Circle R Ranch is a 220-acre Touring Centre with 15 km of pampered, groomed, and tracked cross-country skiing trails meandering through picturesque wooded terrain including a 5 km skating trail for "skate" skiing. Membership covers all trail fees for the ski season and includes reduced prices to winter events. Before hitting the tantalizing trails, skiers without their own equipment can suit up with Circle R Ranch's state-of-the-art equipment rentals at the full-service pro shop or overcome their commitment issues and buy some new or used equipment. With poles and hand warmers in fist, graceful gallivanters can enjoy a day on the snow and then warm up in the heated lodge with home-style treats from the snack bar. For snow explorers that are new to the slippery sport, Circle R offers intro lessons (adults $30, children and seniors $22) during which skiers learn the classic style diagonal stride and uphill and downhill techniques, as well as receive equipment and clothing hints.
Though the winter snow has melted, inner tubes continue to zoom down the routes at Chicopee Tube Park—now cruising atop Italian mats, designed for waterless tubing. A host of other outdoor attractions complement the park’s eponymous activity. Two ziplines—an 80-metre line for first timers and a 300-metre line for veteran fliers—let passengers glide above the treetops without having to hitch a ride on a passing pterodactyl. The Eurobungy trampoline also gives guests the gift of flight, granting harness-sporting park-goers the ability to leap up to 25 feet in the air, and the spider-web climbing tower offers stationary bird’s-eye views once climbers have hoisted themselves to its pinnacle. For low-to-the-ground fun, harnessed participants at the horizontal ropes can balance six feet off the ground, getting a taste of tightrope walking without that chalky, acrophobic aftertaste.
Mount Pleasant of Edinboro offers 10 challenging trails for skiers of all levels. Beginners can start by steadying their shaky knees and flailing poles during a group lesson with one of the resort's seasoned pros or hitching a ride on the beginner lift. A variety of trails of varying difficulty await, like the gently sloping 300-foot Meadow trail and the 700-foot Revere Ride, named in honor of Paul Revere's winter vacation activity of choice. Afterward, skiiers can refuel with hot cocoa and other belly fillers in the toasty lodge.
Cobble Hills Golf & Ski Club has seen a lot of changes since it first opened as Skee-Hi alpine ski resort in 1963. What started as a humble chalet, two T-bars, and four rope tows has blossomed into an updated facility spanning 110 gently rolling acres framed by pristine pine forests. After a total renovation and the addition of the David Gurd–designed par 70 golf course in 1990, the ski club was enhanced with a quad chairlift, grooming equipment, and upgraded lighting. The intermediate hill has also been reshaped into an 800-foot-long snow-tubing area complete with a magic-carpet lift, which tows visitors up 100 vertical feet—the same height as most young yetis’ tree houses. The resort's new name reflects the rugged terrain: rocky hills and boulders add bucolic charm to views of the London skyline to the southwest and the Oxford County countryside to the southeast.
For more than 75 years, Chicopee Ski & Summer Resort has maintained 165 acres of verdant Waterloo countryside as a venerable outdoor rumpus room. A one-day pass includes access to outdoor adventures to the bike parks and 7 kilometres' worth of trails, as well as disc golf on 18 holes. The green-season membership (a $249 value) transforms outdoor enthusiasts into salt licks for the sun, affording unlimited access to the bike parks and trails, five Har-Tru clay tennis courts and unlimited disc golf through the end of the season. Membership also grants one 60-minute boot-camp session, plus activity discounts including half off climbing, $20 off summer camps, and a 20% discount on all fitness programs. Members also receive a 10% discount on all retail products and a 20% discount on bike tune-ups. All activities are subject to program scheduling, and members may rent bikes, tennis racquets, and golf discs on-site.
The Bogey Golf Tour grants golfers a chance to take to the links and compete against fellow amateurs in tournaments scheduled at some of the finest courses in the London, Windsor, Detroit, and Kitchener/Waterloo areas. At each event, scratch golfers compete in the Birdie division, 0–15 handicaps square off in the Par division, and 16+ handicappers trade pinpoint approaches and sequined divot tools in the Bogey division. The top five finishers in each division receive prize money—which can be paid out in gift certificates or cash—and the Tour also holds prize competitions for longest drive, closest to the pin, and 3-iron jousting. The Tour publishes the results from each tournament in local newspapers, and players can chart the peaks and valleys of their careers on the Tour Members list, which compiles all of their tournament results. Along with providing an outlet for amateur golfers to exercise their long-suppressed competitive side, the Tour and its sponsors have raised $74,000 for various area charities since 2003.