Snowshoeing has been gaining popularity in Ontario, especially so in 2020 and 2021. It’s easy to learn and is a great workout suitable for the whole family. With so much time being spent indoors, it’s one of the few activities we can still do outside while practicing safe distancing.

Here are a number of trails close to Barrie (or in Barrie!) suitable for a day of snowshoeing!

Midhurst Trail

Distance from Barrie: 5 minutes
Location: Access the trail from the County of Simcoe Admin Centre parking lot (north-west corner)

This is an 8.4 kilometer moderately trafficked loop trail located off Highway 26 in Springwater, Ontario,  that features a river and is good for all skill levels. You may even catch a glimpse of the huge train trestle bridge that crosses the river on one of the side routes.

Blueberry Trail

Distance from Barrie: 35 Minutes
Location: 101 Blueberry Trail, Wasaga Beach (Nordic Trail Centre for Rentals/Passes)

With over 30 km of trail, Blueberry trail is an excellent spot for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. There is a Nordic Trail Centre where you can purchase a day pass, rent equipment, and get information. You can also enter the trail with your own equipment off Veterans Road without needing a pass.

Copeland Forest

Distance from Barrie: 15 Minutes
Location: Many access points throughout Horseshoe and Oro. Take highway 400 north of Barrie, Exit 121 and turning east onto Highway 93 towards Craighurst. Follow the signs. 

The Copeland forest is full or lush undergrowth, towering old pines, unusual wildflowers and ferns, and, of course, hectares of maples, oaks, beeches, birches and evergreens. There is an extensive trail system throughout the forest with trails ranging from 2-13km. Do your research prior to going, it’s easy to get turned around with the many intersecting trails.

Friday Harbour

Distance from Barrie: 15 Minutes
Location: Nest Club House, Winter Outdoor Adventure Centre

A 4.7 kilometer loop trail that features a great forest setting and is good for all skill levels. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Tiffin Centre for Conservation

Distance from Barrie: 15 Minutes
Location: 8195 8th Line, Utopia, ON L0M 1T0

17 kms of looped trails that meander through a mixture of wetlands, forests, open meadows and ancient lake beds. Parking is $10 per vehicle making it an affordable day trip for families with their own snowshoeing equipment.

Fort Willow Trail

Distance from Barrie: 10 Minutes
Location: Grenfel Rd, Near Portage Trail (Search Historic Fort Willow on Google Maps)

Fort Willow Loop Trail is a 4.8 kilometer loop trail located near Springwater, Ontario, Canada that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The portion best suited for snowshoeing is 0.5 km, however you can make a day of your visit and check out the historic fort.

Ardagh Bluffs

Distance from Barrie: In Barrie
Location: 159 Summerset Dr, Barrie, ON L4N 6H2

Although there are no designated snowshoeing trails, you can “create your own adventure” at the Ardagh bluffs as you make your way through this beautiful forest. There are over 17km of trails, but you may find yourself going off trail and exploring the nooks of this forest as the main trails may be packed due to it being a popular local attraction.

Mayer’s Marsh Snowshoe Trail

Distance from Barrie: 5 Minutes
Location: Vespra Valley Road (44°25’39.4″N 79°48’21.5″W) Small parking lot located at Trans Canada Trail (view map)

The trail follows the “wiggling” Willow Creek as it meanders through the internationally significant Minesing Wetlands. Spanning more than 15,000 acres, the Minesing’s unique assemblage of fens, marshes, swamps and bogs supports a network of sensitive flora and fauna, some rare or endangered. This trail can be made into a loop by using the OFSC snowmobile trail back to Vespa Valley Road, however this may not be the safest route due to snowmobile traffic.

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