It’s winter in Waterloo Region and February feels like it’s been going on for months already. But don’t give up hope just yet – there are ways to beat the winter blues! Our region has many trails and parks both inside and outside of the city limits just waiting to be explored.

According to Explore Waterloo Region, we have over eight different groupings of trails, including some that take you through the heart of the tri-cities and offer great ways to experience delicious and warming breaks. There are a number of ways to get outside. Couch surfing is not your only option for wintertime activity!

  1. Join a Meetup group – Meetups are “neighbours getting together to learn something, do something, share something…” and a very handy way to find your tribe easily. You can search for whatever activity you like and at the level of difficulty that’s right for you. There are backcountry winter camping excursions, snowshoeing events for singles, and hiking groups on the weekends. Not having a friend to go with is no longer an excuse for staying inside.
  2. Rent some gear – Do you think you’re stuck inside because you don’t have the right equipment? Think again! You can rent, take lessons, and get a lift ticket all for just $35 dollars at Chicopee – right here in the city. Not sure of your skill level? Try tubing. Adventure Guide and Mountain Equipment Co-op (or MEC) also rents gear from snowshoes to cross country skis, making the outdoors more accessible to folks, regardless of disposable income amounts.
  3. Beautiful local parks – Why not take a walk or a run through historic Woodside Park, Waterloo Park or Victoria Park and see the beauty of winter? Lakeside Park is a hidden gem in the middle of Kitchener. Of course, the Walter Bean Trail provides some stunning views of the beautiful Grand River.
  4. Honourable mention – Huron Natural Area is “an awe-inspiring 107-hectare destination for nature lovers, families, trail walkers and photographers”. They have programming for families and adults which ranges from nature identification to a complete outdoor natural park. You don’t even have to leave the city. All that’s required is some climate appropriate gear and snacks. You can even hop aboard the ever-improving Grand River Transit system and leave your car at home!

Stay warm and stay safe

Remember to always exercise caution in the winter months. Hypothermia and frostbite can strike if you aren’t careful about your choices. Always tell a friend where you are going and for how long. Make sure to have food and water and that you dress in layers with weather-appropriate options. If you aren’t sure about what your best options are, pop into an outfitter and get the advice of an expert.