Outdoor Life Guide to Cross Country Skiing in Ontario
Last night I was too tired to do anything other than sit on the couch. My body was completely spent but it felt so great. I love the feeling of being physically exhausted after spending an active day outdoors. What was I doing? I spent the afternoon cross-country skiing at Hardwood Hills, which is located one hour north of Toronto (near Barrie). The conditions were perfect – sun, clear skies and plenty of snow.
The trails at Hardwood Hills are definitely challenging with lots of hills, twists and turns. I grew up further north of Toronto and skied competitively on my high school's Nordic ski team. I regularly raced on the Hardwood Hills trails every year, but somehow I forgot about the beauty of the hilly trails.
On Saturday, my boyfriend and I skied almost 30 km (18 m), but after close to 3 hours of skiing our tired muscles were ready to retire. My arms and shoulders were the first to fatigue – even after a short trail mix break to re-energize. I guess that type of feeling is expected when you don't ski for the entire season and then decide to just jump back into it.
The facility at Hardwood Hills is quite impressive, with a chalet, ski rental shop, waxing hut (irons and benches supplied), cafeteria and ski shop. In the wintertime, ski trails are groomed for skate and classic skiing with their piston bully groomer, and snowshoeing trails are also available.
The facility was also Canada's first cross-country ski centre to introduce a snow-maker to guarantee snowy trails all winter. While most of the trails are quite hilly, there are some easier/flatter ones to choose from, which is great for beginners.
Not sure where to find your next ski adventure? Check Nomadik.com's ski destinations.
Nomadik Personal Fitness Expert