With so many wooded and well-maintained trails, Mississauga has no shortage of hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing opportunities.
It’s no secret that Canadians love winter—in fact, the way we Canucks embrace the cold is an important part of our nation’s identity. Still, as winter’s chill drags on our enthusiasm may wane and finding activities to keep the family occupied can become challenging.
Don’t let the cold keep you cooped up inside when there is no shortage of local outdoor activities to enjoy in the fresh air. Bundle up, pack a thermos of hot chocolate, and try some of our suggestions. We promise you’ll soon reclaim your winter enthusiasm!
Tobogganing and Tubing
Grab your GT racers, sleds, or toboggans and hit the hills with the family this winter. Every kid loves the risky rush of a toboggan ride, the thrill of careening down the hill, and even the occasional—softly landed—wipeout. As adults, it takes us back to a simpler time and allows us to embrace our inner child. Mississauga has some wonderful sledding options like Erindale Park in the centre of the city, Birchwood Park aka “Kentucky Hill”, and Brookmede Park.
If you are willing to travel further afield, Mount Chinguacousy has an inner tube park for the bigger kids, open January to March. They even offer evening riding and birthday parties—totally tubular!
Remember to stay safe and avoid hills that are steep, icy, or near roadways, and to keep an eye out for other sledders below.
Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face – Victor Hugo
Skating in the open air is one of the most quintessentially Canadian experiences there is. If you don’t have the time or inclination to create and maintain your own backyard rink, don’t fret—Mississauga’s outdoor skating rinks are open to the public and some offer free admission. Perhaps the best known is the big Celebration Square ice rink. Located in the heart of Mississauga you can glide beneath their twinkling lights from the end of November until the end of March. There are also two other outdoor artificial ice rinks maintained by the city at Burnhamthorpe Park and Woodhurst Heights Park.
Searching for a truly authentic outdoor skating experience? In Etobicoke you’ll find a figure eight shaped ice-skating trail at Colonel Samuel Smith Park. Here in Mississauga, many communities arrange their own neighbourhood rinks, with the boards, huts, and shovels provided by the city and the ice maintained by local volunteers. Find one close to you and get a friendly game of shinny started!
Winter hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing
With so many wooded and well-maintained trails, Mississauga has no shortage of hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing opportunities. The Credit Valley Conservation Area has trails in the Terra Cotta area with varying terrain through woodlands and bush that serve beginner and advanced cross-country skiers. New to the sport or maybe hoping to improve your technique? They offer cross-country ski rentals and lessons with certified instructors for children and adults.
Lake Wabukayne, Lake Aquitaine, Rattray Marsh, Winston Churchill, Indian Road, and Lisgar Meadow Brook trails all have hiking, snowshoeing, or cross-country ski trails that are maintained and accessible in winter. No matter if you are looking for a strenuous ski or a leisurely hike, our city has options in all areas.
Whether you are a ski or snowboard enthusiast, making the most of winter means getting out on the slopes and hitting some fresh powder. Thankfully we don’t have to travel far to enjoy a day on the hill, since Mississauga has three options under an hour’s drive from the city. Embrace the downhill thrill at Caledon, Glen Eden, or Mount Chinguacousy ski clubs. They offer day passes, season passes, and lessons for all ages on hills of varying difficulty. With on-site rentals, these family friendly clubs make day-tripping to the slopes an easy option. Cozy up in the chalet for après ski and enjoy a hot chocolate or cider after a day of playing in the snow.
Stop dreaming about warmer climates this season and make the most of winter’s playground. Dress in warm layers and enjoy the many benefits of getting the family outdoors skiing, skating, sledding, or hiking.
By Kristen Psihogios
Skate on the Square
Credit Valley Conservation
Caledon Ski Club