Winter Getaways in Algoma Country

Winter is just another season of adventure

Updated: By Heather Bot

With an average snowfall of 10 feet, the region makes for the perfect winter vacation destination for those that love this season. If you’ve never had a ‘snow’ vacation in Ontario before, Algoma is the perfect place to experience why it’s just so much fun to play in the snow.

Winter Adventure Starts Here

Who are you travelling with? Algoma’s winter adventures are family-friendly, some great for those with little ones, and others that are suited for families with older or adult children. If you’ve got a close group of friends you love to travel with, you can find places to stay that can accommodate various group sizes.

Stay and Ski or Snowboard

Photo credit: Martin Lortz

Hands down, Algoma is a great destination for downhill skiing and snowboarding. The region is home to Searchmont Resort, an alpine gem with an impressive 703-foot vertical drop featuring 26 runs and 6 lifts. The second largest ski hill is Mount Dufour in Elliot Lake, offering a 320-foot vertical drop and located close to downtown. And if you have the experience, you can backcountry ski through maple forest with lots of POW.

Find all downhill skiing and snowboarding in the region

Exploring by Snowshoe or Cross Country Ski

Photo credit: Virgil Knapp

As a region best known for its greenery and vibrant fall colours, you may think that winter would dull the landscapes and senses. And you would be wrong. Winter transforms the landscape making it a whole new place to explore. With no leaves on the trees, views are wide open so you’re able to truly see the rugged rocky Canadian Shield. You may even get a chance to see frozen waterfalls. The silence of winter is usually only broken by the sound of winter birds and wildlife, or the soft sound of water running in a hidden creek. Two popular trail systems are Stokely Creek and Hiawatha Highlands.

There are many trail systems in Algoma Country, most in or near cities and towns. View All Ski Trails in Algoma

You can also find guided interpretive snowshoe tours that will equip you and teach you about the history and culture of the land.

The Winter Cottage in the Woods

Photo credit: Martin Lortz

What Hallmark movies are made of. Is there a better way to enjoy the ambiance of a Canadian winter than in a cottage in the woods? The region has cottage resort experiences nestled in a winter wonderland with self-catering kitchens where you cook your own meals and some that have an on-site restaurant. Cottages are usually a stone’s throw away from frozen lakes for ice fishing. Bring your cross-country skis or snowshoes to explore the landscape and watch for winter wildlife by looking for tracks in the snow. Relax in hot tubs or saunas; bring your ice skates because some cottage resorts build rinks on the lake. Kids large or small, young, and old love tobogganing down a hill, and building snow forts and snowmen. Winter is also one of the best times of year to stargaze and look for the Northern Lights.

Algoma North

Algoma East

A True Northern Experience Starts With Ice Fishing

Photo credit: Martin Lortz

An experience that you can build a whole vacation around. Ice fishing is fun, it’s family-friendly, and a great way to spend time with friends. And what’s different about ice fishing in Algoma, is that you’re more likely to have a wide-open lake all to yourself, not a village of ice huts. Lake trout, walleye and northern pike are some of our favourite species to catch. Bring your snowmobile, pack a lunch then access dozens of secluded fishing spots.

For those new to ice angling, there are fishing guide services that can take you out and teach you, providing the gear that you may not have.

An Urban Winter Getaway

Photo credit: Martin Lortz

How do you enjoy winter in the city? It’s easy when you’re that close to nature. The region’s cities and towns are mere steps away from Mother Nature’s kitchen, so it’s easy to plan where to stay, what to do, and how you’re getting there.

The largest urban centre, Sault Ste. Marie offers a plethora of winter adventures immersing you in the outdoors all day, then bringing you back to relax, unwind, and thaw out. You can fat bike, snowshoe, ice skate and ski. The city has a burgeoning food and drink scene, and local attractions so that you learn more about the history of the city and the North.

The Sled Adventure

Photo credit: Martin Lortz

With over 2,000 miles of groomed trail, Algoma is a sledder’s paradise. Snowmobile trails are carved through the rugged landscape of the Canadian Shield so you can expect lots of wilderness and remote riding. There’s little traffic on the trails, lots of friendly faces and sled-friendly businesses. The reason has some long-haul trips that can be planned for 5 days or more and weekend rides if you’re looking for a short getaway.

  • The North Shore Loop – Perfect for Weekend Warriors looking for big miles with close connections to communities and amenities.
  • All the Way There – This ride takes you to a legendary snowmobile haven and incredible sledding with famous places like Wawa, Sault Ste. Marie, Dubreuilville, White River, Hornepayne, Chapleau and Hearst.
  • Soo Highlands Snow Tour – The region’s newest tour, this 169-km day loop is the perfect balance of riding in the rugged wilderness and urban amenities at the end of the day.

Plan to Sled Algoma

Winter Can Be Fun for Everyone

Be sure to remember a few things:

  • Always dress warmly when you go out and in layers. It’s easier to remove items when you get too warm than it is to add them.
  • Invest in a really good pair of winter boots. No one likes having cold feet. Throw in a pair of wool socks, too!
  • Be prepared. It’s always a good idea to have an emergency kit in your car.
  • If you’re out snowshoeing, be sure to pack some emergency supplies like food and water.

Getting to Algoma Country

Travel by Car

Travel distances that may apply to you:

  • Toronto to Sault Ste. Marie (687 km, approx. 7 hours)
  • Detroit, Michigan to Sault Ste. Marie (347 miles, approx. 5 hours to the International Bridge)
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan to Sault Ste. Marie (288 miles, approx. 3.5 hours)

Travel by Air

If you’re travelling by air:

Fly into the Sault Ste. Marie Airport by Air Canada, Porter Airlines and Bearskin Airlines, and charter services. Car rentals and taxi/limo services are available at the airport.


About Heather Bot

I'm a member of the Algoma Country Travel staff. I hope my blogs entice you to visit the beautiful region that I call home.

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