1-647-400-7116info@ballantynebuilds.com | Builder Licence Number B60830
Things to Do in the Muskokas This Winter

Things to Do in the Muskokas This Winter

Often hailed as Canada's cottage country paradise, Muskoka doesn't hang up its charms as the temperatures drop. While many associate the region with sunlit lake swims and lazy summer afternoons, the colder months bring their own mesmerizing allure. From the shimmering frost-kissed forests to the serenity of snow-blanketed landscapes, Muskoka in winter is a magical realm waiting to be explored. Join us as we glide through the myriad of activities that make this region a must-visit, proving once again that Muskoka is not just a summer haven but a year-round wonderland.

Ballantyne’s Favourite Winter Activities in Muskoka

Arrowhead Ice Skating Trail

One of the most enchanting things to do in Muskoka during the winter is gliding along the Arrowhead Ice Skating Trail.  This trail offers visitors a unique skating experience surrounded by snow-covered trees, providing an ethereal winter wonderland feeling. Frequented by both locals and tourists alike, it serves as a testament that Muskoka is a worthy winter destination. Before heading out, check the local weather and trail conditions to ensure a safe and memorable skating adventure.


Snowmobiling is not just another winter activity in Muskoka; it's a team favourite at Ballantyne Builds. As you zip through the powdery snow across Muskoka's vast landscapes, you'll quickly understand why it's one of the top Muskoka winter activities. For families or individuals looking for places to visit in Muskoka that offer exhilarating experiences, several local businesses such as Muskoka Wild, Muskoka Stay N Play Tours, and Backcountry Tours provide snowmobile rentals and guided tours. 

Christmas Markets

A visit to Muskoka during the festive season would be incomplete without wandering through its vibrant Christmas Markets. These markets, a quintessential part of Muskoka winter activities, encapsulate the charm and warmth of the holidays. Stroll through the bustling stalls adorned with twinkling lights and find an array of handcrafted gifts, artisanal foods, and unique trinkets. It's one of the perfect things to do in Muskoka in winter for families, offering a delightful atmosphere, festive tunes, and the irresistible scent of seasonal treats. 

Winter Campfires

While summer campfires often get the spotlight, there's a unique charm to winter campfires that's undeniably Muskoka. Gathering around a roaring fire with neighbours, friends, and loved ones, sipping on warm drinks, and sharing stories, all while ensconced in a snowy backdrop, epitomizes things to do in the winter in Muskoka. The best part might just be the absence of those pesky bugs!


Snowshoeing is a serene way to explore Muskoka's pristine winter landscapes. Whether you're trekking through snow-covered forests or alongside frozen lakes, this activity offers a unique blend of exercise and tranquility. It's an ideal thing to do in Muskoka in winter for those wanting to connect deeply with nature. The crunch of the snow underfoot, the muffled stillness of the woods, and the crisp winter air come together to create an almost meditative experience. Local adventure outlets, sporting goods stores, and many resorts offer snowshoe rentals, ensuring both visitors and residents can enjoy this delightful Muskoka winter activity. 

Cross Country Skiing

For those seeking a more dynamic winter workout, cross country skiing in Muskoka is a must-try. The region boasts a plethora of trails that cater to both novices and seasoned skiers. As you glide through snow-laden trails, the rhythmic motion combined with Muskoka's breathtaking winter vistas makes for an invigorating adventure. This Muskoka activity not only provides a fantastic cardiovascular workout but also allows participants to immerse themselves in the peaceful beauty of the region during its frosty months. 


When you think of quintessential family winter activities in Muskoka, sledding undoubtedly tops the list. This exhilarating activity allows you to relive childhood memories while creating new ones with your family. Muskoka's varied terrains offer an assortment of slopes, perfect for every age and skill level. The thrill of zooming down snow-covered hills, the laughter shared, and the inevitable snowball fights make this a must-do Muskoka winter activity. And when you’re done? Warm up with a cup of hot cocoa. 

Ice Fishing

There's something inherently Canadian about sitting on a frozen lake, surrounded by the stillness of winter, waiting for that tug on the line. Ice fishing is more than just a pastime in Muskoka; it's a cherished tradition. Ice fishing attracts both locals and visitors alike. It's not merely about the catch; it's about bonding with friends and family, sharing stories, and embracing the slower pace of life that winter often brings. And, when you feel that nibble, the excitement is palpable.

Open Horse Sleigh Rides

One of the most enchanting things to do in Muskoka in winter is to indulge in an open horse sleigh ride. The jingling of sleigh bells, combined with the mesmerizing winter landscape of Muskoka, creates a fairytale-like experience. Wrapped in warm blankets, with snowflakes gently falling, these rides are perfect for couples seeking a romantic outing or families wanting to create memorable moments. 

Downhill Skiing

Muskoka isn't just about the tranquil offerings; adrenaline seekers will find their winter haven here too. Downhill skiing is among the top Muskoka activities that beckon adventure enthusiasts. Explore Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area for an experience suitable for beginners to experts. With meticulously groomed slopes and state-of-the-art facilities, skiers can carve their way through powdery snow while basking in panoramic vistas. 

Muskoka Winter Carnivals

A lively testament to Muskoka's community spirit, winter carnivals have been long-standing traditions in the region. One of the standout events is the Bracebridge Fire & Ice Festival, typically held in January. This unique festival combines a downtown tube run with a cozy winter village, fireworks, and an ice sculpture competition. It's an experience where visitors can enjoy both the fiery passion of festivities and the icy beauty of winter artistry. The Gravenhurst Winter Carnival is another cherished event, known for its legendary "Polar Bear Dip" in the icy waters, alongside snowmobile drag races, pancake breakfasts, and interactive winter games. These carnivals encapsulate the heart of Muskoka winter activities, making them indispensable for anyone seeking to experience the true essence of winter in the region.

Ice Climbing Adventure

For the adrenaline seekers looking for something a little off the beaten path, ice climbing in Muskoka is a thrilling endeavour. The area's natural rock formations turn into icy terrains, offering enthusiasts a fantastic playground. Liv Outside and Muskoka Mountainworks provide guided ice climbing trips, ensuring a safe yet exhilarating experience. 

Explore Winter Waterfalls

Muskoka's waterfalls, which are splendid sights during the warmer months, transform into mystical frozen wonders during winter. These icy spectacles become an attraction unto themselves. The region offers several waterfalls that are accessible during the winter months, and they present a unique experience for nature enthusiasts.

Considering a cottaging experience that opens up your options for the splendour of the seasons? Let Ballantyne Builds craft your perfect Muskoka haven to serve as your home base.


Cost Guide: Building a Custom Cottage in Muskoka Version A