Canadian Winter That I Love

I often get asked and even teased about winter in Canada alluding that it's apparently brutal cold, lasts for more than a half year and...

I often get asked and even teased about winter in Canada alluding that it's apparently brutal cold, lasts for more than a half year and that I can't probably wait to see it go. Well, I have to disappoint those who say so - it's not that bad, especially in Southern Ontario. After all, there is no such thing as bad weather, you may not be well dressed for it. But there are those special winter days when everything surrounding you is transforming in a winter wonderland. And I particularly love those days and would never trade them for tropical beaches, rain forests or other places where there is no white winter.

What's supposed to be a cross country skiing at Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre north of Barrie, Ontario turned out to be a walking on fresh snow.
And I didn't mind at all as I could take my time enjoying what meteorologists call a 'snow storm' when they put a large red warning sign on a website with weather forecast.
The ski trails obviously weren't groomed as the snow was falling before we came, while we were at the park and after we left. And although your skis can barely slide on the fresh snow, it's so much fun to make your own ski trail or follow the one that has just been cut before you. If you don't have your own equipment (like us), you can rent a full set at the park for $15 a day which is comparable price wise to nearby Wasaga Nordic and Trail Centre.
8 km / 5 miles - this is how much we accomplished on that day. Under ideal winter conditions, the park maintains over 25 km of ski trails with difficulty levels from novice to advanced, but it does not matter with fresh snow as your skis will most certainly get stuck regardless of the slope grade.

Fir and pine trees dressed in snow and a sound of snow flakes touching your coat were priceless and served a good reason to go to the park.
But cross country skiing and snowshoeing (yes, the park has a plenty of trails and rentals too) weren't the only attraction at Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre. In late 1980s, the park began reintroduction of Trumpeter swans that lived there 200 years ago and were almost extinct due to overhunting. Now up to 60 swans enjoy living at Wye River Valley, their historical habitat.
Although Trumpeter swans can be spotted at the park year around, the best time to see them up close is during winter months. A nice bonus for those who come to the park for cross country skiing and snowshoeing. Guess why are they called 'trumpeter swans' or find out by yourself at the park!

When to go for skiing
Weather permitting, so make sure you check their Current Trail Conditions Report  

From Toronto: take Highway ON-400 to Oro-Medonte, take exit 121 on Highway ON-93 and drive it for 30 km / 18 miles before turning right at Highway ON-12. Continue on Highway ON-12 for 2 km / 1.2 miles and turn right at the park's sign.
Address: 16160 Highway 12 East, Midland, ON

Additional Information
For additional information visit Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre's official website.

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