Family Day – Get Outside and Enjoy Winter
by Mathew Koprash
The long weekend is here! There is so much to do in the winter months and many people don’t take advantage of it, instead waiting around for sunny skies, green grass, and sandy shores. What’s wrong with the long underwear, thermal socks, a favourite hoody, and grandma’s homemade mittens to keep you warm on a crisp winters day? Absolutely nothing!!!
Northeastern Ontario is an amazing place to live and it’s important to enjoy what we often take for granted. This includes our reliable snow-covered winters, frozen lakes, groomed trails and many mountains and trails to ski or board on. Embrace it this family day weekend and get your kids, cousins, parents, aunts and uncles together to enjoy all the fun around us.
Some of my fondest memories growing up were at the local ski hill doing countless runs, and only coming in when I was either exhausted or my cheeks were frozen. It has been a great winter, providing an early base for many hills in the region that have only accumulated more fresh snow over the last few weeks. This is a great weekend to plan a getaway or a day trip to either get back out or try something new. Almost all hills offer rentals and are more than willing to help you make the best of your day.
The Northeastern region is home to the following ski hills:
- Antoine Mountain – Mattawa
- Laurentian Hill – North Bay
- Kamiskotia – Timmins
- Lively Ski Hill – Lively
- Adanac Ski Hill – Sudbury
Feeling the Need for Speed?
For the fuel driven families make sure to give your snowmobile a once over, check all your gear is dried out as the trails are in great shape. Your long weekend will be filled with the rev of engines, high octane fumes, epic scenery, warm drinks and dessert at one of the many destinations along your travels. The trails are green across the entire region and the groomers and local clubs will be in full force so that you have the best trails of the season. Be sure to respect the trails and other riders as there will likely be higher volumes than your normal weekend.
Don’t commit yourself to single day trips since many lodges and outfitters are happy to host you for the night with a warm supper and breakfast. The region is filled with many diamonds in the rough and, who knows, you may find your new favourite snowmobile destination! Timmins and Cochrane all the way to Hearst offer fantastic trails often left for those with the desire to travel and adventure. The more common routes include the Greater Sudbury Area, North Bay/Nipissing and Temagami sets of trails with many stops and hang outs along the way! Load up your sleds and hit the highway this long weekend before hitting the trails—the views are breath taking and I would hate for you to miss out on any of them!
Free Family Fishing Weekend
If you read my write ups you likely know that I have a passion for chasing anything that swims and I can be found on the hard water this long weekend. I highly suggest that you do the same. The timing couldn’t be better as the province has lifted the license regulations from February 18-20, 2017 so everyone can enjoy the many lakes across our great province! For those of you who have not spent much time on the ice here are some excellent tips to help you out.
I highly suggest these for the Lake Nipissing area if you’re in search of the amazing perch fishery that roams beneath the ice. The bite is on across the north shore and the number of huts out there aren’t sitting around doing nothing. For those in other areas of this great region ask your fishing friends to take you out or head to the old family hot spot.
Some towns offer some great events to get the whole family involved including:
- Timmins Fur Council 6th Annual Kids’ Fishing Derby – Timmins
- Ice Fishing for the Cure – North Bay
- Manitouwadge Outdoor Enthusiasts Annual Family Fish Derby – Manitouwadge
- Lake Laurentian Conservation Area Friends and Family Ice Fishing Day – City of Greater Sudbury
I don’t think there is much else that I can do to help you have the best Family Day weekend around so put a plan in motion, get your gear packed and head out into the Northeastern region’s wilderness and enjoy yourself! Your whole family will thank you and look back on how much fun you could have during the winter months. This could lead to a weekend activity that last the whole winter and makes it fly by. Dress warm, live in the moment, be open for new adventures and most importantly enjoy your time surrounded by those you love, Happy Family Day to each of you!