Bechtel Park, Waterloo
Thanks to an agreement with the City of Waterloo, the club is able to provide groomed cross-country skiing trails in Bechtel Park in Waterloo. The trails are track set by volunteers for both classical skiing and for skate skiing, whenever snow conditions permit. The lights of soccer field #5 near the indoor complex are on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in January and February.
Skiers are sharing the trails with walkers and cordial relations are welcome. Skiers are encourged to politely remind walkers to stay out of the double track for classic skiing and walk in the wide skate area. You can also remind dog walkers to keep dogs on the leash, especially when they are bothersome to your peace and quiet.
To get to Bechtel Park, go to the intersection of University and Bridge, then travel south on Bridge Street until you see the entrance to the Park on the right. Club activities start in the upper parking lot, just outside the indoor soccer building. Most days, there is activity in the building, so the washrooms are accessible to skiers.
Laurel Creek Conservation Area, Waterloo
This area is located in the north end of Waterloo. To get there, you can go to the intersection of Northfield and Weber, then turn West to take Northfield to Westmount Road North. Turn right onto Westmount road and park at the side of the road. The park entrance is on the left hand side, about 200 metres north of the intersection with Northfield. The conservation area grooms trails also, but you have to pay a small fee to use the trails. Ski equipment is available for daily rental when the gates are open.
For more information on cross-country skiing and other winter activities at Laurel Creek and other local GRCA locations, see http://www.grandriver.ca/index/document.cfm?Sec=27&Sub1=135
Shade’s Mills Conservation Area, Cambridge
The conservation area is located at 450 Avenue Road, east of Franklin Boulevard. They have about 10 kms of groomed and trackset trails in the winter that travel through various forests within the property, and trails available for novice through to the more experienced skiers. They only offer classic cross country skiing though, as the trails are not wide enough for skate. Ski equipment can be rented for $13 a set and is available on weekends and daily during March break, but call ahead for other weekdays. You have to pay a small fee to use the trails. Hot drinks and food are available on weekends.
For more on Shade’s Mills, see
Highlands Nordic, Duntroon
Early in the season and during marginal snow conditions in Waterloo, Highlands Nordic gets ski enthusiasts going. It is a full service cross-country ski area with a pro shop, ski rentals, a cafeteria, and superbly groomed ski trails for both classic and skate skiing. It is always worth the drive for a nice day out of town.
Highlands Nordic is about 20 km south of Collingwood. To get there from Waterloo, there are a wide variety of possible routes, all of which end up on Highway 124 going through the village of Singhampton. In the village, the road turns right and heads east towards Devil’s Glen. Just as the road starts to descend into Devil’s Glen, look for a road on your left, marked with a sign directing you to Highlands Nordic. Turn left onto that road, and follow it north until you see the ski area on your left. Travel time from Waterloo is about an hour and forty minutes.
For more information you can visit their website at http://www.highlandsnordic.on.ca/