snow Forest Adventures drive dogsled teams all winter long inside Algonquin Park and would be delighted to take you along.  Be sure to book well in advance.  Dog sledding typically runs between the last week of December and late March, depending on the snow.  It’s an experience not to be missed.

Skiing - Groomed cross-country ski trails for a variety of skill levels can be found at Fen Lake (a 5 minute drive from us at the West Gate of the Park) and Leaf Lake (at the other end of the Park corridor, about an hour’s drive from us).   There are also lots of skiing opportunities outside the park gates: keep scrolling down the page to read more about those. Skis and other winter equipment can be rented from our neighbours, the Algonquin Outfitters store at Oxtongue Lake.

Wildlife Viewing & Birding - Algonquin is home to 40 mammal, 30 reptile and amphibian, and 130 breeding bird species.  If you are interested in seeing a certain species we’d be happy to discuss their usual habitat with you, and where those habitats might be found.  There’s never a guarantee that you’ll see your favourite species but narrowing down where to look can help a lot.  The Visitors’ Centre inside the park also keeps tabs on animal sightings.

The Algonquin Park Visitors’ Centre, closer to the East Gate, is a great indoor introduction to the park to visit in-between your outdoor adventures.

Programs for families - The Friends of Algonquin Park charitable organization, in conjunction with park staff, does a magnificent job creating programming for families all year round.  Any family coming up for a visit should check out their calendar of scheduled events.

Right here at the Wolf Den

Ragged Falls – a 20 minute hike away to a beautiful waterfall with a short trail along the river.  Most guests will spend about 1 hour at the waterfall.

Gravel/High Falls – this is a much lesser known, but equally dramatic, waterfall accessible from the Wolf Den’s own property, about an hour and a half hike or snow-shoe away.  Gorgeous.  Ask Jennifer or Jacques for specific directions to the trail head before you set out as the trail is very clear, but unmarked.

Beetle Lake Trail - Beginning just down the road from us, this 6km hike goes along a high cliff, through hemlock forests, into maple forests, down to a stream and then over to Algonquin Outfitters.

Cross-Country Skiing on Groomed Trails - Our wonderful neighbours over at the Blue Spruce Resort welcome guests from other resorts in the area to enjoy their groomed skiing trails.  The cost is just $5 per person for the day.

Back Country Skiing - Timber Trail Lane, an old logging road, runs north from our property through the northern edge of Ragged Falls Park and ultimately into Algonquin Park itself.  In the winter this lane is an absolute pleasure to ski and snowshoe on when conditions are right.

Not Far Away…

Frost Centre - Some of the best cross-country skiing trails in Ontario are at the Frost Centre, just 30 minutes south of us.

 

Sugar Bush Hill Maple Farm - Every Canadian neighbourhood needs its own sugar bush and this is ours.   Pay them a visit to find out how maple syrup is made and get your sugar hit for the week.  They offer a great afternoon out – in fact, Sugar Bush Hill has been named by Trip Advisor as the #1 place to visit in Muskoka!   The farm is located just south of Huntsville, about 30 minutes away from the Den.    Make sure to check their website for tour dates and times before you go.

Dog sledding - Two companies in our beautiful home county of Haliburton Highlands offer dog sledding (outside the park, but in equally magical surroundings!).  Check out and the Haliburton Forest (where you can also visit a wolf reserve) and Winterdance.   Dog sledding typically runs between the last week of December and late March, depending on the snow.  A truly Canadian experience.

Arrowhead Provincial Park – Arrowhead might be a 45 minute drive away towards Huntsville, but IT’S WORTH IT!  In the winter months the park offers cross-country and downhill skiing, and… wait for it… a skating trail that meanders through the woods!