Snowshoeing at Arrowhead Provincial Park

Arrowhead Provincial Park is owned and managed by Ontario Parks and is located just north of Huntsville, Ontario. Arrowhead is a beautiful and diverse park that offers a range of recreational activities for visitors both in the warmer and colder season, with activity equipment rentals available year-round. 

Arrowhead is a popular winter destination, with several scenic activities including cross-country skiing, skating, and snowshoeing. Arrowhead is available to visit for the day, or by staying for a longer period by camping at its 3 campgrounds or 13 rustic cabins. 

Download the summer and winter maps HERE

Arrowhead Provincial Park in winter.

We visited on a weekday in mid-March on a Wednesday to hike on the snowshoeing trails. As we don’t own snowshoes ourselves, we were able to rent them at the rental building beside the visitor centre. For the two of us, it was $30 to rent for 3 hours. The visitor centre has washrooms and a small park store, and is a wonderful spot to warm up after a crisp hike. 

Taking a break to warm up in the Visitors Centre.

We hiked from P3 parking lot beside the permit office, and hiked along Hardwood Ridge Trail to Stubb’s Falls Trail towards the falls. We spent a short period of time viewing the falls, before walking back alongside the Little East River and back down Hardwood Ridge Trail. There were a few hills along the trail (mostly points 4 to 2 on the winter trail map). 

Starting off along the winter Hardwood Ridge Trail.
Snowshoeing along Hardwood Ridge Trail.
A couple of Chickadees along the trail.
Tracks on the fresh snow beside the trail. If you know what animal it is, please leave a comment! My best guess is a rabbit or a mouse?

There are three memorable lookout spots that we visited on our trip. The first being Stubb’s Falls, which is accessible by trail in the winter season.

Stubb’s Falls is a beautiful natural feature of the park, and is worth the visit. It’s just over a 2 kilometre round trip from the nearing parking lot. The trail to the falls walks alongside Little East River, which feeds from the Big East River to drain into Arrowhead Lake. The path on either side of the river meets and becomes a bridge across the river, for a perfect spot to watch the water. 

Stubb’s Falls from the bridge. We didn’t venture too far for a different viewpoint this time as it was quite icy and slippery on the perimeter of the river.
The trail meets as a bridge across the top of Stubb’s Falls.
Trail of Stubb’s Falls.
Churning water near Stubb’s Falls.

We then ventured to the viewing platform overlooking Big Bend Lookout, which is a short stroll from parking lot P5. The view oversees the bow of the Big East River carving into a glacial delta.

Over 12,000 years ago, glaciers across North America retreated, and glacial lakes like Algonquin Lake formed. A glacier river carrying sediment, when passing Lake Algonquin, met resistance and deposited both silt and sand to create the large glacial delta. Algonquin Lake drained away, and remaining waters of the Big East River over time meanders through the sediment, curving and bowing while eroding soft material. 

Big Bend Lookout, a viewing platform overlooking the curved Big East River.
Big East River carving into a glacial delta.
Big East River carving into a glacial delta.

There is also a stunning scenic lookout point we saw when looking over the road bridge across where Little East River meets and drains into Arrowhead Lake. There is a parking spot on the east side of the bridge. It was not busy and not many cars on the road when we visited, but still it’s important to be careful of road traffic. 

Overlooking where Little East River drains into Lake Arrowhead.
Little East River.

If you have never been snowshoeing before (like us), we definitely suggest trying out Arrowhead Provincial Park. The park office and rental staff were kind and helpful to explain the snowshoes and directions, and the trails are easy to follow.

Arrowhead Provincial Park also offers a skating trail (weather permitting) plus cross-country skiing. We will do our best to snag a campsite to visit in the summer season, and definitely will return again in the winter season!

Have you visited Arrowhead Provincial Park? Let us know about your experience in the comments below.

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  1. Arrowhead is one of my favourite parks to visit in the winter. It’s great that they offer rentals for snowshoes, skates and cross-country skis. Looks like you had beautiful weather to enjoy the snowy scenery. Great shot of the Big Bend Lookout.


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