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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Winter warriors take to the ice, snow and Kidapalooza Family Festival in Markham

   One-Tank Trip for Feb. 11-17

   By Jim Fox

   Attention winter warriors, let’s brrrrrrr-ing it on.
   The Hamilton Halton Brant Regional Tourism Association (The Heart of Ontario) has just the activities that should be of interest.
   Don’t hibernate when you can be a “winter warrior,” not a winter wimp, said Maria Fortunato, executive director.
An icy pursuit on Ancaster’s frozen Tiffany Falls. (Hamilton Halton Brant photos)
   “If time truly does fly when you’re having fun, it will be spring before you know it with these great options for outdoor adventures,” she added.
    Climb a frozen waterfall
   Local outfitter One Axe Pursuits gears up participants and offers instructions on hacking your way up Ancaster’s frozen Tiffany Falls and the Elora Gorge.
   Armed with an ice axe, courses are offered at both locations (weather permitting).
   “It is an especially empowering feeling to reach the top of a frozen waterfall,” organizers said, adding: “No one said ice climbing is easy, but who wanted easy anyway?”

   The program is suitable for beginners and indoor gym climbers, with all equipment included. oneaxepursuits.com
Skiers enjoy the view at Glen Eden Conservation Area.
   Cross-country skiing
   Hilton Falls Conservation Area in Milton invites cross-country skiers, snowshoers and winter hikers visit its 30 kilometres of trails.
   The viewing station at the falls lets visitors enjoy the ice sculpture created from the frozen 10-metre waterfall that cascades over the Niagara Escarpment surrounding the “mysterious mill ruins.”
   Visitors can feed tame chickadees by hand during a refreshing ski.
   The 32-kilometre Hamilton to Brantford Rail Trail is a frosty favourite of avid cross-country skiers while a shorter ski is on the SC Johnson Trail that runs 14 kilometres between Paris and Brantford.
   Frosty fun on the slopes for all ages.
    Other cross-country and snowshoeing options include Crawford Lake, Mountsberg, Pinehurst Lake and Terra Cotta conservation areas (some of which offer equipment rentals).
   Downhill skiers and snowboarders can find 12 great slopes and six lifts at Milton’s Glen Eden.
   Equipment rentals and lessons are offered and there are three terrain parks and a snow tubing park.

   Ice fishing
   Ice fishing is great way to spend a sunny winter afternoon and it’s free with no need for a licence from Feb. 18 to 20 during the Ontario Family Fishing Weekend.
Winter tubing at Glen Eden
   Sink a line at Valens Lake Conservation Area for northern pike, black crappie, bluegill, pumpkinseed and yellow perch.
   Fifty Point in Stoney Creek is great for catching perch, pike and brown trout while Pinehurst Lake has blue gill and black crappie.
   Rent an ice hut at Binbrook Conservation Area and there’s the popular fishing derby tomorrow (Feb. 12).
This winter camper is snug as a bug at his campsite.
   Snug as a bug campers
   With the right gear, winter camping can be an incredibly cozy experience, with these great options.
   Kelso, Rattlesnake Point and Valens Lake conservation areas have sites (reservations required).
   On ice, there’s an outdoor NHL-size rink at Pier 8 Hamilton Waterfront along with a cafe for hot drinks.
   Burlington’s Discovery Landing, overlooking the Rotary Centennial Pond, offers recreational ice skating on an artificial surface while Harmony Square in downtown Brantford has skating daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
   Other rinks are at Bronte Creek Provincial Park and Terra Cotta Conservation Area.
   For more frosty fun, there’s Hamilton Winterfest on now through Feb. 20 and Frosty Fest, Brantford’s winter carnival in Harmony Square, Feb. 19 and 20. theheartofontario.com

   Kidapalooza expands
   Now in its second year, the “bigger and better” Kidapalooza Family Festival takes place indoors at the Markham Fair Grounds on Family Day Weekend, Feb. 18 to 20.
   “Kidapalooza has expanded and will feature over 45,000 square feet (4,180 square metres) of activity stations, play zones, interactive inflatables, a performance stage, dance parties and vendors,” said event director Olivera Pavlovic-Fuchs.
   There’s lots of fun for all at Markham’s Kidapalooza. (Handout)
    “This three-day celebration of the imagination will have families creating, exploring and playing together with a hands-on, creative experience,” she added. kidapalooza.ca
(416) 414-2466
   Pony rides are popular at the Kidapalooza Family Festival. (Handout)

Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca

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