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Arguably one of the healthiest outdoor recreation activities on the planet, cross-country skiing gets every muscle moving and heart beats up. To add some extra adrenaline to your usual ski days, consider participating in one of many Nordic events in the Explorer’s Edge region of Ontario, where skiers of all ages and levels are welcome. (It’s a perfect cross-training activity for cyclists as well, while you wait for the roads to dry up in spring.)
Here are just some of the cool Nordic events taking place this winter:
Arrowhead’s exceptional trails will also provide the venue for this popular all-classic (no skate-skiing) competition, hosted by the Arrowhead Nordic Ski Club. All ages and levels of ability are welcome, so bring the whole family. Register for a 5, 15 or 30 kilometre race, then enjoy hot chocolate and camaraderie afterwards. The top three finishers in each race win prizes. Lunch is included.
(Just in case you’re not too tired after your race, bring your skates to enjoy Arrowhead’s awesome Ice Skating Trail. You can also rent recently-built cabins in the park for overnight camping.)
For Arrowhead’s full winter trail map, click here.
Whether you’re a recreational skier, general fitness fan or serious racer, The Sounder Tour Nordic ski event in Parry Sound is the perfect day to give competition a go. Georgian Nordic has 30 km of well-groomed trails winding through lush, snow-laden forest, and will host 2, 3, 5, 11 and 22 km races in both classic and skate skiing. All ages are welcome and there will be prize tables for kids as well as adults. Tasty soup, fresh bagels and warming hot chocolate are provided to all participants. See Georgian’s trail map here.
The Rotary Club of Parry Sound and Georgian Nordic are teaming up to present a wonderful social ski and/or snowshoe event that supports your fellow skiers: all proceeds go to Georgian’s youth programs. Beginners, enjoy the 5 km Whistler Trail ski. Intermediate skiers, you’ll love the 11 km Silver Star or the 17 km Mt. Tremblant. And you hardcore skiers – who can do at least 5 km in 35 minutes – can challenge yourselves to rock it on the 25 km Ground Grouse. Classic or skate on all races, your choice. There’s also a 7 km fat bike course, and a 3-4 km course for snowshoers. Refreshments and snacks are provided.
Not into a competitive event but want to try more Nordic trails this season? Click here for a list of places to visit and where you can rent. Area accommodations may also have both trails and equipment: be sure to inquire when you book. And check out some great dining establishments in the region, where you can enjoy an apres-ski.
To plan your visit to the region, visit ExplorersEdge.ca.
Guest Blogger: Karen Wehrstein
A resident of Muskoka, Karen Wehrstein is a freelance writer and published novelist whose work has appeared in the National Post, Montreal Gazette, as well as Muskoka Magazine, What’s Up Muskoka and other regional publications. She lives on thirty acres of beautiful forest near Lake of Bays.