Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area


Just east of the resort town of Huntsville is Hidden Valley Ski Club. Huntsville started promoting winter recreation before just about anyplace else in the province as a way to keep things going when the summer crowds went back to Ottawa and Toronto. Hidden Valley continues the mission.

Eleven trails are served by four lifts, which include two quads, a double, and a surface tow. There's a half pipe and terrain park. Snowmaking covers 90% of the terrain, backing up the 125 inches or so that nature drops every season. There's ski on/ski off lodging for about 300 people, and accommodations for another 1500 with 10 minutes - clearly enough and then some for the size of the hill.

A professional snowsports school of over 100 instructors gives you a hint of how seriously alpine sports are taken here. If that's not enough, Hidden Valley's services and amenities will. This is a full-service resort, despite its modest size, and facilities include club membership, ski weeks and learn to ski vacations, day care, cafeteria and licensed lounge, and a certified ski patrol. The base lodge is a handsome multi-level building with decks, done in gray with blue trim.

The season runs from mid-December to the middle of March, and the place likes to be open before Christmas. Night skiing is available Thursday through Saturday nights.

The resort overlooks Peninsula Lake, and is only a few minutes from Huntsville to the west and the western boundary of Algonquin Provincial Park, where plenty of backcountry trails can be enjoyed on skis or snowshoes.