Guided snowshoeing tours and snowshoe rentals in Ontario
What is snowshoeing?
For beginners, snowshoes are a pair of wide, versatile frames that fit under your winter boots with snug bindings to adjust to different shoe sizes. With its flat, wide surface, the ingenious snowshoe is designed to distribute your weight evenly, allowing you to walk on the snow rather than sink in.
Traditional snowshoes were crafted from natural materials like hardwood and rawhide, whereas modern snowshoes and walking poles are generally made from lightweight aluminum. Some designs also include crampons for added grip. Most guided tours and rental companies will outfit you with modern snowshoes; however, it’s not uncommon for winter resorts and lodges to have traditional snowshoes available to use.
What to wear snowshoeing
Wear a warm, waterproof jacket that's also breathable when you sweat. You should also wear hiking or winter boots, which are best for wearing with snowshoes, and you may also want to add gaiters for extra protection from the snow. Walking poles, similar to ski poles, can assist with your balance and stability, but are optional.
Here’s a list of guided experiences and trails with snowshoe rentals to get you started.
Guided and outfitted snowshoeing experiences
Let these tour guides provide logistics such as trail passes, maps, beverages, snacks, snowshoes, poles and other accessories, so you can relax and focus on the experience.
Tours are available for beginners and seasoned snowshoers along the Apple Pie Trail. Wind down after your winter woodland trek by sharing snowshoe tales over fresh ale at a local brewery or cidery.
Location: The Blue Mountains
Schedule a private, three-hour snowshoe tour in Algonquin Park. This is the perfect adventure for newcomers to snowshoeing as the full-guided tour includes snowshoeing orientation and a delicious gourmet lunch.
Muskoka’s backcountry is perfect for a day of snowshoeing. You’ll be entertained with interesting stories from your tour guides and end the day around the fire pit enjoying hot drinks and snacks. Private, pet-friendly tours can be arranged so your furry friends can enjoy the tour too.
Liv Outside is staffed with knowledgeable instructors who have a deep and personal relationship with nature and the outdoors. Book a guided snowshoe tour and explore Liv Outside’s winter trails, conveniently located near downtown Bracebridge.
As nature enthusiasts, co-owners Amanda and Brad host a snowshoeing tour featuring insights on Indigenous practices and philosophies, while keeping the surrounding environment as pristine as possible. This is in accordance with their commitment to a zero footprint business model. Small groups and families are welcome.
Location: Sault Ste. Marie
Snowshoeing tours are offered in various locations around Sault Ste. Marie and Goulais River in Algoma Region. There are also tours geared towards kids aged 12 to 17 and adult-focused snowshoe programming. Extend the wonder of a snowshoeing tour to someone special with a gift certificate.
Get a taste of exploring Canada’s north with certified guides who will also entertain you with local facts on your snowshoeing expedition. Warm up with a hot beverage following your tour. Choose from various options from beginner to intermediate, as well as evening tours.
Location: Goulais River
Authentic, personalized experiences in Haliburton Highlands like the popular Snowshoe Like a Canadian and Walk into Winter adventure are designed to introduce you to snowshoeing basics.
Snowshoe trails with equipment rentals
If you prefer to rent snowshoes and chart your own course along the trails, here is a selection of places that offer equipment retails.
Rent a pair of snowshoes at Scenic Caves, or bring your own before you trek the tails and cross Ontario’s longest suspension footbridge with stellar 360-degree views. Frequent visitors can buy seasonal passes for adults, seniors, adult couples and senior couples.
Location: The Blue Mountains
In addition to the year-round hiking trails at Wye Marsh, the Graham McDonald Snowshoe Trail is available exclusively in the winter months and is perfect for snowshoers. Traditional and modern-style snowshoe rentals are available for guests who have not brought their own snowshoes.
An ecological treasure, Pinery Provincial Park is home to numerous species of animals and birds, and some of Ontario’s most awe-inspiring sunsets. Snowshoeing is a popular activity throughout the winter, with rentals available near the Park Store.
Location: Grand Bend
Stocked with a wide variety of snowshoes, Exclusive Sport Rentals offers flexible hours to pick up and drop off equipment. The friendly staff can answer your questions and help outfit you with the right gear.
Over 80 hectares of woodlands await you at the Mansfield Outdoor Centre in Dufferin County’s Mulmur Township. Trail passes are available on the day of the visit and snowshoes can be rented for an entire day.
Cold Creek Conservation Area trails in York Region are great for snowshoeing. Registration and equipment bookings are required as the snowshoe rentals are limited.
The views and landscapes along the trails at Terra Cotta Conservation Area will take your breath away. Keep an eye out for wildlife, like white-tailed deer, and see if you can identify animal tracks in the snow. Snowshoe rentals are available online.
Location: Halton Hills
The perfect place to stretch your legs, Island Lake Conservation Area offers several hectares of lakes, wetlands and forests. Check online in advance for snowshoe rental availability, as walk-ins are not permitted at this time.
Hugely popular in the summer, it’s also worth the trek to Wasaga in the winter. Wasaga Beach Provincial Park offers over seven kilometres of snowshoeing trails to explore. Visit the Wasaga Nordic Centre for snowshoe rentals.
Choose from four diverse snowshoeing trails from flat to hilly terrain at Hardwood Ski and Bike, including the Lookout Trail, which features a modest climb to incredible views of Lake Simcoe. Purchase trail passes and book snowshoe rentals online.
Known as a recreational playground for skiing and snowboarding, Sir Sam also offers excellent trails for those who prefer to hike the tranquil outdoors. Snowshoe trail passes and rentals can be purchased in person on-site.
Location: Eagle Lake
Snowshoes are available to rent (and purchase) at Algonquin Outfitters. The Oxtongue Lake store features a broader selection of snowshoes than the Huntsville one. Call ahead if you’re planning on renting from the Huntsville location.
Adult and kid’s snowshoe rentals are available to explore this Haliburton gem. Guided hikes can be arranged for groups of ten or more, and leashed dogs are permitted.
Location: Haliburton Highlands
With spectacular views and stellar trails, it’s a treat to go snowshoeing at Windy Lake Provincial Park, just west of Sudbury. Book one of the heated, roofed accommodations if you want to stay longer and continue the adventure. Snowshoe rentals are available from the park’s chalet.
A popular Nordic Ski Club, Porcupine Ski Runners also offers well-maintained snowshoeing trails. Non-members can purchase a trail pass and rent a pair of snowshoes on-site.
Explore nine kilometres of snowshoeing trails at your own pace. Take it easy on flat terrain or challenge yourself on more rugged terrain. Snowshoe rentals and pass purchases are available at the Office Headquarters.
Location: Sault Ste. Marie
Snowshoeing in Killarney is delightful. Snowshoe rentals, albeit limited, are available courtesy of Friends of Killarney Provincial Park at the George Lake Gatehouse, located close to the park entrance. You’ll want to call ahead to confirm snowshoe availability.
Last updated: September 22, 2023