Sometimes we don’t all have limitless vacation days or funds to travel internationally, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun in your own backyard. Huntsville is a great area in Ontario, Canada to visit in the wintertime. It’s the largest town in the Muskoka Region that is famous for its cottaging in the summer. It’s located about 2.5 hours from Toronto and is full of winter activities to satisfy that travel bug without going too far away.
I’ve compiled all the details to make for the perfect winter weekend below.
Where to Stay
Your best option is to opt for an Airbnb in the area. Airbnb’s are hard to come by in Huntsville in the summer season but there are plenty to book for the winter when less people are thinking about winter vacays in their own backyard. Here are some great Airbnb’s in the area you can stay at:
- The Chalet House (I stayed here last winter and it was absolutely beautiful. So perfect for a little ski or winter vacay)
- Muskoka Family Cottage
- Chic Hidden Valley Chalet
- Hidden Valley’s Hidden Treasure
If staying in an Airbnb isn’t something that appeals to you, there is also Deerhurst Resort that has been serving the area for over 100 years or Hidden Valley Resort located at the local ski hill.
What to Do
I love just sitting by an indoor, wood burning fireplace in the winter with a good book, but not everyone likes doing that so here are some active, winter activities you can add to your itinerary for the weekend:
Provincial Parks: Head to Arrowhead or Algonquin Park for some winter fun. Both of these provincial parks have a ton of great activities both in the winter and summer. Algonquin Park is a bit further of a drive, but definitely worth it. Arrowhead is more centrally located to Huntsville if you don’t want to drive anymore. Between these two parks you can do things like:
- Cross-country ski
- Fat biking
*Arrowhead has a great ice skating trail that was actually recently named one of the most stunning natural ice skating trails in the world. They also host Fire & Ice nights where you can skate along a beautifully lit up trail under the stars.
Dog Sledding: If you want to go dog sledding, you can look into places like North Ridge Ranch.
Skiing or Snowboarding: Head to Hidden Valley to get in your ski or snowboard fix. Rentals and ski school are also available at this hill.
Hiking: Bundle up and head out for a winter hike in one of the provincial parks mentioned above or at Limberlost Forest if you don’t want to pay for a park pass. All Trails can be a great app to find trails at your level in the area.
If you’re like me and don’t get out much for winter activities, you likely don’t have winter gear like snowshoes or cross-country skis. That’s where Algonquin Outfitters come in handy in the area. With several locations around the area, including one right in Huntsville. You can rent just about everything here like skis, and snowshoes in the winter, and kayaks and canoes in the summer. You can rent by the hour, day, or for multiple days if you are staying for longer.
What to Eat
When I was in Huntsville last winter it was actually when restaurants were closed due to lockdown. However, there are a lot of great local restaurants to support and eat at in the area. Here are some to consider:
Huntsville Brewhouse (Local beer & pub food)
The Mill On Main (Pub Food)
The Artisan House (Mediterranean-inspired)
Main St. Local Kitchen (Pub food & breakfast)
3 Guys And a Stove (Mixture of everything)
The Little Place By The Lights (Homecooked Italian cuisine)
You can plan a great mini getaway in Huntsville in the wintertime. I know winter isn’t for everyone, but I do find that it can be a bit more enjoyable when you’re surrounded by snow and you have a plethora of winter activities to partake in. Like I said, even if you aren’t into the cold outdoors, you can just curl up next to the fire and let the snow fall from indoors.
What are your top things to do in the Huntsville area? Share below in the comments!