It’s Cold Outside (But that’s not a bad thing)
There are two types of winter people. Those who see 30cm of snow in the forecast and rejoice at the fun they’re going to have and …..those who do not. For a majority of my life I was the latter but the combination of having a daughter and a job and clients that need me to shoot photos and videos of winter fun & winter sports have made me the former. Now we snowboard, snowshoe, ski, skate and have fun! (And you can too).
You’ll need a few things to enjoy the winter; a willingness to have fun and try new things and a plan. Planning is as simple as looking at the forecast, dressing appropriately and booking lessons if you’ll need some. So here are a few great winter activities for you to try in Peterborough & the Kawarthas
Cross Country Skiing & Snowshoeing at Kawartha Nordic
Located just over 30 minutes north of Peterborough, the Kawartha Nordic Ski Club offers 39km of classic cross county skiing, 23 km of skate skiing, 2km of night skiing and 10km of snowshoeing trails. And it’s all absolutely beautiful. We went snowshoeing there and loved it. We rented shoe shoes for the day from Wild Rock and had a great time exploring the trails. I was happy to see that the snowshoes weren’t the ones I remember from public school class trips which required pulling frozen rubber harnesses around your winter boots, only to have them slip off minutes later. The ones we rented were really easily to get on and off with an easy to use ratchet system that my (then 8 year old) daughter found easy to use. Since the snowshoe rentals aren’t just for use at Kawartha Nordic you could also explore the kilometres of great trails and parks around the city, then return the snowshoes and warm up at with some cajun food at Hot Belly Mama’s.
Upon seeing the cross country skiers and the beautifully groomed trails we made plans to return this year to ski. The Ski Club has on-site ski rentals and lessons as well as wood heated trail side cabins for you to relax in. My family used to cross country ski when I was a kid and it was actually quite fun so I’m looking forward to trying it out again this winter. It’s also really great exercise if you’re looking to burn of some comfort food calories.
Snowboarding (or skiing) at Devil’s Elbow Family Ski and Snowboarding Area
I’d always wanted to learn to snowboard but it wasn’t until I shot a marketing campaign for a ski resort that I finally learned how and it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. Learning along side my daughter was fun as we got to encourage each other through our literal ups and downs. One of my favourite winter memories was watching her make it down the hill for the 1st time on her own and how happy she was. Give snowboarding or skiing a try at Devil’s Elbow where you can get rentals, lessons and they have a nice chalet to take a break in.
Skating at the Peterborough Liftlock and neighbourhood rinks.
The Peterborough Lift lock / Trent Canal is a gorgeous place to go skating but you have a lot of alternatives including indoor arenas with public skates and neighbourhood rinks. Our favourite is the pond at the end of our road that has it’s own bench and a few hockey nets. Well tended rinks are great but you really can’t beat the sound and feel of skating on a frozen pond.
Simple,straight forward and easy on your wallet. Just go for a walk on a sunny day, during a beautiful snowfall or during the evening. Stop at a coffee shop for a warm beverage and walk and talk downtown, along any of the beautiful trails that wind through the City of Peterborough or just around your neighbourhood.
Things to keep in mind:
- Stay hydrated. You might not be breaking a sweat like you would doing a summer activity but you still need to stay hydrated (Just ask your dry skin and chapped lips!)
- Sunscreen isn’t just for summer.
- Wear layers. If you get too warm then you can lose a layer
- Leave your devices at home (unless you want a few selfies). Reconnect with your family and nature rather than your followers. Share you adventures after your adventures
- You don’t have to spend a lot of money to try any of these especially since you can rent everything you’ll need.
- Learning a new sport can have a bit of a learning curve but just be willing to learn and have fun learning together. Your kids will be impressed that you’re happy to learn new things with them.
- Peterborough & the Kawarthas has some great year round resorts that offer winter packages. If you live outside the area or are a local looking for a winter getaway then consider a resort stay while experiencing what the area has to offer.