When most think of Chaffeys Lock, what first comes to mind is summer cruises along the Rideau
Waterway before stopping at the Opinicon for some homemade ice cream. However, the fun doesn’t stop there! The Chaffeys area is a winter wonderland full of exciting activities.
Here are our top five winter activities to do in Chaffeys Locks, Ontario (in no particular order).
1. Use the Recreational Trails
The Cataraqui Trail becomes a 104-kilometre groomed snowmobile trail stretching from Napanee to Smiths Falls. It’s an important link in Ontario’s network of snowmobile trails. Snowmobilers must have a valid OFSC Snowmobile Trail Permit.
The Frontenac Arch landscape is ideal for cross-country ski enthusiasts. Trailside at Chaffeys' 23-acre Park offers a network of trails for skiing or snowshoeing through rolling terrain and mature woods.
These trails also connect to the Cataraqui Trail where skiing is permitted, provided skiers yield to snowmobiles that pass by. Murphy’s Point Provincial Park, about 30 minutes from Chaffeys, offers approximately 17 km of track set and groomed cross-country ski trails maintained by the Tay Valley Ski Club.
2. Visit a Ski Hill
As an avid downhill skier, I’ve often said that one of the greatest things about living in eastern Ontario is being next to western Quebec. You can day-trip to several great ski hills in the Gatineau region. A little further takes you to Mont Tremblant or the four major ski hills of Quebec’s Eastern Townships.
However, you cannot overlook Ontario’s highest public ski hill, Calabogie Peaks, located only 1.5 hours from Chaffeys Lock.
3. Take the Family Tobogganing
How about tobogganing? Well, if you are one of the fortunate owners of a lot at Trailside at Chaffeys, you’d just have to walk outside your home – the hill is right there. A portion of each lot has a hillside perfect for kids, and kids at heart, to enjoy hours of sledding fun.
4. Skate the Lake (or visit the local rink)
What could be more Canadian than skating on an outdoor pond? A flooded area at the base of a high rock cliff on Trailside’s Park is a scenic setting for a casual skate with friends. If shinney or more organized hockey is your thing, there is an outdoor rink with boards in the nearby village of Elgin, or an indoor arena 20 minutes to the north in Westport.
On the years the weather cooperates, Skate the Lake happens on a one-kilometre oval on Big Rideau Lake in the village of Portland, about 15 minutes from Chaffeys.
5. Try Ice Fishing
Finally, if the Chaffeys Lock area is blessed with one thing above all else, it is lakes – and lots of them. Each lake is unique and may be known for different fish species. Opinicon Lake, immediately to the south of Chaffeys, is known for bass in the summer, but Crappie are the fish of choice in the winter.
Indian Lake immediately to the north, however, is known more as a Splake Lake, as is Upper Rock Lake to the west. For all your fishing needs, and for advice on where the fish are biting, take a short drive to Norris’ Bait and Tackle Shop.
This is no place to hibernate.
With these and other winter activities to experience, is it time to rethink life in the City and make the move to Chaffeys?