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Ski and Snowshoe the Trails of Northumberland County

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Northumberland County, one hour east of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) has 19 places where you can cross-country ski or snowshoe. Below are five favourite trail locations. More trail and travel information (including where to eat and where to stay) is found on the Northumberland web site. An Outdoor Adventure Map showing trail locations can also be downloaded from the site.

Northumberland County Forest
This forest's trails are for cross-country skiers only from December to March. Seven loops range from a 1.6km loop for young families to a 13.3 km loop if you're looking for a good work out. The loops are not groomed but they are well-signed and traveled. Dogs are not permitted. The trailhead is located on Beagle Club Road off of Highway 45, north of Cobourg.

Ganaraska Forest
Ganaraska Forest, Southern Ontario's largest, has hundreds of kilometres of trails, including many along the ecologically-sensitive Oak Ridges Moraine. A new Ganaraska Forest Centre serves as a focal point for visitors to the eastern portion of the moraine. The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) organizes special events from it throughout the year. A GRCA day pass is required to participate. Details are on the conservation authority's web site.

Presqu'ile Provincial Park
Winter bird watching on Lake Ontario is excellent at Presqu'ile Provincial Park. Recent sightings include a Bald eagle, a Barred Owl, several Snowy owls, a flock of Snow Buntings and Canvas-Back ducks (to name a few). Although Presqu'ile's sixteen kilometres of trails are not groomed or track set, they are still popular with cross-country skiers and snowshoe enthusiasts. Or take a winter walk along Presqu'ile Beach. Besides birds, you may see a mini water volcano eruption. Spotting these is winter park pastime. A daily Ontario Parks vehicle permit is required.

Ferris Provincial Park
Cross the Ranney Gorge Suspension bridge to access the trails at Ferris Provincial Park near Campbellford. Each designated cross-country ski and snow shoe trail is five kilometres long. The trails are maintained by Friends of Ferris Provincial Park. A Daily Vehicle Permit is required.

Peter's Woods
Snowshoe the last surviving Old Growth Forest on the Oak Ridges Moraine. Peter's Woods is an Ontario Park Reserve and one of Northumberland County's Unique 100 Experiences.

For the latest on things to see and do east of the GTA, visit Northumberland County's Twitter sites @Northumberlandt, @EastofGTA, and on Facebook. The Northumberland County Tourism web site is also a good information source.

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