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Let's Embrace Winter Together!

your questions answered

(Scroll down for information about registration procedures, lessons, and gear/clothing)

Note: to participate in our trips and lessons/guided snowshoeing, you must be a member. Find out more about membership here. Please note that XC does not allow driving up; all participants must be members & take the bus.

General Day Trip Information

Where does High Park Ski Club ski and snowshoe?

We ski and snowshoe on Saturdays and Sundays, usually mid/late-December to mid-March (start and end depends on snow), at destinations within a 2-3-hour drive from Toronto. All resorts offer groomed ski trails, marked snowshoe trails, and rentals. We travel to destinations in coach buses with five pick up locations in Toronto. Our trips are a full day commitment - pick ups are between 745-845am and we don't get back to our first drop off point until about 6pm (more or less, depending on where we are coming from).

Our day trips are for both skiers and snowshoers, as you can do both sports at all the resorts we visit. There are many members who enjoy both throughout the season.

You can find the schedule here. Due to unpredictable weather, it often changes, but this gives you an idea of how often/where we ski. The schedule for the coming season is posted by the end of November after we confirm details with the resorts. Please do not email asking for it; it will be posted when it is ready.

Here are the main resorts we visit (all offer rentals, except Kolapore):

Hardwood Ski and Bike

Located just north of Barrie, Hardwood Ski and Bike (or, Hardwood!) offers over 30 km of groomed trails for classic and skate skiers and 10km of snowshoe trails. There is a modern chalet with some food options (a catering company that offers one hot meal option) and some grab and go food. You can get beer and wine. There is an excellent pro shop if you need gear.

Highlands Nordic

Located south of Collingwood, Highlands Nordic has over 20 km of trails groomed for both skate and classic skiing and 7km of snowshoe trails (with the Bruce Trail nearby). It has a chalet with delicious soups, chili, and sandwiches, and an excellent ski shop.

Horseshoe Valley

Located just north of Barrie, Horseshoe Resort provides over 30 km of trails groomed for classic and skate and 8km of snowshoe trails. Unfortunately the chalet is closed for eating etc. (roof issues) so we are not visiting until further notice.

Georgian Nordic

Located near Parry Sound, the Georgian Nordic maintains 30 km of groomed classic and skate trails on 200 acres of land atop the Canadian Shield. There is a beautiful 4.5km snowshoe trail. There is a heated lodge, but bring your own food and water.

Scenic Caves Nordic Centre 

Located at the top of the Blue Mountains near Collingwood, Scenic Caves has a total of 27 km of groomed classic and skate ski trails and 10km of snowshoe trails that take you across Ontario’s longest suspension footbridge. There are spectacular views of Georgian Bay. We always have our own log cabin and the main chalet has some hot food.

Arrowhead Provincial Park

Located just west of Algonquin Provincial Park near Huntsville, Arrowhead boasts 29 km of classic trails, 12 km of skate trails, and 6km of snowshoe trails. There is relatively new chalet. We can't store bags inside, but we can eat inside. There is no food, but there are water fountains.

Wasaga Beach (Blueberry Trails)

Wasaga Nordic has 30 km mostly classic ski trails (there’s about 10km of skate ski trails) and 8km of snowshoe trails in the 500-hectare wooded Dunes area of the Provincial Park. There is a small heated lodge and a wax hut for us to store our bags. There is no food; bring your own food and water.

Mansfield Outdoor Centre

Located one hour north of Toronto, Mansfield maintains 35 km of groomed classic trails, 10km groomed skate trails, and limited snowshoe trails through the Dufferin Woods. Enjoy the rustic lodge with a wood-burning stove and homemade soup from their small cafeteria. Of late we have not been putting this on the schedule as they haven't been getting much snow; if they magically do, we may be able to organize a (somewhat) last minute trip.

Kolapore Uplands

The Kolapore Uplands Wilderness backcountry ski trails are located on the eastern edge of Beaver Valley near Collingwood. Approximately 50 km of marked, rugged, ungroomed trails are primarily designed for intermediate to advanced cross-country skiers. One section of trails is appropriate for beginners. There are no warm-up huts and no rental equipment. This location is ideal for the wilderness experience. Snowshoeing is not permitted. We visit Kolapore once a year.

Kawartha Nordic

Kawartha is located in north of Peterborough. It's a member favourite! They have 47km of classic trails, 27km of skate trails and 9km of snowshoe trails. The trails are flat, making it ideal for beginners. There are warming huts throughout the network with lots of chickadees flying around. There is a nice chalet that we can keep our bags in, but there is no food available (there is usually water - although you still may want to bring your own).

How much does a day trip cost?

The cost of a trip depends on where we go, whether you ski or snowshoe, and if you own your own equipment. If you have your own gear, a trip generally costs about $50-80 (depends on the trail pass fees, which vary quite a bit). If you need to rent (rentals are available at all the resorts and include skis/boots/poles for skiing and snowshoes for snowshoeing), you will add on $20-$50, depending on the gear you need. Prices vary by resort and by type (i.e, skate is more expensive). Click here to view the 2024 prices.

How does this compare to going on your own? Keep in mind that it cost about the bus fee (or more now) in gas to drive to the resorts around Barrie, and you don't get group discounts on trail tickets and rentals. With HPSC, you can take lessons on every single trip, which are expensive through the resorts. If you ski often with us, it's great value.

Rentals are the most expensive part; once you know you love it, we recommend buying your own gear and you will save a lot of money in the long run. If you are only coming a couple times a year, maybe not.

Where and when do I get the bus?

  • Keele St. (7:45am; the bus parks just north of the subway stop on the east side of Keele)
  • Yonge & Davenport (8:05am; southwest corner of the intersection, by the parkette)
  • Yonge & Eglinton (8:15am; 2191 Yonge St., east side of the Yonge, south of Eglinton)
  • Yonge & York Mills (8:25am; northeast corner of the intersection, outside York Mills Centre)
  • Hwy 7 & 400 (8:45am; commuter parking lot, west side of Colossus Drive). 

See our pick up locations page for more precise information on location. Show up about 10 minutes early; the times above are when the bus leaves.

The exact pick up times will be communicated on the day trip status page for each trip (they rarely are different from the above, but double check to make sure). We also send an email to all participants with all the information for the trip. The email will be sent/the status page updated by Friday at 12pm.

If you want to change pick up locations, that's fine. No need to tell us. Just show up at the right time. 

Drop offs for all trips (except Kawartha Nordic) will start at Hwy 400/7 and then go straight to Keele St. (and then to Davenport and up Yonge). You may want to get off at Keele station and take the subway from there. There is no obligation to get off the bus at the same stop at which you boarded.

What happens on a typical day trip?

Check out our handy guide to see how a High Park Ski Club day trip unfolds. The facilities available - and any other special information about the day - are on the registration module and will be communicated in the email we send to all participants regarding the status of the trip (sent by Friday at 12pm) as well as on the status update page (you need to log in to see this).

Keep in mind that our trips are a full day commitment - pick ups are between 745-845am and we don't get back to our first drop off point until about 6pm (more or less, depending on where we are coming from).

What special day trip activities happen throughout the season?

We offer guided snowshoeing on most trips and one backcountry ski touring day, conditions permitting. Check out our schedule for where and when these take place. We hold an annual New Year's Eve celebration at Scenic Caves in December and a Wine and Cheese at Scenic Caves later in the season. Special events are subject to volunteer support and may not happen if we don't have the volunteers to execute them.

What are "bring a friend" (i.e., guest) days?

Cross-country offers limited opportunities for non-members to join as guests, typically at the end of the season when there is more space on the bus. Members get first opportunity to come on trips and if trips are very popular, we may not offer any guest trips at all. Our club can only run because of its membership structure, and we encourage those who want to ski with us to join as members. We run the most XC trips of all the Toronto clubs.

On these select trips, members may bring ONE person who is not a member. Guests may only come on ONE trip per season (even if they know multiple club members). Guests are only allowed on the bus (no driving up), must be 21 years of age or older, and the member must accompany their guest on the day trip. Instructions on how to register your guest are below in the Day Trip Registration Policies section.

What if I missed the registration deadline? Can I still come?

Maybe. If the bus isn't full, we allow what we call "walk-ons". A walk-on is a person who hasn't registered in advance. They come to a pick up location and join the trip if there is space available. There is usually a $10 walk on fee unless otherwise stipulated. 

Walk ons are invoiced for the trip after the trip. Please pay your invoices. If you owe money to the club at the end of the season due to non-payment of trips, you will not be allowed to rejoin the club, or register for future trips.

We post on the day trip status page whether or not walk-ons are allowed, and at what pick up locations - check here if you missed the deadline but want to come.

Can I try the club before committing to a membership?

No, we do not allow this. We do allow cancellation of memberships within 10 days of purchase if you change your mind. Beyond this, if you have a very good reason for requesting a refund before trips start (generally bad injury), please contact and give us the details. We generally do not issue refunds after you have started taking trips.

Day Trip Registration Policies

When do trips open for registration?

Weekend trips generally open for registration on the Monday (9pm) two weeks before the trip unless otherwise indicated. Trips will be visible on the calendar as we create them, but you will not be able to register for them until the designated open time. The date and time registration opens will be stated on the registration module in the trip description. We may move registration to the week of the trip if conditions and weather are particularly bad in order to limit the burden of doing refunds.

The schedule is available by the end of November. Please do not email asking for it; it will be posted when it is ready!

How do I register for a day trip?

  1. Sign in with the email and password you received when you joined the club.
  2. Look at the day trip registration page and find the trip in the calendar you want to join. Note that there are two modules for every trip - a bus module (for those taking the bus) and a drive up module (for those who want to drive up and take lessons).
  3. Select your trip and follow the instructions to register. Bus participants will pay for the bus, trail pass, and rentals (if needed) using your credit card, and answer questions about your pick-up location and lessons. Drive ups will just sign up for lessons. Drive ups will have to pay for the trail pass and rentals at the resort.
  4. You will receive an email confirmation with your registration.

Registration closes at 6:00 pm on the Wednesday before each trip.

Note that you can still register if you don't log into the website, but you will have to provide an email during the registration process. It must be the email you used to register with the club or your registration will not work.

Click here for a PDF that details the registration process step-by-step with screenshots.

What if a trip is full?

Once a trip is full, we will enable the waitlist. Many members get on trips through the waitlist as there are always cancellations. Once you are moved onto the trip from the waitlist, you will automatically be sent an email instructing you to pay. If you do not promptly pay, we will remind you and then give your spot to the next person on the waitlist. Keep a close eye on your email if you are on the waitlist.

There are also usually a few no shows on every trips. If you want to risk it, you can show up at the Hwy 7 pick up on the day of the trip and get on the bus if there is a seat available. We cannot guarantee that you will get a seat.

If you are on the waitlist and you no longer want to go on the trip, please email referencing the trip number (N####) and request to be taken off so that others may get on the trip more quickly. 

Can I cancel a booking?

Yes, you can cancel your registration. The deadline to cancel without penalty is 8:00 pm on the Tuesday evening before your trip. After the deadline, your bus fee is non-refundable (as we make decisions to run the bus based on the number of participants), but we will refund your trail pass and rentals.

To cancel a trip, you must send an email to before the deadline listed above. Please include the trip number (N####), destination and your name in the subject line. Once your registration is cancelled, you will be sent an email notification.  

If we cancel a trip (due to poor weather/ski conditions), you will receive a full refund on your credit card.

Please allow 3-4 weeks for refunds to show up on your credit card as the refunds are done by volunteers. You cannot transfer your payment to a future trip. 

See the cancellations page for more details.

I made a mistake on my registration or changed my mind. What do I do?

Contact and we will advise what to do; we may make the change before the trip or we may tell you to tell the bus captain on the bus. 

If you change your mind about the bus pick up location, that's ok. Just show up at whatever location you want at the right time.

What if I am a no-show on a trip?

We understand that life sometimes gets in the way and you may not be able to come at the last minute. In this case, the cost of your bus seat is non-refundable (as we run the bus based on how many seats we sell), but your unused trail fee and rental fees (if applicable) will be refunded. You can not find someone to take your place on the bus.

If you registered with a bus voucher but don't show on a trip, your account will be charged $35, which you will need to pay online. You can then use your voucher on another trip. No exceptions.

How do I register a guest on a designated "bring a friend" (i.e., guest) trip?

HPSC members must register and pay for their guest, including the $20 guest fee. While members can sign up for trips at any time up until the registration deadline, they can only register their guest beginning at 12:01am on the Wednesday before the trip they want to go on (i.e., the last day of registration). This provides one day for guest registration and ensures that our members are given the first opportunity to register for trips. Guest spots are not guaranteed - if the trip sells out prior to Wednesday, guests will not be able to come. If your guest is keen to ski with club, encourage them to join so that they get first opportunity to register for trips. We usually only allow guests at the end of the season.  

To register your guest, first register yourself on the trip. Then, after 12:01am on the Wednesday prior to the trip, find the event again and click "Register" again. On the next page, click the "New Registration" button. On the next page, your email will either be already there or you will have to fill it in with the email you used to join the club. Then click "Next." On the next page, you can click "Guest" registration and proceed with registration. You are just registering that you are bringing a guest; you do not input their name or other identifying information (just their bus/trail pass/lesson/snowshoe options). You need to pay the fees and then your guest pays you back. 

You must print the club waiver and bring it to the bus for your guest to sign and hand in to the bus captain (or send it to your guest for them to print, sign and bring). Guests without a signed waiver will be denied participation. You must be present on the trip with your guest; you are responsible for ensuring that your guest follows club policies and procedures. Only members registered on the bus are permitted to bring a guest.

What if conditions or the weather forecast looks bad?

HPSC general policy on running trips: We generally err on the side of running trips rather than not, if enough people want to go. We will cancel trips 24 hours in advance if there's a big risk of trail/resort closure, major weather warnings (huge rainfall, high winds, blizzards), or we think it will be too icy to the point of being unsafe. But with standard "marginal" conditions (see below), we will go. We try to get us to the best conditions possible within the constraints we have (i.e., available resorts). Ultimately you need to decide what kinds of conditions you want to ski in; we do our best to keep you informed of what we think the conditions will be, but we can only work with the information at the time combined with the vast collective experience we have in the club. If you decide after the cancellation deadline that conditions are not for you, you can decide not to come, but we have a clear policy that you will still be charged the bus fee. Please note that it could be worse or better than we anticipate. Part of the fun of outdoor sports!

What are "marginal" conditions? You may also hear people refer to this as "early/late season conditions" or "spring skiing" because these conditions are most common at the start of the season (as snow builds up) and end of the season (as temperatures get warmer). This can also happen in the middle of the season with warm spells. The snow base can be thin and there may not be enough snow to track set when grooming. The skate lane can be uneven and bumpy. Conditions can be variable, especially if temps are warm during the day and below zero at night - it is often harder packed or icy in the morning and then softens up as the temperatures rise, even getting slushy if it's warm and sunny. It can be more challenging to ski in, so less experienced skiers may want to stick with flatter trails (or you can walk down hills), or wait to register until snow conditions improve (or you gain more experience). Some people decide they don't like these conditions; others love to get out on the trails no matter what. Figure out who you are (this may require some experimenting on trips!), know our policies, and make your decisions accordingly. 

Sometimes we have to change locations. If we change locations, the prices will be different. This means either we need to refund members or members will be invoiced for the difference (if it is greater than the original location). If you are not comfortable with this, don't sign up for trips when the weather looks dicey (although that can be much of the winter to be honest, so you may not get much skiing in if you chose this route). Please note that it is getting increasingly difficult to change locations at the last minute, which means that if conditions look skiable, even if not ideal, we will most likely be going to our scheduled location.

How do I know if the trip is going or cancelled?

Final trip details are communicated by Friday 12pm on the Day Trip Status Page. Check this page prior to your trip. You need to log in to the website to see this page. An email with these details will also be sent to all participants by Friday 12pm. If you do not receive an email, check the day trip status page (and your junk mail folder). Please do not email for information before Friday at 12pm. The team is busy preparing for the trips and we often need to check trail conditions on Friday morning before we can make a final decision.

What happens if I leave something on the bus?

You will have to contact the bus company. Do not leave things on the bus - it has proven difficult for people to get belongings back!

What if I have a trail pass to use? 

If for some reason you have a trail pass and do not need to purchase one through us, please pay for a trail pass, then tell the bus captain that you have a pass and need a refund. You must also notify by Wednesday at 6pm (the registration deadline). Please note that we are organizing activities for a large group. If there is the odd time that you have a pass, that is ok. But it is not acceptable to pay for your own pass every trip.

Note that the provincial parks pass for Wasaga DOES NOT include skiing (we have confirmed this with Wasaga). You must pay for the ski pass.

Another exception is Arrowhead Provincial Park. It operates on a vehicle entry basis (we pay for the bus as a whole) not an individual trail pass basis. Everyone must pay a nominal "trail pass" fee to ensure we cover the bus entry.

What if I want to drive to the resort?

We do not allow driving up. All members must take the bus if they wish to receive lessons.


Can I take lessons and how do I register for them?

Yes, you can take free ski lessons from highly qualified instructors on every trip. Click here for more information on lessons and our ski school. To learn more about the various cross-country techniques, click here for our guide. You sign up for lessons during online registration (with the exception of our classic beginner's series - see below for more information on special programs).

We offer beginner lessons on every trip. We sometimes do not offer intermediate/advanced lessons, instead offering special programs (e.g., specialized clinics) for more advanced skiers. We also may have 1-2 trips a season where  we don't offer lessons (or offer very limited lessons) in order to give our instructors more time for professional development - so we can better teach you. Thanks for understanding!

What level should I be in?

HPSC offers both classic and skate levels from absolute beginner to advanced. We have 5 levels for both classic and skate. These are explained here. Do your best to estimate your level when you register. On the bus, an instructor will chat with you about your experience and skill level and place you in the appropriate class. 

Once an instructor sees you on skis, they may decide its best to put you in a different group. Don’t worry about being moved up or down. Placing students in the appropriate group is essential for a safe and fun learning experience for everyone. Worry less about the level and focus on skill development.

When can I move up levels? 

Instructors are looking for particular markers at each level. At the end of each lesson, the instructor should provide feedback on specific things to work on. They will indicate if you should register for the same level or move up next time. If they don’t and you are interested, please ask them.  

I'm a returning member and see that the lesson levels have changed. Why? 

Based on feedback from students and our experience teaching lessons we felt that the old levels (e.g. Beginner, Bronze, Silver) were unclear. Furthermore, we wanted to provide more opportunity for students to progress in their development. We’ve reworked lessons into a clearer set of levels, with better definitions for what each level means. This should allow you to be better able to get a lesson at your current skill level which maximizes your ability to learn and progress in your skiing. (Please note that we created this and then pandemic hit so we haven't had much time to actually run under this system!).

Should I take a lesson every trip? 

The answer to this question is completely personal. We offer lessons on every trip. Some people like taking one every trip. Others like to take a lesson, go off on their own and practice for a couple weeks, and then come back to a lesson. Everyone learns differently. Do what’s right and, most importantly, most fun for you.

How do I sign up for special ski school programs?

In addition to our regular lessons, we usually offer special clinics or programs through the season. There is no additional cost. For most you sign up during trip registration. However, if you are interested in the classic beginners series, please email You do not sign up during trip registration (unlike the rest of our lessons).

I forgot to sign up for a lesson during registration. Can I still take one?

Possibly. Ask the Director of the Day on the bus and if we have enough space, we will fit you in. You are not guaranteed a lesson if you have not signed up in advance.

Can I take a lesson if I drive up?

No. We do not allow driving up for lessons.

Do you offer snowshoe lessons?

There are no snowshoe lessons, but we often offer guided snowshoeing. Our experienced guides can offer tips for navigating the snowshoe trails. See the schedule for our guided snowshoeing dates when they become available. We usually offer guided snowshoeing on all but a few trips, thanks to our volunteer guides.

Equipment and Clothing

Can I rent skis and snowshoes?

Yes! Most of the resorts we visit offer rental equipment (classic skis, skate skis, and snowshoes). This is a great option if you are just starting out. On the rare occasion that a destination doesn’t offer rentals, we will put that in the trip description. Rentals for skiing include the skis, boots and poles (the prices are for the entire package). Snowshoe rentals include snowshoes.

On day trips, a designated volunteer will take the renters to get their equipment.

If you discover you really like skiing/snowshoeing and want to do it multiple times a year, we recommend getting your own gear, especially as rental prices increase.

What equipment and clothing do I need to ski and snowshoe?

To cross-country ski, you need:

  • Skis & bindings
  • Poles
  • Boots
  • Proper clothing

To snowshoe, you need:

  • Snow boots
  • Snowshoes
  • Proper clothing

Cross-country skiers and snowshoers dress a lot like runners. Breathable layers are key to staying warm and comfortable. To learn more, download our guide.

Note that helmets are not mandatory on cross-country trails. Most skiers/snowshoers do not wear them, but you are welcome to should you wish. You must bring your own.

What should I bring with me on a day trip?

You will need your ski equipment, the right clothing, and food/water. Click here to download our handy guide.

If your question was not answered here, please email

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