Winter Activities are Cool

A couple walking their dog in the winter at Island Lake Conservation Area.

It can be hard to get outside in the winter. We get it – cozy sweaters and binge-watching a television series can be very appealing. Here are some facts about winter activities to help keep you excited, motivated and active until the warmer months arrive.

Discover Winter Activities


Hiking is a win-win activity. The health benefits are endless, and you don’t need any special equipment to enjoy it. Just make sure you wear warm, durable boots to help you through various terrains.

Hiking on snow is similar to walking on sand. It gives your calves as extra work out by adding resistance under your feet. Also, a study in the American Journal of Human Biology found that people burn 34 per cent more calories when they hike in cold weather than in more mild conditions.

Two people walk together along the boardwalk in winter.
Hiking in winter

Hiking is also an excellent opportunity to brush up on your animal track identification skills.

We have more than 50 kilometers of trail at our parks. Discover where you can go hiking in the winter.


Snowshoeing is a great activity that goes back thousands of years. Snowshoes are traditionally made of hardwood such as ash. Wood was steamed or soaked to make it pliable and bent into shape. Artisans lace the frame with strips of moose, deer or caribou hide into intricate patterns.

Snowshoes are convenient because you slip them on top of your winter boots. You can easily take them on and off as the terrain changes.

Snowshoeing is excellent for building endurance and improving your balance. It’s easy on joints and you can burn between 400 and 600 calories an hour. We offer snowshoe rentals at Island Lake and Terra Cotta Conservation Areas, as conditions permit.

Terra Cotta has 4.7 kilometres of ungroomed trails that are great for your next snowshoeing adventure.

Cross-country skiing

You don’t have to be an expert skier to enjoy this activity. Cross-country skiing originated in Scandinavia over 5,000 years ago, although it wasn’t introduced to Canada until the 1890s.

Cross-country skiing is an amazing full body workout. You can expect to burn between 500 and 700 calories an hour. An après-ski treat is well deserved after this activity!

A park visitor cross-country skiing along a stretch of trail in the park.
Cross-country skiing on Terra Cotta Lane

Terra Cotta has over 6 kilometres of groomed trails for cross-country skiing. Explore CVC parks where you can cross-country ski when conditions permit..


In the world of outdoor activities, kicksledding is relatively new.

A man and a woman kicksledding along Terra Cotta Lane with trees in the background
Kicksledding at Terra Cotta Conservation Area

Learn more about kicksledding at Terra Cotta Conservation Area here.

Let the great outdoors be your gym! The winter season brings endless opportunities to stay active and get outside. A friendly reminder to always check out our Park Advisories page before heading out to a CVC park to make sure conditions are right for your activity.

Share your winter activities with us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

By Kimberley Laird, Associate, Marketing and Communications

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