Past the explorer's edge, powdered sugar snowfall encases the essence of Algonquin Provincial Park. All evidence of entry is erased; each snowshoe hare and waffled snowshoe print disappears. Unchanged by time's passing is a winter wilderness of ancient, snow-crusted maple groves, slick rocky ridges, and thousands of frozen lake tops. But, Algonquin’s rocky terrain - too slick for booted feet - requires a more old-fashioned mode of transportation: by saddle or by sled.
The Couples Resort, Ontario’s premier dog sledding and horseback riding expert located only three hours north of Toronto, is Algonquin’s welcome mat for the adventurous. For $300 per couple, you can holler “mush” and live an hour-long Iditarod daydream as three or four Alaskan Racing Huskies pull your dogsled over the snow and ice of rough, Canadian terrain. Or, take a $100 guided ride by horseback through the winter wonderland of Algonquin Park, a wilderness 100 times larger than Manhattan Island.
“The horses take a beautiful walk through the Algonquin Park wilderness on a rugged Canadian trail,” resort owner Shani Ride said. “After a snowfall the boughs of pines are abundant with snow and caressing you as you walk by. It’s like a cloud."
Thigh-deep snow draws out snow lovers with their snowshoes, Nordic skis, saddles, and dogsleds. But every Couples Resort veteran knows that an exceptional experience is to be had indoors, too. Inside this couples-only resort, a crackling fire, a glass of Champagne, and a steamy Jacuzzi tub prepare the fastest cold toes remedy.
But, horses and Alaskan Huskies won’t be the only ones wagging their tails after a Couples Resort retreat. An organic Ontario Spa accompanies five-course gourmet dining and five-star wood and stone chateau accommodations. So, it is no surprise that at Couples Resort, even each happy Alaskan Husky is well taken care of.
“We house the huskies in an OPSCA approved home. These kennels are air cooled in the summer and heated in the winter. If one wants to try and dog sled on well-cared-for huskies, this is the place to do it. Is like a five-star accommodation for dogs," owner John Sorensen said.
Whichever mode of transportation you choose, make sure to mush your way north to Ontario’s Couples Resort, your entrance to a unique and romantic Algonquin Park adventure just past the explorer’s edge.