Tips & Articles
When people think of time at the cottage, their mind usually jumps to lounging on the beach or going hiking. However, for those with winterized cottages, there is a whole other world of fun awaiting them during wintertime. Here are five outdoor activities to try this winter at the cottage.
Public skating in arenas can be a drag because it is often so busy. However, with a lake, you can have lots of space to do your thing (or hobble around on weak ankles) without bothering anyone. However, it is important to make sure the ice is sufficiently thick before venturing out.
Don’t have a lake nearby? Another great way to get some outdoor skating in during the winter is via nature trails. An increasing number of communities are maintaining ice skating trails, and lovers of winter activity across Canada are taking to them with enthusiasm.
One of the go-to winter sports, skiing is a wonderful physical activity whether you do downhill at a resort or cross country at your cottage. With both of these styles, it is a good idea to take some lessons before venturing out for safety. Also, if the trails in your area are not marked with degrees of difficulty, do some research to determine if your current skill set is appropriate.
You don’t get more traditionally Canadian during the winter months than snowshoeing. It is wise to invest in a good quality pair of snowshoes and, if you plan to venture very far, carry along a basic repair kit in case your shoes or poles get damaged. In order to help everyone manage the physical aspects of this activity, take turns as the person who first “breaks” the snow. This packs it down, providing an easier surface for the rest in your party. Also, avoid the groomed tracks cross country skiers use.
Here is another old school mode of transport during the frigid months. Some areas offer you the chance to travel using seasoned dog sled teams under the guidance of a professional driver or guide. This can be quite fun, but if your trip is going to be for more than about 20 to 30 minutes, you might want to spend
part of it running alongside the team. Sitting in the same spot during those winter winds can leave you feeling quite cold.
The guide oversees the trip and must be the only one to shout commands to the dogs. Also, be sure to follow everything they say for the sake of safety and to get maximum enjoyment from your experience.
Are there any dedicated anglers among your family and friends? Ice fishing is a way for them to continue their passion for a few more months each year. Ice safety is even more important here as you will be further out on the lake (and further away from assistance) than if you are skating. Newcomers to this pastime should not venture out alone. See if there are any ice fishing devotees or clubs in the area.