Old man winter won’t keep us inside

From playing hockey to snowshoeing, there are many ways to experience the great outdoors around Kingston this winter

Students playing hockey at one of Kingston’s several outdoor skating rinks last winter.
Students playing hockey at one of Kingston’s several outdoor skating rinks last winter.
Credit: 
Journal file photo

Ice Skating

Skating is a fun way to work your leg muscles and burn up to 200 calories an hour. Victoria Park and City Park skating rinks are open on weekends and during the evenings on weekdays. Springer Market Square downtown is open all day until 10 p.m. seven days a week, starting in December once temperatures drop below freezing.

Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area features Kingston’s largest natural skating rink on its reservoir. They also have warm up facilities and a bonfire pit nearby. They have rental skates available for $5.32 a day.

Running

Just because there’s snow on the ground doesn’t mean you have to halt your running routine this season. There’s no such thing as bad weather—just bad clothes. Layer up and make sure to keep in heat by wearing a toque, hat, and gloves. Wear running shoes, trail runners, or ice cleats and make sure to be mindful of your footing. Stay safe while running by rescheduling your run on a day with freezing rain or temperatures lower than minus 10.

Hiking

Discover the natural beauty of Frontenac County in one of Kingston’s beautiful parks during the snowy season by bundling up and going for a hike. Be sure to wear warm, waterproof boots. Enjoy the scenery and get great exercise by exploring the trails in the Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area. Located two kilometres north of the 401 on Division St., the park is open from 7:30 a.m. until dusk, and the entry fee is $4.50 for adults. Nearby Frontenac Provincial Park features 11 trails that vary from1.5 to 21 kilometres long. A daily vehicle permit costs $10 to $18, whereas a walk-in visitor ticket is $2. The park is about a 30 minute drive from campus, located in Sydenham.

Snowshoeing

Mix up your hiking routine and increase your distances by trying out snowshoes. Bring your snowshoes to any of the parks mentioned above. Depending on conditions and terrain, you can burn up to 500 calories an hour while snowshoeing. Trailhead located on Princess St. offers snowshoe rentals for $15 per day. The outdoor Centre at Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area also offers rentals for only $5.32 for the day. The centre is open from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Cross-Country Skiing

The most popular winter sport after downhill skiing, cross country skiing is great exercise. Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area and Frontenac Provincial park reserve 11 kilometres and 12 kilometres of cross-country skiing trails, respectively. Cross-country skis are available for rent at the Outdoor Centre of the Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area for $12.40 a day, as well as at Trailhead for $20 per day.

Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding

Kingston may not have any mountains in sight, but indoor-weary skiers and boarders can still hit the slopes this winter. Starting the first Sunday in January, Sepp’s Skis and Snowboards on Montreal St. offers the Calabogie Peaks Resort Getaway. Every Sunday the store picks up from the K.C.V.I. parking lot behind Stauffer Library at 7 a.m., returning at 7 p.m.. The price includes transportation and lift tickets. The price this year has yet to be determined, but they’re hoping to keep it close to last year’s price of $55. It’s about a two hour drive, and sign-up takes place at the store in advance.

For $30 a day, you can rent skis boots and poles, or a snowboard, boots and bindings. A smaller ski hill can be found just outside of Trenton, at the Batawa Ski Hill where day passes for students go for $15 on weekdays, $28 on weekends.

Hockey

Make your exercise social and fun by playing Canada’s favourite winter sport. Stop by any of the outdoors rinks with a group of friends or book some ice time. The private skating at the Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area can be rented for private functions.

For detailed addresses, operation hours and contact information, see queensjournal.ca

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