The harsh Canadian weather is here to stay for a few months, so instead of staying inside and hibernating this winter, why not get out and try a new activity or enjoy an old one. There is something for everyone; so don't worry if you've never done winter activities before. Talk to your family and friends, find out what they want to do and get out and enjoy the winter wonderland together.
Before we get to the good stuff; a few tips for staying safe and enjoying your winter activities:
- Always dress warm and in layers before going outside. Remember you lose a lot of your body heat through your melon, so throw on a hat before heading out.
- Make sure someone knows where you are going to be and for how long you plan on being there.
- Stay away from ponds or rivers. They may look frozen, but chances are the ice is not thick enough to support your body weight. If you are visiting any of the conservation areas or Brantford Parks and Recreation locations follow their instructions regarding ice and water safety.
- In the cold air it's easy to forget that you can still get dehydrated and sunburned. Don't forget to pack a water bottle and apply some sunscreen.
Snowshoeing is a great way to enjoy all that nature has to offer in the winter months. It's a bit harder than walking and allows you to stay on top of the snow, rather than sink down waist deep in the fluffy white stuff. If you have your own equipment you can try your skills out at any of these locations:
GORDON GLAVES MEMORIAL PATHWAY (40km):
Most sections of the trail run along the Grand River. Part of the trail on the east side of the river also forms part of the Trans Canada Trail, linking Brantford to both Hamilton and Cambridge.
CAMBRIDGE to PARIS RAIL TRAIL (18.7km):
This trail along the original packed gravel railbed follows the Grand River between Paris and Cambridge.
HAMILTON-JERSEYVILLE-BRANTFORD RAIL TRAIL (32km):
The original section between West Hamilton and Jerseyville, along the Dundas Valley, has been extended west to Brantford. Both trails are part of the Grand River Conservation Authority
For more information on snowshoeing trails visit http://www.canadatrails.ca/
If you're trying snowshoeing for the first time, call ahead to these locations and look into renting some equipment.
Provides snow shoe rentals for groups. Call ahead to book times.
308 Robinson Road, RR 4
Brantford, ON N3T 5L7
Phone: (519) 752-0655
Provides snow shoe rentals. Call ahead to book times.
468 Pinehurst Rd., RR 3
Ayr, ON N0B 1E0
Phone: (519) 442-4721
District Civic Centre
69-79 Market Street South
Phone: (519) 752 - 6541
Burford Arena &
Community Centre Ice Skating Rink
Drive, Burford, ON
Lions Park Arena
Edge & Gilkison Street
Phone: (519) 759 - 6120
South Dumfries Arena
7 Charles St., St. George, ON
Syl Apps Community
51 William St., Paris, ON
254 North Park Street
Phone: (519) 756 - 9900
Brantford Parks and Recreation maintains many outdoor rinks throughout the winter. Visit their website to see a full listing of rink locations, as well as rules for using the rinks.
In Brant County
The County of Brant maintains the following outdoor rinks:
Sunny Hill Park
Sunnyside Dr., St.
Contact: Ken Gaukel, Facility & Parks Manager
Dumfries Community Centre
Mt. Pleasant, ON
Contact: Tom Pierce, Optimist Club
For additional information please contact Parks &
Recreation at 519-442-6324 or visit www.brant.ca
national pastime definitely deserves a spot on the winter fun list. Whether you're into competing or just looking
to have some fun these organizations can meet your needs. Check out their websites and see what they
have to offer.
Brantford Minor Hockey Association - Offers a
wide range of rep teams for all age groups. Also has a recreational league for various age groups with no body
Brantford Girls Hockey Association - Has rep
teams as well as an active house league. http://www.bgha.ca/
Minor Hockey Association - Has rep teams for all age categories. http://www.burfordminorhockey.com/
Whether you're an all star skier or snowboarder or just
adventurous and willing to give it a shot, the following locations have
something to offer everyone. Call ahead
to find out about fees, rentals and lessons.
or snowboard deck
- Wrist guards & kneepads
- Make sure you have proper
training, and don't try tricks beyond your ability.
- Always wear protective
equipment, including a helmet specifically designed for skiing and
snowboarding, and wrist guards and knee pads.
- Warm up before going on the
- Dress in layers, to control
how hot or cold you get. Wear warm, close-fitting, waterproof clothing;
loose clothing can get tangled up.
- Never go on the slopes alone.
Make sure someone is there to help you if you get hurt.
- If you are a beginner, take
lessons. Developing the right technique is very important
- If you are tired, take a
break. Fatigue can lead to injury
Broom ball -
played the same as hockey except instead of a puck and sticks use a rubber ball
(big soft spongy one like those used for dodgeball) and brooms. Mark your goal posts and start with 6 players
per team. You do not need skates to play
this game. Lace up your shoes and give
it a go!
Ice bowling -
Make 10 bowling "pins" by filling empty pop bottles with water and letting them
freeze over night. Similarly, make a
bowling "ball" by filling up a juice jug and letting it freeze. Set the pins up on the ice like a regular
Mark a starting line about 10 paces from the front pin. Each player stands behind this line and takes
turns trying to knock down as many pins as they can by rolling the juice jug
along the ice.
Ice Train - Form
a line with each person holding on to the hips of the person in front of
them. Place the strongest skaters at the
head and tail of the line as the head has to pull the train and the tail gets
whipped around the most. Start skating
and see how long everyone in the line can hold on!
Last Updated ( Thursday, 21 April 2011 )