Follow the Leader: Guided Winter Nature Tours Just North of Toronto

Interested in trying something new this winter? Guided nature tours are the perfect way to experience a completely different activity with a little help from the experts.

Strap on some snowshoes or skis, follow wildlife tracks, listen for animal calls and absorb the stunning scenery that surrounds you. Here are some ideas to get you started on your – new – outdoor winter adventure in the great Canadian wilderness north of Toronto.

Photo Credit: Algonquin Outfitters


Find Your Wild wants you to get outside and play. Led by outdoor educator Jamie Honderich, the company’s Snowshoe Safari tour can be held onsite at their property in Huntsville or can take you into Algonquin Park to explore the forest through the eyes of a wildlife researcher.

Follow animal tracks while enjoying the peace and quiet of your surroundings and, after your tour, warm up with a cup of wild harvested tea and relax in their onsite sauna (pictured left). They also offer an A B Ski tour in Algonquin if you’re interested in trying a backcountry ski adventure with some off-trail exploration included.

Algonquin Adventure Tours specializes in guided canoe tripping in the summer months, then takes guests out on snowshoes and skis when the snow arrives. Both seasonal tours are booked for private groups only and can be customized to be as mild or intensive as you wish. You’ll be given an orientation on your equipment, and then head out to learn about local ecology, natural history, and wilderness skills. A hot beverage and gourmet lunch from Henrietta’s Pine Bakery is included in your tour.

Algonquin Outfitters also offers a Guided Snowshoe Safari tour in Algonquin Park, led by a guide who will take you to wetland and shoreline habitats of local wildlife, and share personal stories and examples from research on wolves and other species living here.

Explore the ecology of the onsite trail system at Liv Outside in Bracebridge as your guide leads you through the woods on their 120 acre property. Their Guided Day Adventure includes your snowshoes, instruction with guide and winter trail pass. And if you need other gear to keep you comfy and cozy, you can rent that here too. Looking to up the ante a bit? Why not check out their Ice Climbing Tours too!

You can also explore the less-traveled east side of Algonquin Park near Whitney guided by Steve Dunsford, wildlife photographer and owner of Impressions of Algonquin and The Mad Musher. He’ll take you out in search of local wildlife to photograph, stopping along the way at some natural and historical landmarks to learn a bit of the history of Algonquin Provincial Park. You’ll be guided on snowshoes to a winter waterfall, and will end your tour with a hot lunch back in Whitney.

If you’re interested in expanding your experience to include an overnight stay, check out the Algonquin Park Winter Adventures offered by Voyageur Quest. With an assortment of accommodations to choose from, culinary add-on options and outdoor adventure galore, there is something for everyone here.

You can also tour the woods by dogsled with North Ridge Ranch in Huntsville, and Snow Forest Adventures, which runs trips in Algonquin Park.

Photo Credit: Voyageur Quest


If you live in the GTA and don’t drive, you can still access the great Canadian wilderness just north of Toronto by joining one of the great travel services that guide here. Travelling Chicken offers trips year-round, and during the winter months offers a dog sledding and snow tubing day trip that includes a guided adventure with Sugardogs Adventure Company in Sundridge, led by owner Ed Schmidt and his beautiful dogs. What a way to experience the beautiful Almaguin Highlands of Ontario!

Parkbus – Canada’s bus to the great outdoors – also runs routes to Algonquin Park in the winter months. Check back here for dates to be announced soon and to book your seat.

Have you taken a guided winter tour you loved that we’ve missed in our list? Let us know at [email protected]

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