It arrived in fits and starts this year, but it appears that winter is finally here to stay. There are plenty of ways to get out and enjoy the season, from winter festivals to outdoor activities like skating, snowshoeing and skiing. Even if you have your favourites, why not try something new this year? 

Winter Festivals
Just about every community in Muskoka has a winter festival, enough to take you through almost until spring!February 14-15 – Dorset SnowballFebruary 14-17 – Gravenhurst Winter CarnivalFebruary 17 – Baysville WinterfestFebruary 22 – Huntsville Snowfest – watch for details about this new event here!February 28-29 – Dwight Winter Carnival

Skating Trails
Arrowhead Provincial Park made it uber-popular, and now skating trails are popping up all over Muskoka. Be sure to check these ones out. (Check the links for conditions and closures due to weather)Arrowhead Provincial Park, north of HuntsvilleJohnston’s Cranberry Marsh in BalaMemorial Park Winter Village in BracebridgeHanna Park Skating Trail in Port Carling 

Snowshoe by Day or by Night
One of the easiest ways to get active outside. Just strap on your snowshoes and go. And you can go just about anywhere, but you’ll find some official trails at the links below.Arrowhead Provincial ParkLimberlost Forest and Wildlife Reserve, east of HuntsvilleFor a nighttime treat, head to the Torrance Barrens Conservation Area, an official Dark Sky Reserve 

Cross-Country Skiing
It’s been practiced for thousands of years, but cross-country skiing didn’t make its way to Canada until the late 1800s. In those days skis were long. Really long-sometimes up to four metres in length. Skiers carried just a single pole. Today’s options are more user-friendly and equally fun. You’ll find trails across Muskoka, including those at the links below.Arrowhead Provincial Park – 46km of trails, some track-set and some skate-set. (Be sure to check out what the Arrowhead Nordic Ski Club has to offer as well.)Bracebridge Resource Management Centre – 16.5km of groomed cross-country ski trails)Limberlost Forest and Wildlife Reserve – more than 35km of cross-country ski trails to explore. Note that none of the trails are track-set.

Downhill Skiing
If you have a need for speed, there’s just one place to go. Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Areaoffers the only official downhill skiing in Muskoka.

Yoga in the Snow
Who says you need to practice yoga indoors? Head into the great outdoors, with or without snowshoes (leave them on for an added challenge), for a few asanas. You could even add a snow angel to your repertoire!There are many other ways to enjoy the snow, of course-build a snowperson, go tobogganing, have a snowball fight, build a fort or try your hand at an igloo, or just watch the white stuff gently drift down. However you choose to enjoy winter, here’s to having fun!