As the largest community in Northwestern Ontario, Thunder Bay is an outdoor adventurer’s wonderland with ample opportunities for rock climbing, hiking, and canoeing. And the fun doesn’t stop in the winter months — when true adrenaline junkies can sample outdoor Thunder Bay winter activities like ice climbing, fat biking, and even dog sledding.

Dog Sledding Thunder Bay

The Call of the Wild: Dog Sledding in Thunder Bay

Snowmobiling is cool, but you can take things to the next level by embarking on a dog sledding journey in Thunder Bay’s vast wilderness.

Visitors looking to experience one of the most exciting outdoor Thunder Bay winter activities can visit Boreal Journeys. A dog sled kennel in nearby Kaministiquia, Boreal Journeys houses 40 friendly huskies eager to haul you across the snowy forests of the Thunder Bay woodlands. 

Boreal Journeys lets you get in on the action, learning how to run a team yourself rather than just being taken along for the ride. The Boreal Journeys team are also active dog sled racers, participating in events across Northwestern Ontario and beyond, including the annual Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race in Wisconsin. 

Under their guidance, you’ll witness amazing views as you speed through the Lake Superior backcountry. And of course, pet the doggos. 

Fat Biking Thunder Bay

Hit the Road: The Best Winter Fat Biking in Ontario

As great as the region’s various cycling and mountain biking trails are in the summer, you can experience them in a whole new way in the winter months, so long as you have the right tires. Using thick, 5‑inch tires made for traversing snowy terrain, fat biking lets you enjoy the thrill of tearing through snow drifts along winding trails.

One of the most popular of Thunder Bay’s winter activities, fat biking has become a major phenomenon with hundreds of enthusiasts descending on the town every year.

Fat biking trails can be found across the Thunder Bay area, including at Centennial Provincial Park, which has some great, shorter trails for beginners. Once you get comfortable, you can head down to Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. A famous local landmark, this rugged peninsula lets you cycle along the bluffs with great views of Lake Superior. 

Another popular location for fat biking in Ontario are the Shuniah Mines trails, a section of more advanced paths that skirt around an abandoned silver mine, offering some great rough riding.

Ice Climbing Thunder Bay

Not for the Faint of Heart: Thunder Bay Ice Climbing 

Wondering what to see in Thunder Bay, Canada? What about the view of Lake Superior and the Sleeping Giant from hundreds of feet in the air as you hang suspended from the apex of a frozen waterfall?

Thunder Bay ice climbing is truly a pass-time for the toughest of the tough, and is definitely one of the most intense outdoor Thunder Bay winter activities. With many steep cliff faces and frozen waterfalls dotting the landscape, the Thunder Bay area is a paradise for ice climbers of all levels.

Some of the most popular locations for Thunder Bay ice climbing include Mount McKay and Mount McRae, as well as Kama Bay and Orient Bay. For newer climbers, you can charter guided Thunder Bay ice climbing excursions from a variety of providers.

What to See in Thunder Bay, Canada

The sheer range of outdoor activities in Thunder Bay in winter is truly awe-inspiring. Beyond pursuits like ice climbing and dogsledding, you can go on a leisurely cross-country ski trek or rent some snowmobiles and hit the trails. Meanwhile, you can find us in the lodge nursing a cup of cocoa.

After exploring the wilds, return to civilization and warm-up with a delicious meal at one of Thunder Bay’s fine eateries.

Special thanks to the staff at the Comfort Inn in Thunder Bay, ON for contributing to this piece.

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