Winter may bring the shortest days of the year in Northeastern Ontario, but that’s all the more reason to get outside and make the most of it. North Bay visitors and locals know this just as well as anyone.
“There’s as much, or more to do in North Bay in the winter as there is any other season. There is no such thing as bad weather; you just need to dress for the conditions,” says Steve Dreany, Tourism North Bay’s Director. “You still need sunscreen, just not as much—and you don’t need insect repellent.”
Sounds good to us! Here’s our list of five great ways to keep busy and active in North Bay this winter.
You’ll get one of the best views in North Bay just minutes from the downtown core at Laurentian Ski Hill’s 350-foot vertical. Adult full day lift tickets at Laurentian Ski Hill are a steal at $40 per person, with special pricing for groups, students, families, multi-passes… you get the idea.
For an additional $15, you can use the terrain park–for the entire day! From mini-rails to a 30-foot shotgun rail and a brand new Hubba Tube, you’re going to love the terrain park. Bonus: the park has its own dedicated lift, so there’s no walking or waiting.
If you’re the parent or guardian of a young skier or snowboarder, you’ll be happy to learn about Snow School. Lessons are available in both the conventional slopes and terrain park, as well as specific Christmas and March Break learning camps.
It’s not just about downhill. If you prefer to keep it “on the level,” North Bay has an impressive range of groomed cross-country trails and snowshoe paths to keep forest explorers occupied all season long. Fat bikers are welcome, too!
Rent snowshoes or skis from the North Bay Nordic Ski Club and explore a range of trails of varying levels of difficulty, winding through a mixed forest and snowscape. Not the only game in town, you can also rent snowshoes at Laurentian Ski Hill and explore trail systems such as Laurier Woods, Discovery Routes, the Laurentian Escarpmentand more.
Sound like your speed? Click here to visit our article on where to find non-motorized trails and gear rentals in North Bay!
Enjoying the season doesn’t just have to be about what you can do outside. If you’re looking to switch it up, you’ll be keen to discover that North Bay has a vibrant local shopping, food, and drink scene.
With over 90 stores, the Northgate Shopping Centre is your go-to for fashion, footware, electronics and more, all in one easily accessible location off of Highway 11/17. For a more boutique experience, head downtown for independent shops, restaurants, art galleries, bookshops, and more.
Shopping works up an appetite, so consider your options for dining as North Bay has a host of locally owned restaurants serving up great dishes. On Lakeshore Drive, a popular side-by-side duo is the White Owl Bistro, with an emphasis on farm-to-table fare; and Churchill’s, a North Bay staple specializing in prime rib. Downtown, visit Cecil’s Brewhouse and Pub for juicy burgers and pub fare, the Cedar Tree for Lebanese, and the nearby North Star Diner for vegan eats.
Not to be outdone by the restaurant scene, North Bay has local favourites for beverages including Twiggs, a locally-owned and North Bay original coffee roaster chain, and New Ontario Brewing, North Bay’s first craft brewery.
Go For A Rip
Welcome to District 11—home of the North Bay Snowmobilers Club and some top-notch sledding opportunities.
With connections to major trail branches A and D, as well as several sub-branches and the Ride Around Nipissing tour, North Bay acts as a central hub and gateway for anyone looking to trailer up from Southern Ontario and ride in any direction.
For the most up-to-date information on where to find premium fuel, trail conditions, staging locations, the Live Groomers tracker and more, visit the North Bay Snowmobilers Club. Chances are good you’ll also run into some like-minded snowmobilers!
Go Out On The Lake
That’s Lake Nipissing to you! One of Ontario’s largest lakes, Lake Nipissing is a fixture in North Bay that defines the community and provides visitors and locals alike with endless ways to get outside, summer or winter.
Lake Nipissing was a historical trading route of the Nbisiing (Nipissing) people, and later to voyageurs, coureurs de bois, and pretty much anyone else who came along during the summer months. Today, we are fortunate to no longer be restricted by the seasons.
The lake has become a hub for anyone looking to ice fish, snowmobile, or photograph Lake Nipissing’s iconic pastel-coloured skies at the end of a long day during the cooler months. Adventurous visitors have even been known to unfurl a snow kite on the frozen surface of the lake!