Winter Adventures in Scenic Horseshoe Valley
As night falls, lights illuminate the Zipper, Nightmare Ride, and the Wave; though it wouldn't be strange to see these names painted across roller-coaster cars, they're actually just a few of the nearly 30 thrilling ski runs that weave through the Horseshoe Resort. Visitors flock to this natural amusement park for both day and night skiing, and the resort also features 28 miles (35 km) of well-groomed Nordic trails and a competition-level half-pipe for snowboarding. Skirted by the evergreens of Copeland Forest, the cozy chalet complements its rustic setting with modern amenities such as an onsite spa and upscale restaurant.
Throughout the day, eight lifts carry skiers more than 300 feet high onto the slopes. The pine-fringed trails of Copeland Forest unfurl for cross-country skiers of all levels, and on select days, lanterns illuminate the pathways for moonlight skiing.
Back at the resort, a pool and sauna await to warm up lodgers after a day spent snow-tubing on the slopes or slow-dancing with the ice machine. Neutral hues make up the decorative scheme in each of the guest rooms, which are equipped with wireless Internet access. There's a homey feel to the posh Parlour suite, whose sunken sitting room is warmed by a wood-trimmed electric fireplace.
At Silks Dining Lounge—one of four onsite restaurants—executive chef Dylan Tulloch fuses organic and local produce to concoct seasonal entrees such as pan-seared Atlantic salmon and roasted rack of lamb. Shizen Spa is adorned with natural bamboo stalks and breezy fabrics, creating a tropical oasis where skilled specialists carry out relaxing reiki therapy and organic facials.
Barrie, Ontario: Year-Round Recreation and Historical Architecture
In southern Ontario, the city of Barrie rests on the western shore of Lake Simcoe. Barrie is blanketed with lake-effect snow, a phenomenon in which cold winds rush over warmer lake water, freezing the water vapor, which is then carried as frost to the shore. Partially due to this precipitation, the area gets roughly 100 inches of snowfall each year, and a landscape dotted with hills, valleys, and trees covered in couch cushions make the city a popular destination for skiing and snowmobiling. Visitors can also don snowshoes to trek along Barrie's hiking trails. A half-hour from the hotel, downtown Barrie's historical brick buildings house eclectic boutiques, sports bars, and romantic bistros.