Hitting The Slopes In Ontario

December 11, 2013

As temperatures start to plummet and winter storms drape Ontario in a blanket of white, winter sports enthusiasts have one thing on their mind – Hitting the Slopes!


From Blue Mountain to Mount St. Louis Moonstone to Calabogie Peaks, Ontario’s charming mountain resorts provide the perfect escape for some winter fun. Their close proximity to Toronto make it easier and more affordable than ever to enjoy some downhill skiing, snowboarding and cross-country skiing for a day, weekend or week.
But before you pack-up your winter gear and take off to the slopes, there are a few things you should consider before booking your holiday: How steep are the hills? How many ski lifts are there? Are there instructors on hand to provide lessons? Is snowboarding allowed? Are the slopes equipped for late night skiing? Do they have scenic routes for cross-country skiing? Are there runs for both beginner and advanced skiers? Is the resort equipped to make snow? Take the time to think about what you’re looking for in your ski vacation and then look into Ontario’s many ski resorts to see which best meets your needs.
Though steep hills, trails, ski lifts and ideal snow conditions are definitely important factors, it’s not just the snow and elevation that matter. Often, the experience you have off the slopes is just as enjoyable or important as the one you have on. After all, everyone appreciates a friendly smile from the bartender who serves you that first drink after a long day on the slopes; a delicious meal by a roaring fire; the warmth and hospitality that greet you upon returning to your hotel; great hotel amenities; a relaxing spa treatment; or treating yourself to some shopping. It is a combination of experiences that together help make your experience a memorable one.
Whether you are an intermediate downhill skier, a snowboarder, a cross-country enthusiast, a snow tuber, or simply a beginner, Ontario’s great ski resorts offer something for everyone to get away and have some fun this winter. 

Two hours north of Toronto in the picturesque village of Collingwood sits BLUE MOUNTAIN, Ontario’s largest mountain resort with a 720 foot vertical drop, 36 trails and 14 lifts to enjoy the scenic views over the Niagara Escarpment. Blue Mountain’s three freestyle zones, including the Terrain Park, deliver the full range of features, from super-pipes to beginner rails. Skiers can also enjoy night time skiing on their 22 lit trails. If you’re not a sports enthusiast but want to get away, enjoy the slopes village filled with great restaurants and shopping boutiques similar to those of Mont Tremblant and Whistler. There are also two distinctly different spas to pamper you; the newly renovated Kolala Boutique & Spa, and the award-winning Scandinavian Spa. With something for everyone, Blue Mountain is the perfect place to melt away your winter days. BlueMountain.ca
Founded over 49 years ago by Austrian Alpine skier Josl Huter, MOUNT ST. LOUIS MOONSTONE is a ski enthusiasts dream with 40 well-kept slopes, 9 chairlifts and 3 carpets. It is one of the largest family owned ski resorts in Ontario and is located just north of Barrie in Ontario’s snow belt region. A family friendly resort, Mount St. Louis Moonstone will accommodate everyone, from first time skier to the most advanced. Though it doesn’t offer night accommodations there are many wonderful places nearby where you can stay. Whether you want to enjoy a day, weekend or week in the snow, Mount St. Louis awaits you. MountStLouis.com

Just 45 minutes west of Ottawa you will find CALABOGIE PEAKS, a great alpine and cross-country ski resort. Though it may not share the fame of Blue Mountain, Calabogie boasts the highest vertical drop in Ontario at 780 feet long and the region’s longest green trail. In addition to that it also features 22 trails, two quads, and a lift. Snowboarding is also allowed on all runs. Whether you visit for the weekend, a snowboard break or a week long ski holiday you’ll enjoy your stay at Calabogie Peaks, Ontario’s leading mountain lakefront resort. CalabogiePeaks.com

A world of adventure awaits you at Southern Ontario’s HORSESHOE RESORT, located in a natural snow belt one hour north of Toronto off highway 400. This mid-sized ski resort features downhill skiing, snowboarding and 35kms of Nordic ski trails for both beginner and advanced-level skiers. The entire mountain is equipped for night skiing as well. Best of all, after hitting the slopes you can treat your tired muscles to some rest and relaxation at the resort’s Shizen Spa. Go and celebrate 50 years of winter fun at Horseshoe Resort. HorseshoeResort.com

Popular among Torontonians for its close proximity to the city, HOCKLEY VALLEY is a great choice for a weekend getaway. It is only 45 minutes from Toronto and includes 3 surface lifts, 2 quads, 14 trails for downhill skiing and snowboarding, a skating rink, and a half pipe. Cross-country skiers can also enjoy the property’s scenic trails. There’s also a luxurious European-inspired spa to pamper your every need. Next time you’re in the mood to enjoy some last minute winter fun, consider a visit to Hockley Valley. Hockley.com

Look for this article in the new issue of Whatever Vaughan Magazine

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