The Natural Ice-Skating Trails That Dot Canadian Forests

Natural ice-skating trails meander magically through the forests of Canada, making it a perfect place for a great escape. Skaters who are bored with skating around in circles on artificial rinks can launch themselves through the countryside without the risk of bumping into anyone. The trails are open as long as weather permits, and the bonus is that there are plenty of dog-friendly paths. Whatever trail you pick, you’re sure to have a good time.


One such natural trail is Patinage en ForĂȘt — “Skating in the Forest” — in Ottawa. The 1.8-mile trail is open 7 days a week, from 9 a.m. until sunset, weather permitting. A daily pass to the ice trail costs $18 for adults and $14 for children 6-17.

Another popular trail is Domaine Enchanteur — “Enchanting Domain” — located in Quebec. The site is dog friendly, and guests are promised the chance to see reindeer along the path. Tickets are priced at $24 for adults and $17 for children 5-12. Those under 4 are admitted free.

Located just 30 minutes from Ottawa is River Oak Skating Trail, a 1.8-mile trail surrounded by forestry. Visitors can rent equipment on-site, and there’s even an outdoor ice drink where visitors can play hockey. The site is open Thursday to Sunday, with tickets ranging from $19 for adults to $15 for seniors and children.

Finally, there’s Arrowhead Provincial Park in Ontario. The 1.8-mile trail winds through the Muskoka Forest, with activities from snowshoeing to skiing. Visitors are advised to book well in advance, as equipment is available to rent on a first come, first served basis. Snowshoes and ice skates are priced at $15 for 3 hours, while a full day of skiing will cost adults $32 and children $25.