7 Big-Time Winter Sports
Are you suddenly feeling the urge to soar through the air after flinging yourself off of a man-made ski jump? It’s that time of year again! What some of us may find to be a frosty seasonal purgatory can be an amazing snowy playground instead. So we’ve rounded up some of the best places to try out these big-time winter sports (or at least to watch them in action). Go big or go home.
Speed Skating – Emera Oval – Halifax, Nova Scotia
You can skate circles around your competition at the 55,000-square-foot Emera Oval rink, found in downtown Halifax. Built specifically for the 2011 Canada Games, the Oval is one of the East Coast’s largest outdoor rinks. Open daily, there are free public programs, such as learn-to-skate lessons and speed skating 101, plus weekly themed events.
Curling – Royal Montréal Curling Club – Montréal, Québec
Make new friends at the oldest active sports club in North America, the Royal Montréal Curling Club. Nestled in downtown Montréal, this 3-sheet recreational ice rink offers rentals and instructors who can show you the best techniques to become the next curling pro.
Figure skating – The Cricket Club – Toronto, Ontario
Work on your double axel, or just try not to fall, at the preferred rink of champion figure skaters and coaches. The Cricket Club offers year-round, world-class figure-skating programs in North Toronto.
Cross-country skiing – Gatineau Park – Ottawa-Gatineau
With one of the largest networks of cross-country ski trails in North America and spectacular views, Gatineau Park is the ideal place to strap on your skis. With over 50 trails to choose from, the park offers perfect terrain for beginners or more experienced skiers. If you don’t own equipment, don’t fret, you can find rentals in the nearby town of Old Chelsea. It’s also the perfect spot to stop for some hot cocoa après-ski.
Hockey – Ice House – Hackensack, New Jersey
The Ice House is definitely big-time, with four regulation-size NHL rinks just minutes from New York City. Recognized as a world-class skating facility, you can pretend you’re a hockey player as you glide on the same ice as champions and other professionals.
Skiing and Snowboarding – Mont-Tremblant, Québec
Practice your freestyle skills at one of the mountain’s three parks as you try jumps, learn new tricks and have lots of fun. Then shred down from the tall Laurentians peaks, through one of the 96 downhill trails, for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. The resort offers group and private lessons for all ages, as well as equipment rentals.
Ski Jumping – Harris Hill Ski Jump – Brattleboro, Vermont
The only ski jump that meets the international standard of a 90-metre length in all of eastern North America, Harris Hill Jump takes big-time winter sports to the fullest. The jump has hosted nine national championships and international qualifying events since it reopened in 2009.