Chilly temperatures may have arrived in Canada, but why hibernate? You can still get out and enjoy nature’s splendour while snow and frost decorate the treetops. From skiing to hiking, the great white north is still open for business this winter. Best of all, you can unplug and bask in the beauty of places such as Whistler and Banff without leaving so much as a hint that you were there. At Expedia.ca, we know snow is a way of life here, so we have assembled just a few of the ways to take your winter vacation outdoors:
1) Go for a Snow Hike
Many of Canada’s best trails are at their most peaceful during the winter. So bundle up, pack some snacks, and set off on a day trip. Places such as Banff National Park and Gatineau Park welcome you to explore tree-lined paths at your own pace. As the snow crunches beneath your feet and the chilly air tickles your nose, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife and your ears open for the serene sounds of solitude. Do the park a service by picking up any exposed trash left behind by the swarms of warm weather visitors: Mother Nature thanks you.
2) Try Your Hand (and Foot) at Snowshoeing
When you would rather whisper across a blanket of snow than scream your way down a ski slope, snowshoeing is the perfect winter activity for you. Head to Whistler or North Vancouver, and you’ll be met with calm trails and wide open spaces perfect for shoeing. Best of all, you don’t need to be a veteran athlete to enjoy this slow-paced, peaceful exercise. It’s a wonderful way to escape daily stress and remind yourself just how beautiful the backdrop of eco-travel truly is.
3) Sail Down the Slopes
With loads of ski resorts beckoning visitors during winter months, it’s easy to find a world-class slope, no matter your skill level. From Whistler Mountain to Sun Peaks, designated trails mean you can get your thrills without impeding on untouched terrain. You can even conquer challenging backcountry routes without disturbing the environment. In places like the Canadian Rockies, off-piste terrain includes a lot of wide open expanse where it’s easy to leave no trace.
4) Take a Stab at Ice Climbing
Rock climbers have a new favourite pastime, and it’s called ice climbing. Maybe you’re new to adventure sporting—that’s OK! In the Canadian Rockies, certified instructors are available to show you the ropes (quite literally). Spend a full day learning how to scale sheets of frozen H20, or start with a half-day excursion. In any case, you’re bound to make some cool memories.
5) Practice Your Ice Skating
It’s not as easy as Brian Orser made it look, but ice skating is a fun pastime for all ages. Even if it’s been a while since you strapped on your trusty blades and hit the ice, you can still show off your artistry at the Rideau Canal. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has 8 km of ice beginning in January. Given its designated purpose as the largest skating rink in the country, you won’t be disturbing any natural habitats when you shred your way across the ice.
Looks like it’s time to crawl into your warmest duds and start exploring! Don’t forget to charge your phone… just kidding. Switch it off. Unplug everything and just enjoy what nature has in store!