Whether you’re a winter warrior, a skeptical snow bunny, or game to keep it chill, we’ve got your winter guide to outside. When you’re ready to come out of hibernation and get out and play, Hamilton Halton Brant has a flurry of adventures to choose from. From skiing to ice fishing and snowshoeing to winter walks, we’ve rated our experiences so you can find the best way to do winter your way. No matter which adventure you choose, smile – it’s snowing!
Best Activities for Winter Warriors
If you like your winter with a side of adventure and want to spend a solid amount of time braving the elements, try these snowy pursuits:
Snowshoe at Our Conservation Areas
Step up your hiking game and try snowshoeing instead – it’s a great way to enjoy the trails at local conservation areas.
Winter wanderers will love snowshoeing at Pinehurst Lake, Crawford Lake, Mountsberg, Hilton Falls, Christie Lake, Valens Lake, Terra Cotta, and Dundas Valley conservation areas. Please note that rental programs have been suspended for this season, and advance reservations will be required at Conservation Halton parks.
Downhill or Snowboard at Glen Eden
Fantastic downhill skiing and snowboarding on the Niagara Escarpment awaits at Milton’s Glen Eden. The park opened for skiing on February 16. Reservations with an email address are mandatory and can be made up to five days in advance here.
Located on the Niagara Escarpment facing north, Glen Eden is privy to colder nights early in the season. This microclimate, coupled with new snowmaking gun technology, helps the Ski Centre cover the slopes with snow, even in mild temperatures. Their slopes offer ski and snowboard rentals, group and private lessons, six lifts, 12 runs, and three terrain parks with 5- to 35-foot jumps plus rails and boxes ranging from small ride-on features to air on double kink handrails.
Climb a Frozen Waterfall
This winter, for the first time in several, it’s actually cold enough to scale the 60-foot ice climbing routes at Tiffany Falls. Climbing Tiffany Falls is only permitted when the experience is booked through our partner, One Axe Pursuits.
Best for Those Who Want to Keep It Chill
If you prefer a moderate activity level and to take your winter with a side of fun and beautiful scenery, these experiences help you embrace the snowy side you never knew you had:
Take a Hike in the Grand River Valley
Head out on a nature interpretive adventure during a guided winter hike through the Grand River Valley.
Your knowledgeable Guide will lead you to amazing sites and sounds that could include a rare bald eagle nest, a large Blue Heron Rookery or hearing an Osprey scream in an unspoiled nature reserve. With its Heritage designation, the Grand is rich in First Nations and early settler history that your Guide will be thrilled to share with you.
Get Winteractive at RBG
Pull on those long johns and head to Royal Botanical Gardens‘ Hendrie Park for a fun range of displays and activities that celebrate the magic of winter. Through interactive components and activities, you’ll experience the sights, smells, sounds and science of winter and learn about the animals and plants that make the gardens and natural lands their home. Admission to WinterActive is included with general admission. Beginning March 1, WinterActive will expand into the historic Rock Garden.
In addition to WinterActive fun, visitors to RBG can explore the rest of the park’s 27 kilometres of nature trails and four main trailheads throughout RBG’s nature. You can create your own route and self-guided tour with resources including downloadable maps, trail conditions information, and a user guide.
Go Cross-country on Escarpment Trails
Conservation areas in Hamilton Halton Brant offer cross-country skiers amazing access to Niagara Escarpment trails during the winter months.
Valens Lake, Christie Lake, Pinehurst Lake, Terra Cotta, Hilton Falls, and Mountsberg conservation areas all boast between 10-16 kilometres of trails. Cross-country ski equipment rentals have been suspended for the season. Reservations are required to access Conservation Halton’s parks.
Other trail options in the region include the 32-km Brantford to Hamilton Rail Trail, a frosty favourite of avid cross country skiers, or for those looking for a shorter ski, the SC Johnson Trail, which runs 14 kilometres between Paris and Brantford.
Strap on Your Skates at an Outdoor Rink
We’ve got plenty of venues where you can get outside to “sharpen” those skating skills.
Experience Hamilton’s waterfront at the Pier 8 Hamilton Waterfront Outdoor Rink, where you can warm up with a hot drink from the snack bar. A maximum of ten skaters are allowed on the ice at a time, and there are ten scheduled skating sessions over the course of the day. Reservations are not available, and skating is first come, first served. Skate rentals are available.
Another waterside option is Burlington’s Discovery Landing, where the 10,000 square-foot Rotary Centennial Pond offers recreational ice-skating on an artificial ice surface. Advance registration and Covid screening is required.
Drop a Line in a Frozen Lake
Don’t save the fun of fishing for summer!
Ice fishers can head to Valens Lake, Binbrook, Fifty Point or Pinehurst Lake conservation areas to sink their line. Fish for northern pike, black crappie, bluegill, pumpkinseed, and yellow perch at Valens Lake, for perch, pike and brown trout at Fifty Point, and bluegill and black crappie on a frozen 23-acre kettle lake at Pinehurst.