Countryside skating trails in Ontario
This popular pastime has undergone a modern makeover across Ontario with new and enhanced skate trails and rinks, many of which are lit up at night for ambient evening skating. Several spots also offer accompanying treats, from hot chocolate to mulled wine.
Whether you’re a beginner just learning to balance on your blades, or you can skate like a pro, you’ll love these gorgeous places to go ice skating in Ontario.
Note: Always check the weather conditions before you go and make sure the rink or trail is open.
Hamilton, Halton and Brant
Surrounded by nature’s beauty, ice skating at Cootes Paradise Sanctuary, part of the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG), is a magical experience.
An assortment of delicious food and snacks are available to purchase from Collective Arts Container, the onsite snack bar. Floodlights provide the opportunity to skate at dusk.
Details: paid parking is available at the Princess Point lot
Location: 335 Longwood Road North, Hamilton
Haliburton Highlands to the Ottawa Valley
Embrace the fairy-tail ambience of the forest at night as you skate along a 1.5-kilometre ice trail through scenic woodlands.
Formerly known as Laurentian Valley Skating Trail, LV Four Seasons Trail also offers a 2-kilometre snowshoe trail.
Details: skating is free; donations help pay for maintenance
Location: 2 Henan Road, Pembroke
Take a winter break and get away to Calabogie Peaks Resort in the beautiful Ottawa Valley.
In addition to downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing, enjoy pond skating set against the picturesque backdrop behind the resort. The rink usually operates from January to March.
Details: ice skating is available to guests of Calabogie Peaks Resort
Location: 30 Barrett Chute Road, Calabogie
Lace up in the comfort of a spacious log cabin, then glide along the twists and turns of the 3-kilometre frozen trail through apple orchards, forests and meadows.
Skate and helmet rentals are available and there’s even opportunity to play hockey, so bring your sticks and puck.
RiverOak Skating Trail is located just half an hour drive from downtown Ottawa in the beautiful countryside of eastern Ontario.
Note: bring your own headlamps if you wish to skate after dark since the rink does not provide full lighting.
Details: winter day passes and seasonal passes can be purchased upon arrival
Location: 2900 York’s Corners Road, Metcalfe
In the rural countryside of Southeastern Ontario, the small town of Moose Creek is home to one of the best skating trails in the region at Countryside Adventures.
The woods and waterways that make up this outdoor activity destination are transformed into well maintained ice trails that are perfect for a day of skating.
Skate rentals are available, and you can enjoy tasty treats from the food truck when you’re ready to refuel.
Details: admission tickets include access to the skating trail; free parking is available
Location: 16495 Sixth Road, Moose Creek
Just a short drive southwest of Ottawa, Icelynd Skating Trails offers 2 kilometres of idyllic ice trails throughout a natural forest setting.
The trails are lit at night to create a magical environment. There are plenty of places to sit, including benches by the cozy firepits around the property. Snacks and hot chocolate are also available for purchase.
Details: tickets must be purchased in advance online; skate rentals are not offered so bring your own skates; open Tuesday to Thursday from 2:00 to 9:00 p.m., Friday from noon to 10:00 p.m., Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (closed on Monday)
Location: 6865 Fernbank Road, Stittsville
Grey, Bruce and Simcoe
The Ice Trail at MacGregor Point, on the shores of Lake Huron, is a 400-metre loop and is gorgeous when it’s lit up at night for skating under the stars.
Weekends and holidays are the busiest, so plan your visit during the week to avoid the crowds, and bring your own skates as rentals are not available.
Details: purchase your vehicle permit online in advance from Ontario Parks; permits are available on a first-come-first-serve basis
Location: 1593 Bruce Road 33, Port Elgin
This 1.1-kilometre skate trail along the top of the Niagara Escarpment delivers spectacular views during the day and an enchanting experience when it’s lit up with tiki torches at dusk.
Details: operates early January to March, weather permitting; tickets are available from Blue Mountain Resort
The scenic looped skating trail at Simcoe County Museum is less than 1 kilometre long, so it’s perfect for beginners.
Skate past the heritage buildings and hiking trails surrounding the museum. There’s also a nearby snowshoe trail to extend your winter adventure.
Details: the skate trail usually opens in early January and tickets can be purchased online or in person
Location: 1151 Highway 26, Minesing
Skate the 1.5-kilometre forested trail at Fern, an all-inclusive gem on Lake Couchiching. The trail is lit up with tiki torches in the evening and you can stop mid-way to rest by the open fire.
Skating trail packages are also available, allowing you to include a meal with a skating experience if you want to make this a day trip.
Details: ice skating and other winter activities are available to guests at the resort
Location: 4432 Fern Resort Road, Ramara
Muskoka, Parry Sound and Algonquin Park
Show off your spins and spirals on this 1.2-kilometre loop around the cranberry fields at Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery, followed by a warm beverage on the fireside patio.
Stay longer on Saturday evenings to enjoy skating under the moon and admire over 400 tiki torches lit around the Ice Trail. Hot beverages, such as hot mulled-wine and hot cranberry apple cider, are available at the winery. Skate rentals are available, however helmets are not.
Details: open daily, weather permitting; admission fee includes the ice skating trail
Location: 1074 Cranberry Road, Bala
The secret is out: Arrowhead’s skate trail is epic.
This popular attraction reaches maximum capacity on the weekends, so consider a mid-week visit and enjoy some après-skate at one of many resorts in the area.
Details: purchase park permits online well in advance of your visit
Location: 451 Arrowhead Park Road, Huntsville
Plan on skating a few laps around the outdoor skating rink when you visit “the Great One’s” winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
To avoid disappointment, bring your own skates and helmets since rentals are limited.
Look out for featured events like Saturday DJ nights and wind down at the heated patio with a glass of signature wine or whisky.
Details: usually opens in early December but check in advance of your visit
Last updated: December 5, 2022