Leaf Lake XC Ski Trail is the kind of experience that makes you forget about downhill skiing. The advanced Pinetreep Loop (13.2km) at Leaf Lake Trail offers rolling hills, 3 majestic lookouts, lakes, creeks, wetlands, rugged rock formations, and an endless forest. Unlike your typical commercial downhill ski experience, an Algonquin ski adventure is a wilderness experience in a landscape that is absolutely perfect for cross-country skiing.

If you are new to XC skiing I highly recommend that you begin with an easier trail before attempting Pinetree Loop. The easy loops that beginners should try first are: Jack Rabbit Loop, Leaf Lake Loop, or Clarke Lake Loop. The easy Leaf Lake loops take around 2-3 hours to complete. An advanced skier should budget about 5-6 hours to complete Pinetree Loop. I have finished this loop in 3 hours, but I don't recommend rushing this trail. There are so many highlight moments on Pinetree Loop, you'll want to soak it all in and actually enjoy it. Start early, ideally by 10am, and give yourself lots of time.

Pinetree Loop is physically demanding, but very rewarding. The trail has something exciting to see every 15 minutes (including 3 outstanding lookouts). Leaf Lake is an epic day trip with gruelling uphill climbs, heart-thumping downhill slopes, 2 adorable warm-up cabins, and non-stop picture perfect views. This trail's design captures an outstanding mixture of outdoor recreation and remote natural scenery. A definite 5-star winter experience for the advanced winter adventurer.

More info on Leaf Lake at the Friends of Algonquin website.

Share this story