Winter Night Adventures

By Haliburton Highlands

There is something absolutely magical about a night-time adventure when there is snow on the ground. The snow-covered ground makes even a night with no moon, or a cloudy night, seem brighter. If you can time your adventure sometime in the last 4-5 nights before a full moon, it can be absolutely spectacular. Here are a few tips to make a winter night-adventure something to remember.

When to go…

The best time to go is when you can! With snow on the ground, even a small amount of light from a headlamp will seem much brighter than those times of year when the ground is dark. For maximum help from the moon, the 4-5 days just before the full moon means that the there will be plenty of light, and that the moon will already be up before the sun sets… important dates of the night sky can be found on our Winter Celestial Calendar.

If you do want to experience the full effect of a full moon, plan on venturing out about 45 minutes after the sun sets. A great resource for moonrise times is here.

When to bring…

Besides your regular winter activity gear – skis, snowshoes, skates, warm clothes – there are few other items that will make things more enjoyable. Here is a story on what to wear for general winter adventures

  • A headlamp. Even with a bright moon, there may be times that a headlamp or at least a flashlight may come in handy. Thinking of using the flashlight on your phone? See the next tip.
  • Handwarmers. One or two of these in your pockets can create a warm haven for fingers that need to fasten bindings or tie skate laces. Keep your phone in a pocket with an active handwarmer and the battery will last much longer.
  • Warm drinks. A thermos or well-sealed travel mug with your favourite warm beverage turns a simple hike into an adventure. Add some snacks for a true getaway.
  • A foam pad. The secret of many winter adventurers; a small foam pad to sit on can make the difference between a cold bum, and a cozy lunch.

Where to go…

If this is your first night-time adventure, choose somewhere familiar with a fairly open sky to get maximum light from the moon. Everything looks different under moonlight or in the light of a headlamp, so knowing your surroundings can be confidence inspiring. Find a nearby trail on our Winter Hiking page.

If there is a warming hut at the trailhead or partway along the trails, you can extend your adventure with the promise of warmth and a cozy place for your late-night snack. Don’t be surprised to find other adventurers enjoying everything from charcuterie to fondue in these huts! Here are some destinations to keep in mind:

  • The Frost Centre ski trails have 2 warming huts for experienced skiers.
  • Moosewoods Nordic trails have a trailhead warming hut that is easy to access for even young skiers.
  • Glebe Park hosts a delightful warming hut that is about 3 kms from the trailhead.

However you choose to do it, a winter night adventure can turn your own backyard, or a familiar corner of the Haliburton Highlands into a magical destination. Need more tips? Don’t hesitate to contact the tourism office at

Be sure to check out the many other Winter Adventures located in the Haliburton Highlands.