Georgian Bay’s Top 5 Nordic Ski Clubs

You won’t find a better workout than nordic, or cross-country skiing—or a better way to explore the woodlands of the south Georgian Bay region.


Photo courtesy OTMPC

The rare dune topography of Wasaga Beach Provincial Park is the 800-hectare backdrop to 30km of groomed ski trails plus an 8km skate-skiing trail winding through a bayside forest of oaks and towering pines. The Nordic Centre is equipped with a snack bar, a fireplace, and rentals. Expert skiers can challenge themselves on the High Dunes Trail while beginner skiers can choose the more leisurely Blueberry Trail. Includes outback ski shelters.

A volunteer association manages this 50km network of trails in the vast, hilly, and thickly forested Kolapore Uplands (20km southwest of Collingwood). The trails are not machine-groomed but Kolapore attracts so many hardcore skiers that someone usually makes tracks by 9am on a typical morning. People have lost their way in Kolapore before, so we recommend investing in a trail map—check website for details. Maps also available at Ravenna Country Market, in Collingwood at Little Ed’s Bike & Ski Shop, and at the Kimberley General Store.

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Scenic Caves sits up at the perfect elevation for reliable snow conditions. Glide along 27km of nordic ski trails through mature forest, groomed daily for both classic and skate styles. Trails are ideal for recreational skiers, well marked and rated by level of difficulty. The property includes 10km of snowshoe trails winding through the forest and across a 420’ suspension bridge with views over the Bay. You can also ski at night or reserve a guided night snowshoe. Equipment rentals, waxing facilities, warm-up chalet and lessons available.

This is more than an impressive collection of ski trails high on the Escarpment. Their Highlands Outdoor Education Centre, known as HOEC, offers programs for all elementary grades. They also offer programming for adults, including a Masters for the serious nordic aficionado. The facility boasts 24km of both classic and skate ski trails (groomed extra-wide) and 7km of snowshoe trails. The 8000 sq.ft. lodge complete with cafeteria, meeting rooms, pro-shop, and rentals.

Sawmill is located off Highway 6 between Shallow Lake and Hepworth offers gentle loops for beginners and challenging hills for experts with a total of 11km of ski trails groomed for both classic and skate, plus 5km of snowshoe trails. The trails flow through rolling land, sheltered by towering stands of hardwood and evergreen. All ski trails are marked by level of difficulty—easy, moderate or difficult. Sawmill is often used by clubs and schools for ski races and practice. Other key features: illuminated loop for skiing at night; heated ski hut open every day during daylight hours.