Icy shoreline at sunset

First Day Hike destinations

New Year’s Day is coming up fast — have you picked out a park for your First Day Hike on January 1, 2023?

This 10-park list rounds up some hot spots for your first foray into 2023:

Northern Ontario

Killarney Provincial Park

Killarney George Lake winter

Killarney’s iconic wilderness looks even more beautiful when blanketed in snow. The park’s hiking trails take on a whole new character as snowshoe trails in winter.

Join a guided hike all about which of Killarney’s critter brave the cold, head south for the winter, or sleep the day away, hosted by park staff! Meet outside the Main Gate at 2:00 p.m.

Reserve your permit online!

Killarney is 1 hour south of Sudbury, and 4 hours north of Toronto.

Near north

Algonquin Provincial Park

Forested trail in the winter

Algonquin offers just as much for visitors in the winter as it does in the summer!

Check out these cool events Algonquin is hosting on January 1:

Story on the Trail (km 42.5) — self-guided hike

Come check out the self-guided Story on the Trail!

The story of Billy the Beaver is for families with young children.

You’ll find out all about Billy and his friends that live in Algonquin’s bogs!

Located on the Spruce Bog Boardwalk (the trail is 1.3 km, flat and rated as “easy”), panels of the story will be posted along the trail to read with your family.

This self-guided hike is available December 28 – January 3.

Winter Hike in the Airfield — guided hike

Join Peter on the First Day Hike of 2023 looking for winter birds and other signs of wildlife.

Meet at the Old Railway Bike Trail parking lot at 1:30 p.m., 1 km South (or 2nd left) on Mew Lake Campground Road (at km 30.6).

Reserve your permit online!

Algonquin is 3.5 hours from Toronto or Ottawa.

Arrowhead Provincial Park

Arrowhead in winter

Arrowhead’s winter offerings are well-known across Ontario — and for good reason! When the snow flies it is truly a winter wonderland and it’s the perfect place to spend the day adventuring.

Reserve your permit online!

Arrowhead is located just north of Huntsville and is 3-4 hours from Toronto and Ottawa.

Southern Ontario

Frontenac Provincial Park

Shrub with red berries in winter

Winter is a great time to enjoy Frontenac! Visitors to the park can enjoy the network of over 100 km of hiking trails year-round. The trail network boasts short loops for beginners, as well as 20 km+ routes for the seasoned adventurer.

The park office will be open for winter adventurers to get warm!

Reserve your permit online!

Frontenac is located less than 1 hour from Kingston and 2 hours from Ottawa.

Bronte Creek Provincial Park

Two people hiking in a winter forest

Winter is a great time to explore Bronte Creek! This park offers a full day of winter adventures and is only a short drive from the heart of Toronto. In addition to their trails which are perfect for a winter hike or snowshoe, there are 5 km of cross-country ski trails that loop throughout the park.

Forest Therapy with Soul Nurterer

This two-hour event will give you a taste of the practice and allow you to experience the physical and emotional benefits that nature has to offer.

The forest has gifts to share if we slow down and drop in to receive them.

Nature and forest therapy, often called forest bathing, is inspired by the Japanese practice called Shinrin-yoku.

This practice helps us reconnect to our place among all things. In a time when our lives are overwhelming and over-stimulating, this subtle practice grounds us and brings us to a place of balance and connection.

Meet at 9:00 a.m. at the green shelter in the Burloak day use area.

Reserve your permit online!

Bronte Creek is located in Oakville and is less than 1 hour from the heart of Toronto, and 1.5 hours from London. 

Pinery Provincial Park

sun setting behind tree

Delight in the breathtaking beauty of a snow-covered Oak Savanna at Pinery! With biking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and skating, you’ll have an action-packed January 1!

Join naturalists at 3:00 p.m. on Cedar Trail to kick off the new year with a guided hike!

Pinery is on the shores of Lake Huron, just 1 hour from London and 3 hours from Toronto.

Rondeau Provincial Park

couple hiking with dog in snow

A great way to start the new year is to get out into the fresh air and experience something new!

On the Tulip Tree Trail you’ll find gorgeous Carolinian habitat as you explore path and boardwalk through unique habitats.

To add to your experience, Rondeau has teamed up with the Caldwell First Nation to bring you a “Storywalk,” a self-guided story that unfolds throughout the trail as you come across each page at a different stop.

The story follows Rainey and Mkinaak as they explore the trail and connect what they see to their culture while using Anishinaabemowin-Ojibwe language.

Only 1.2 km of gently sloping trail with boardwalks, this First Day Hike is perfect for the whole family and available all day long!

Rondeau is 3 hours from Toronto and 1.5 hours from London.

Murphys Point Provincial Park

River in winter

With over 20 km of hiking trails and groomed cross-country ski trails in the winter, Murphys Point is a perfect First Day Hike destination. This provincial park has a great mix of wildlife habitats, including forest, wetland, old fields, and three lakes!

Join Chief Park Naturalist Samantha for an easy to moderate New Year’s Day hike from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m at the main winter parking lot. It’ll be fun for the whole family, including your leashed pets.

Let’s get those New Year’s resolutions off to a great start!

Murphys Point is 1 hour from both Kingston and Ottawa, and 4 hours from Toronto.

Wasaga Beach Provincial Park

person snowshoeing

Enjoy free day use for snowshoeing and skiing and a discounted rental equipment rate at Wasaga Beach on January 1!

Pick up a self-guided hike pamphlet from the Nordic Chalet that can be used on any trail. The activity takes from 1-2 hours to complete.

Wasaga’s Nordic Chalet will be offering free hot chocolate to First Day Hike visitors.

Wasaga Beach is just 40 minutes from Barrie and 2 hours from Toronto.

Stay safe

Always remember to give yourself enough time to complete the trail before dark. Check the starting time and length of the trail before you start — if you don’t think you have enough time, don’t start! Winter temperatures can be very cold, and even colder overnight.

Avoid frozen bodies of water and do not go onto the ice. Ice conditions can be unpredictable. And — of course — dress for the weather.