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.
Winter never ends inside Alpine Slopes. The perpetual season is thanks to the facility's Maxxtracks skiing and snowboarding simulator, which looks something like a giant treadmill covered in buttercream icing. However, the ground actually consists of rolling nylon tufts, which create a soft training area for ski and snowboard instruction. Instructors can control this surface's slope and speed, making it whizz by at up to 25 kph for a safe, but realistic skiing or snowboarding experience. This adjustability allows the instructors to introduce the basics to beginners or help advanced skiers hone proper form, which they point out in a wall-length mirror. They even claim that novices will learn eight times faster than if they were practicing out on real hills or atop their neighbour’s roof. After sessions, guests can unwind at a full bar located within the rest area, which boasts the atmosphere of an authentic log ski lodge.
Skis carve silently through the snow, the occasional shout echoing through the trees. During warmer months, these same trees conceal mountain-biking trails. Nestled in the Oak Ridges Moraine, the year-round Lakeridge Ski Resort contains enough attractions to entice outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes.
A network of nearly 20 snow trails, including mogul runs, cover 70 acres of the mountain's rugged terrain and the former location of one ill-positioned fraternity house. These trails and three bustling terrain parks challenge skiers and snowboarders of all ages and experience levels. Alternatively, summer youth camps feature activities ranging from high-ropes courses to climbing walls. Lakeridge's visitors won't have to travel far to rest after a day hanging out with Mother Nature: the resort's proximity to Uxbridge provides easy access to several charming hotels and inns.
When Skyloft Ski Resort first opened in 1944, visitors were hauled up the hill in a tractor. Years passed and those old-fashioned methods fell by the wayside, and Skyloft Ski Resort eventually transformed into the family-friendly ski haven it is today. Now, 21 runs and trails snake across the Skyloft landscape, and a more than 300-foot vertical drop sends skiers and snowboarders soaring down the powdery slopes. Away from the snowy oasis, The Lodge provides a space to warm up beneath its post-and-beam ceilings, with views that overlook rolling hills, woodlands, and nearby yeti settlements.
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.