Skating – Weather permitting, outdoor skating rinks pop up in Sophiasburgh Town Hall in Demorestville and Parsons Brewing Company near Picton. Follow Sophiasburgh Recreation Committee and Parsons on social media for up-to-date info on opening dates and schedules. Need your skates sharpened? Head to Wellington Home Hardware or Canadian Tire in Picton.
Further afield, Belleville’s Victoria Harbour is a great spot for outdoor skating once the conditions are right (check the city’s website for updates), and the Batawa Lion’s Club also maintains four outdoor rinks.
Snowshoeing – call ahead to make sure the conditions are right, and (as always!) set realistic expectations for the length of trail your little ones can handle. New in 2022 – You can rent snowshoes from the PEC Public Library thanks to a donation from the Picton Recreation Committee! Call any branch for info.
- During opening hours and weather permitting, the trails at Campbell’s Orchards are open for snowshoeing. They have 7 pairs of snowshoes to rent free of charge (mostly adult sizes). They will also run guided snowshoe tours for a small fee this winter.
- Three Dog Winery opens its trails for snowshoeing during opening hours (weather permitting). They offer free snowshoe rentals in adult and youth sizes (no children’s sizes).
- Sugarbush Vineyards offers 2.5 kms of snowshoeing trails through the vineyard and sugar bush (maple tree forest); weather permitting, of course. Rentals are $20 per person, including poles; they have a variety of sizes, including youth sizes that will fit kids aged 8 and up. They also throw in a wine tasting and hot chocolate. Most of the snowshoeing happens on weekends, but midweek visits can be arranged. Visitors are encouraged to reserve a time by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Other snowshoeing spots include Delhi Park, Sandbanks Provincial Park (the Dunes are especially fun), the Millennium Trail, and Macaulay Mountain Conservation Area.
Sledding – The hills in Picton’s Delhi Park offer sledders differing degrees of exhilaration. BYO toboggan, magic carpet, or snowboard! You’ll get an excellent workout climbing back up to the top. Macaulay Mountain Conservation Area also has some great hills – from the Birdhouse City parking lot, walk westwards (ahead and to the right) for a few minutes towards the hill – but beware, it’s narrow and steep! The little snowbank slope from the same parking lot is great for toddler sledding. Weather conditions-dependent, the Dunes at Sandbanks can also be great for sledding.
Cross-country skiing – Budding cross-country skiers can glide at Sandbanks Provincial Park, Massassauga Point Conservation Area, Macaulay Mountain Conservation Area, and the Millennium Trail. This activity might require some parental trail-blazing, as groomed trails are not guaranteed.
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