Believe it or not, Meaford still has lots of the white stuff for winter fun. It’s not too late to check out the cross skiing at one of the many great locations near Meaford Haven.
Here are a few photos we took this past week at Massie Hills.
Cross country skiing is one of those sports you can do at any time of your life, and it’s becoming more and more popular among retirees. A high-calorie-burning, full-body workout, it gives you great cardiovascular benefits and an endorphin rush in a low-impact sport. You can choose your own pace, and you can ski outside your back door or check out one of the beautifully scenic nearby trail systems. (The most distant of these trails is only 40 minutes away.)
A short drive from Meaford, this 10 km trail system (with numerous opportunities to reverse loops and add distance) offers the feel of a backwoods ski in a nicely groomed trail. Some hills and moderately difficult sections, but nothing extreme. Donate at the entrance or join the club.
Coffin Ridge Winery
Beginning this winter, the winery has groomed trails along the vineyards. After an invigorating ski, head inside to warm by the fire and indulge yourself with a mug of hot mulled wine, local cheeses, paté and freshly baked bread.
Head south of Thornbury on Country Road 2, and head east on Sideroad 21 to find a spot to park, then strap on your skis. No-fee skiing on a mostly flat course, with views from the top of Georgian Peaks.
This 60 km classic trail system can keep you active forever. As Grey County’s tourism site relates, “Grooming is completed by the first skier of the day so skiers should be prepared to ‘break trail’ following a snowfall.” Areas for beginners, intermediate and advanced skiers.
Nordic Centre at Scenic Caves
Within a half hour scenic drive, you can enjoy 22 kilometres of groomed beginner and intermediate forested trails with occasional spectacular views. Foodservice, rentals, change-rooms and more onsite.
Inglis Falls and Harrison Park
Owen Sound’s Inglis Falls is a popular scenic destination in summer, but it’s just as magical in winter, with a 7.5 km ski trail accessible from the falls or from Harrison Park below. A loop from Harrison Park takes you up the escarpment, tours near the falls, and then heads back down to the park, where the Harrison Park Inn awaits you with warmth, food and drink.
Sawmill Ski Trail
North of Owen Sound and south of Hepworth, you’ll find 10 km of groomed classic and skate trails branching off from the cozy log clubhouse. You can even night ski a section under the lights. Admission by donation or join the club.
One of Ontario’s premiere cross country ski resorts, Highlands Nordic hosts major provincial and national events – and gives you a lot to choose from in classic and skate skiing. Challenging hills, excellent grooming, and a large clubhouse and ski shop with rentals and sales.
Mix it up with a snowshoe jaunt
Many of these cross country ski locations also provide great terrain for snowshoeing – either on marked trails or by making your own tracks. Some areas may require fees, some definitely require a map, and skiers really appreciate it if snowshoers stay off the ski tracks.
But there’s no need to even leave town to snowshoe in Meaford. Step outside your door and explore the countryside around you, or head down to the Trout Hollow Trail to enjoy up to 14 km of varied terrain and beautiful winter scenery. (It’s wise to avoid using the trail along the Bighead River during a thaw.)