Enjoy the great outdoors at Island Lake this winter

There will be no time for hibernation this winter when you discover Island lake Conservation Area’s impressive offering of outdoor experiences. Located on the northeast corner of Orangeville, the outdoor oasis features 332 hectares of lake, wetland, and forest and provides a year-round selection of recreational pursuits. February’s full calendar of events and activities will entice you to get outside and experience Island Lake.

The fun begins on Saturday, February 1 with the Great Canadian Pondspiel, hosted by the Orangeville Curling Club. The popular annual event always sells out and spectators are welcome to enjoy this old-fashioned outdoor curling experience.

Visitors looking for a different way to explore the park can trek the trails on snowshoes or glide along the lake on skates. On Friday, February 7 and Saturday, March 7, the park opens from 6 to 9:30 p.m., offering a chance to experience the park by moonlight and warm up with a hot chocolate around a cozy campfire.

Ice fishing lures both novices and professionals to the lake. Huts and equipment are available for rent, making it easy to bait your hook and reel in the big catch. The fish and prizes are aplenty at the annual Ice Fishing Derby, running from February 8 to 17. Register before February 7 to be eligible for the early bird prize.

Family Fun Day on Monday, February 17 is another way to experience the great outdoors. Demonstrations and activities will showcase all that Island Lake has to offer this winter. Learn how to ice fish, try fat tire cycling, and play a game of crokicurl, an ice game that combines elements of curling and the board game crokinole.

While there is so much to make winter wonderful at Island Lake, there’s no harm in thinking spring! Make sure to save the date for the annual Maple Syrup Festival, happening March 20, 21, and 28. Tickets are now available online at maplesyrupfest.com.

The park is open seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Equipment rentals are available online. Note that admission fees apply and park conditions may impact some activities. Check cvc.ca for rates and updated conditions.