Snowshoe the Sawmill Trails
Meet the active Canadian’s best friend: The snowshoe. This amazing means of winter transportation lets Canadian hikers, runners and walkers continue to explore when the snow reaches that mythical waist-deep mark.
One of the fastest growing winter sports, snowshoeing has soared in popularity in recent years, largely because of today’s new lightweight designs, the sport’s family-friendly appeal and a growing number of affordable trail networks to choose from.
If you’ve never experienced the Bruce Peninsula during the winter months, the area is also enjoying a snowshoe explosion, with snowshoe-specific trails popping up at local cross-country ski areas like the Sawmill Ski Trail and the Sauble Beach Cross-Country Ski Trails.
Historically used by Canadian trappers and traders, today you’ll see folks everyone from preschoolers to seniors exploring the forests and trails. Thanks to the Bruce Ski Club, the Sawmill Trails are now home to an extensive snowshoe-specific set of trails.
We’ve planned the perfect winter getaway to let you explore this great winter sport and the Bruce!
Accommodations: Make your winter adventure into an all weekend affair. For local accommodations, consider the Evergreen Bed and Breakfast for a quiet country retreat or consider Tipi Camping near Wiarton for a real, backcountry, winter camping experience.
Gear and trail passes: Don’t have your own snowshoes? Not a problem. A great selection of snowshoes are available to rent or buy at Suntrail Source for Adventure just 1 kilometre West of the Sawmill Trails in Hepworth. You can also pick up your trail pass here or pay with cash at the trailhead lockbox. Seasonal memberships are $65 per individual or $140 per family (2 adults, 2 children). Day passes are $5 per adult and $3 per child and can be paid at the trail head cash box or at Suntrail Source for Adventure, Spirit Rock in Wiarton, Cedarholme Cottages in Hope Bay, Red Bay Lodge in Red Bay or Bikeface Cycling and XC Ski and Winter Gear in Owen Sound. Registration forms can also be downloaded at http://www.bruceskiclub.ca/registration.html.
Trail tips: Be sure to stick to the marked snowshoe trails as snowshoeing on the cross-country ski trails can destroy the groomed conditions for skiers!
Pre and post snowshoe eats: Fuel up in the morning at MacBeth’s Bakery and Café in Sauble Beach. Try their fresh-baked bagels and hot coffee. After – make your way to the Green Door Café in Wiarton for a lamb burger with Caesar salad that will definitely warm you up!
Endless photo ops! Pack your camera and take photos along the Sawmill Trails. If you’ve got extra energy after your trek, take a hike around Bluewater Park and pose for a picture with the famous Wiarton Willie statue.
Willie memorabilia is a must: A trip to the Bruce Peninsula wouldn’t be complete without bringing some Wiarton Willie swag home. Stop by RAM Trophies and Sportswear for official Willie merchandise or pick up some Willie Good Treats at Northern Confections, both located in Wiarton.
To learn more about visiting the Bruce Peninsula this winter, visit www.explorethebruce.com/winter-trips/