Cross-country skiing is a great way for families to get outdoors and enjoy the winter together! It’s less expensive and safer than down hill skiing, it helps keep kids fit, and it’s a skill they’ll have their entire life. The Bay of Quinte region in Ontario, offers several great places for cross-country skiing enthusiasts.

In the Bay of Quinte and Prince Edward County Region, as there is not more than a foot or so of snow falling at once, much of the cross-country skiing done here will be the classical form. There are no dedicated groomed cross-country ski trails and parks in place, so the best kind of skis for the area would be light touring. Light touring skis give you the ability to adapt to ungroomed areas as well as groomed trails. However, if you have classic skis and you’re not heading into wild terrain, you’ll be alright.

Kid cross country skiing

Here are some of the best places to strap on the skis in the majestic forests and snowy trails to get some low-impact but high-cardio exercise:

Where To Cross Country Ski With Kids

in The Bay of Quinte Region


Many conservation areas in the region, such as the Quinte Conservation Areas, offer trails suitable for cross-country skiing. These areas often provide well-maintained trails and beautiful natural scenery.

Cross Country Ski with dog

Here are some of the best:

Vanderwater Conservation Area

One of the most popular places in the Bay of Quinte region to cross-country ski is Vanderwater Conservation Area. The beautiful 15-kilometre hiking trails act as ski trails in the winter. For the experienced skiers, more familiar with the act of nordic skiing, the steep ridge and scenic looks outs provide a huge pay off for putting in the work to blaze the trail.


Sidney Conservation Area

The Sidney Conservation Area is one of those places where you find yourself journeying through open areas and mixed forests and find chickadees and other songbirds along the way ready to greet you. The trails here are short and there is a considerable amount of wetland here. Stick to Pine Way and Around The Bend trails for a less lowland or snow-buried mud experience.


Potter’s Creek Conservation Area

Potter’s Creek is one of the absolute gems of the area. In every season, there is something here for everyone. From the parking lot and behind the main office of Quinte Conservation, you’re treated to a diverse and inspiring canopy and mix of coniferous and deciduous trees. Here you want to take your time on the trails because it’s so scenic.

Potters Creek snow Bay of Quinte Cross Country Skiing

H.R. Frink Outdoor Education Centre

With so many different trails that take you through frozen wetlands, deciduous forest or alongside the mighty Moira River, HR Frink Centre is a “must-do” on cross country skis. Many of the trails at this conservation area are shorter but when you combine two or three of them together, you get an afternoon that will give you an excellent workout.

This outdoor education centre in Belleville offers cross-country skiing trails suitable for beginners and experienced skiers alike. The trails are well-groomed and maintained throughout the winter season.


Macaulay Mountain Conservation Area

Located near Picton, Macaulay Mountain Conservation Area is home to a steep escarpment overlooking the Town of Picton. This area offers about 20 kilometers of groomed trails for cross-country skiing. The trails wind through forests and fields, providing scenic views along the way.

There is plenty to see here from the famed Birdhouse City with its over 100 miniature reproductions of local buildings, to the Whattam’s Memorial Walkway. 


Kids XC ski

One of the best pieces of advice for skiers on fresh snow is to stick to the already existing trails. Try not to venture off too far in your quest to blaze a new path as you may be disturbing ecological sensitive areas under the snow.

Before heading out, it’s always a good idea to check trail conditions and any requirements or fees associated with using the trails. 

Interested in hiking in the Bay of Quinte Region? Be sure to check out 6 AWESOME FALL HIKES WITH KIDS IN BAY OF QUINTE REGION here.

Now get out there and see what these parks and conservation areas have to offer you.


The author with family in 1980s on the Bay of Quinte cross crountry skiing with kids


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