While Algonquin Park is Canada’s most popular canoe trip destination, few people have experienced the stunning beauty of the Park in winter. Frozen lakes, waist deep snow, wildlife tracks, the howl of a wolf and the crisp clear air are just a few of the delights of a winter experience. Beyond the sheer beauty, the excitement of mushing your own team of huskies or cross country skiing through the wilderness of the Almaquin trail is sure to keep you on your toes! After each action-packed day of winter activity, come back to our cozy accommodation, built in the authentic log cabin construction amongst the serenity of the forest. Warm up in the sauna and put your feet up by the fireplace while your hosts prepare delicious meals, as a reward to an invigorating day on the trails.
The level is introductory (3) as you will be expected to partake in full days of outdoor winter sports, but the activities themselves are suitable to any experience level. Many of our guests are experiencing winter wilderness activities for the first time. The actual activities are not too strenuous although this will be dependent on the ability of the group. The terrain is mostly flat while snowshoeing and skiing, but there there may be some more small uphills and descents, and sections of the trail which require care. The accent is on keeping a steady pace with time to stop and take photos. The dog-sledding will require some running - A moderate, not strenuous, workout. You will need a reasonable level of fitness to participate fully in this adventure. Weather conditions may be variable and you should be prepared for all conditions including snow, ice, and cold wind.
Upon arrival in Toronto, make your way to your centrally-located accommodation downtown.
Included in your package is a 9:15am bus ticket to South River. Breakfast is available at your Toronto hotel, at the bus station, or many other nearby restaurants. The bus ride is approximately 5 hours and there will be a stop en route where you can purchase lunch/snacks. Upon arrival in South River, you will be met by your hosts and transferred (approximately 20 minutes by private vehicle) to your quiet log cabin accommodations, where you will join the group for a hot lunch before departing for your first guided excursion - An afternoon exploring Surprise Lake by snowshoe. If this is your first time on snowshoes, you will delight in the feeling of walking atop deep snow, winding through snow-covered forests, and across a frozen lake. A well-deserved dinner awaits back at the cabin where you can fill your belly and cozy up by the fire, choose from an evening game of broom ball (when conditions allow), or relax in the sauna cabin.
After a hearty Canadian breakfast, we pack a lunch and head out on skis to the Almaquin Trail. The trails are incredibly beautiful. For those that are keen for the back country, the pine-laced shoreline awaits on Surprise Lake! Other favourite options include ice fishing, Quincy (snow shelter) building, and toasting toes in the warm confines of the cabin! Another home-cooked feast and further relaxing finishes our day.
Harnesses, gee and ha, and ganglines are just a few of the expressions we pick up as we spend the morning mushing our own team of huskies. After a lunch on the trail, we say goodbye to the group members who are heading back to Toronto this evening and we head back to the cabin for an activity of our choice, and then one final home-cooked meal and quiet night by the fire.
The bus doesn't leave South River until 4:40pm, so we have another full day of winter adventure - As you choose! If you loved hiking atop the snow, why not grab the snowshoes and head out on the trails? Or if the sensation of gliding is more your speed, then the click back into a pair of skis. You'll be grateful to have this opportunity to enjoy your favorite winter activity one last time before heading back to the hustle and bustle of the city. Lunch is included at the cabin today, and your bus arrives back to the main bus terminal in Toronto around 9:45pm. Grab a bite to eat en route, or go out for a late dinner at one of the many surrounding restaurants near your hotel. Perhaps walk down the block to check out one of the regular 'shinny hockey' games that typically breaks out on the ice rink at nearby Nathan Phillips Square.
There are no services or meals included today, but the options are endless in Canada's largest city.
Per Person, Twin Share