Arrowhead Is the Point

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Arrowhead Provincial Park is Ontario's open winter secret. Big Brother Algonquin to the north may dwarf it in size but Arrowhead punches some fabulous winter programs. During WW II it was chosen by the Norwegian Air Force as a training base because it was so much like home. The park has hosted the Ontario Winter Games, provides lots of cross country trails for skiing and snowshoeing, and even grooms a 1.8 km skating loop through the forest. That's 16,000 year-old Big Bend in the picture; you've got to make time to see it. Don't have a car? Take the ParkBus from Toronto.

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It's time for winter fun, and Arrowhead's fancy new trail grooming equipment is ready to go.

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A brand new state-of-the-art Visitor Centre beckons everyone. No more changing wet clothes in your car. 

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December 11, 2018 was the official opening of the Centre while also marking the conclusion of the Ontario park system's 125th birthday celebrations. No worries about seasonal programs such as Wild for Arts. They'll continue.

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Designing a visitor centre is actually pretty easy. Just follow the instructions. Some assembly required, of course.

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The Huntsville Ski Club and Arrowhead Nordic Ski Club funded a large fireplace in the main room. The mantle is a stop from a dam. The stones are locally quarried. The chandelier? It's plastic.

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Assistant Park Superintendent John Leadston gave a tour of the facilities: lifetime eastern cedar exterior, catering kitchen, skate drying, ski waxing, right down to carbon filtered drinking water. "I'm a tea drinker and I like my water pure." Sliding doors to the main room feature a picture by Huntsville photographer Rob Stimson.

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The park system motto is 'Healthy parks, healthy people' — that's what it's all about.  Skate day or night. Winter birds are friendly enough to flutter around your head, land on your phone or eat from your hand.

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Rental cabins that sleep 5 come with all the basic essentials for cozy overnights.

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Photos, text and design 

© Gary Crallé 2018 

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