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Ontario’s Winter Playground

With three downhill resorts, groomed cross-country ski and snowshoe trails and groomed snowmobile trails, winter is an adventure just waiting to happen in stunning Simcoe County.  Add in spectacular ice fishing on Lake Simcoe, winter festivals, resorts and hotels, cultural attractions and shopping experiences, and it’s pretty close to the perfect getaway destination. 

Diverse Downhill

Three ski resorts equal three different experiences!!  Stay and ski at Horseshoe Resort and off the slopes enjoy the resort’s other winter activities, visit the spa or dine at one of the restaurants.  Ski for a day or evening at Mount St. Louis Moonstone and Snow Valley Ski Resort, have dinner at a local restaurant and stay overnight to get up and do it all over again!  Both resorts offer stay and ski packages with local accommodators.  Downhill is more than skis and boards!  Take the gang snow tubing at Horseshoe and Snow Valley.  

Glide, Hike and Bike

If flatter terrain is more your speed, try snowshoeing or cross-country skiing at Hardwood Ski & Bike, the Wasaga Beach Nordic Centre, Horseshoe Resort or through the Wye Marsh.  Day passes and season memberships are available.  There are lots of hiking opportunities in Simcoe, too – the Wye Marsh, community waterfront trails, the Thornton Cookstown TransCanada Trail and many others.  And, if you love to mountain bike, check out Hardwood for fat biking – mountain biking on snowy trails - with Ride Guides offering tours and programs at Horseshoe.  Or, perhaps skimming along the snowy surface behind a dogsled team from Windrift Kennels is your ideal winter adventure. 

Snow and Ice

Close to 560 kilometres of groomed trails, the Mid Ontario Snowmobile Trails (MOST) run through Simcoe.  Also known as District 8, these beautiful trails are maintained by volunteers in five clubs.  For anglers, Lake Simcoe is the preferred hard water fishing spot in Ontario with whitefish, perch and trout popular catches.  If you’re new to the sport or lack equipment, outfitters can help you out with hut rentals and set you up with everything you need.  Trails are open weather-permitting – check the online map for trail conditions before heading out on your sled.

Fun & Games

Take a break from the outdoors by shopping in one of Simcoe’s downtowns or explore the art galleries, studios and museums.  The Simcoe County Museum houses the area’s history, with 

an impressive collection of over 30,000 artifacts
and fun programming.  Take in live entertainment at Casino Rama, the Orillia Opera House or at one of Barrie’s live music “hot spots”.  Try your luck at the OLG Slots at Georgian Downs or play your favourite games at Rama.  

Savour, Sip and Sample

And what’s a visit without great food? Visit a farmers’ market or sample the local cuisine at Simcoe’s many restaurants.  Starting annually in early March, travel the sweetest trail of all, Tap into Maple.
Sample the flavours of the five “Beer Around the Bay” breweries – Collingwood Brewery, Creemore Springs, Northwinds Brewhouse & Kitchen, Sidelaunch Brewing Company and the Wasaga Beach Brewing Company. (Check operating hours of participating breweries before visiting).
Flying Monkeys has been brewing their craft beers on the Barrie waterfront since 2004.  Add in Barnstorm Brewing Company and Redline Brewhouse and you’ve got an awesome beer destination.  Pick up a copy of the Saints & Sinners pocket map, to find and discover local craft beverages.  The Beer Bus makes it easy to tour the breweries, cideries and wineries in the Collingwood area.  Several of these breweries serve up some pretty spectacular dishes, too.

More to Enjoy

Enjoy a winter festival (most notably, First Light at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons), shop, dine or simply relax on a weekend away from home.  Many of Simcoe’s accommodators, including Bayview Wildwood Resort, Carriage Ridge and Fern Resort, have awesome winter getaway packages including over Christmas, New Year’s Eve and into the new year.
What are you waiting for?  Start packing now for your winter visit to Simcoe!

Looking for more info on Simcoe County?  Check out the links below: