Winter Fun in Burlington
When Bing Crosby sang about a winter wonderland, I doubt he envisioned the frigid temperatures and snow storms of late… the good news is that for those that enjoy the frosty fun of winter, we should be back to normal soon! Which means it’s the perfect time to visit Burlington and enjoy all the outdoor activities and snow sports in and around the region.
The trails of the Royal Botanical Gardens offer a great opportunity to explore the local habitat and they are also a great place for winter bird watching. For those looking for a more structured visit consider the free (donations welcome) Get Back to Nature guided walks Sundays from 2 to 3:30 p.m.. Starting locations vary by week so be sure to check out page 5 of the online program guide for details.
Conservation Halton parks have an extensive trail system which includes Crawford Lake 19 km – Crawford Trail map; Hilton Falls 16 km – Hilton Falls Trail Guide; Mountsberg 16 km – Mountsberg Trail Map; Mount Nemo 5 km – Mount Nemo Trail Guide and Rattlesnake Point 10 km – Rattlesnake Point Trail Guide. Plus many of the parks offer other activites so be sure to visit their website and make a day of it.
Don’t forget Bronte Creek Provincial Park, with a number of trails suitable for a range of hiking abilities, this is a great location for a hike then stay and play. Stop by the playbarn and children’s farm or bring along your sled and do some toboganning or lace up and skate on their giant outdoor rink.
Hitting the Slopes
There is nothing like fresh power and with six lifts, 15 slopes, three terrain park runs and a snow tubing park, Glen Eden is your destination for winter excitement. Located just north of Burlington in Halton Region, this Conservation Park is open 7 days a week and is open until 9:30pm nightly. Ski and snowboard rentals are available and if you are new to the sport or a beginner consider the Discovery Package that includes your lift tickets, lesson and equipment. And always remember as the season extends, just because the grass is green in your backyard doesn’t mean that Glen Eden doesn’t have snow, just visit their website for the latest conditions.
Strap on your snowshoes and get ready to explore (plus get a great workout at the same time)! Explore the trails of Bronte Creek Provincial Park or Conservation Halton’s Mountsberg or Crawford Lake. If you are new to showshoeing Crawford Lake offers snowshoe rentals and there are guided moonlit hikes held throughout the season.
Cross Country Skiing
If you prefer your skiing a little less vertical then you will be pleased to know that there are plenty of trails for cross country skiing in the area. Bronte Creek Provincial Park has miles of trails and lots of birds and wildlife to view along the way. Crawford Lake, Rattlesnake Point, Hilton Falls* (*rentals available) and Mountsberg Conservation Areas all offer unique trails and sights for skiers. The Arboretum is a nice place to ski at Royal Botanical Gardens but be sure not to venture to the other nature trails as they are not suitable for this use.
Nothing is more Canadian than outdoor skating. Well maybe maple syrup (that’s coming in March!). One great advantage to living in the great white north is to glide along the ice as your breath hangs in the air then sitting rinkside and warming up with a thermos of hot chocolate. This winter be sure to visit the waterfront in Burlington to enjoy a skate at Rotary Centennial Pond. The rink is open daily 10am – 10pm (conditions permitting) and the best part – it’s FREE!
Visitors to Bronte Creek Provincial Park will have a great time skating on their giant outdoor rink. If you don’t have equipment, no worries – Bronte Creek has skate rentals available for both adults and children Seasonal beverages can be purchased in the park store for a post-skate warm up.
Remember in just a few short month’s we will all be complaining how hot it is so be sure to get out and experience winter fun in Burlington.