Located three hours from Toronto, Killbear Provincial Park is an iconic summer vacation destination for many Ontarians.
Now those who love Killbear can visit the park when it’s cloaked in white!
Here are 5 reasons you need to make a winter trip:
1. A familiar landscape transformed!
If you love Killbear and Georgian Bay in the summer, you’ll love it in the winter! Snow and ice transforms the park’s landscapes into something completely new.
Landscape and nature photographers will find a whole new world to explore in the winter at Killbear. Visit your favourite summertime places in the park and get winter selfies!
2. Lots to do with plenty of snow
Killbear and the Parry Sound area get a lot of snow in the winter, so if you like winter activities outdoors, this is the place for you!
Cross country skiing
The park has 17 km of cross-country ski trails that are groomed and track-set for classic style skiing.
If you prefer skate skiing (a.k.a. freestyle xc skiing), there are 4.7 km of groomed trails available too!
There are 13 km of snowshoe trails at Killbear, many of them following your favourite summer hiking trails.
Explore them all and get some Vitamin N (that’s “Vitamin Nature”)!
Snowshoeing is something anyone can do, so if you aren’t a cross-country skier, you can explore the park just by walking!
The trails can be hiked too, but it really depends on snow depths – it’s much easier and you’ll go further with snowshoes. Packing hiking poles will make your trek even easier.
“Fatbiking? What’s that?” They’re like mountain bikes, but with really big tires that make it easier to ride in snow!
The park has 12.7 km of park roads that are groomed for fatbiking.
Need more trails?
If Killbear’s trails aren’t enough for you, the Georgian Nordic Ski Club also has 30 km of well-groomed trails. Fill your weekend or week skiing, snowshoeing, and fatbiking!
You can keep up to date with the snow conditions at Killbear by checking the Snow Report.
Remember to keep off track-set ski trails if you’re hiking or snowshoeing!
3. Easy winter camping
Experience everything Killbear has to offer and stay over for a few nights!
There’s no need to slog through deep snow or toboggan your equipment into your campsite.
The park road and campsites are ploughed so you can drive right into your electric site to set up your tent, trailer, or RV.
The Beaver Dams Campground’s comfort station is winterized, offering flush toilets, hot showers, and laundry facilities.
Winter campfires are great, and there’s nothing like sipping your hot chocolate by the fire or melting a s’more over the flames in the winter.
4. Stunning dark skies
Winter is a time for stargazing, and the early darkness means you can check out the night sky while you’re still awake!
Killbear is a great spot for stargazing with no bright city lights around to hide the stars. Check out our eyes on the skies series to see what’s visible in the night skies.
Why not try some winter night photography while you’re at it?
5. Winter wildlife watching
Spotting wildlife is a lot easier in winter!
Most animals are elusive and hard to see in the lush, green forests of Killbear.
But in the winter, tree leaves are gone, the snow blankets the ground in white, and winter residents often leave trails in the snow that visitors can find.
Squirrels, mice, grouse, weasels, and even deer leave their own signature tracks in the snow in the park.
Keep an eye out for winter-resident owls and eagles too!
Planning your visit
Killbear is open for camping through the winter, from the first weekend after New Year’s to the end of the March Break.
There are 32 electric campsites available in the Beaver Dams Campground for overnight camping.
Please remember: park visitors require a valid permit for day use, even in the winter.
Day use permits and seasonal permits are available for purchase at the park office upon arrival.
Visiting more than once this winter?
Consider buying an Ontario Parks seasonal permit!
The 2023/24 Winter Day-Use Vehicle Permit is valid until March 31, 2024.