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High Park Ski Club

your questions answered

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

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.

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 upper floor of the chalet is closed so there is no food or place to eat your own food. (You could go across the street and use the alpine side). There are indoor washrooms.

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, so 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.

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.

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 $50-70. 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 $30-$40, depending on the gear you need. Prices vary. Click here to view the current 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.

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). 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).

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.

Day Trip Registration Policies

When do trips open for registration?

Weekend trips generally open for registration on the Monday (8am) the week of 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.

The schedule is available online by the end of November.

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.

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. 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.

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. Drive ups cannot bring guests.  

What if conditions or the weather forecast looks bad?

The day trips team pays close attention to the weather and conditions at the resorts when deciding to run a trip or not. If we are forced to cancel because there are no skiable conditions, then we will cancel and you get a full refund. Let us worry about conditions. You worry about registering! If people don't register, the trips won't run, even if we get a dump of snow right before the registration deadline.  

This is an outdoor sport and we don't shy away from a little inclement weather (even rain, which is often ok in the woods). But, if we deem it unsafe to be on the roads or trails, we will cancel the trip. In the past couple years, this has meant significant rain, or weather warnings for freezing rain and high winds. Otherwise, you should keep an eye on the forecast and decide what you are willing to ski in and cancel accordingly (by the deadline). The Director makes every effort to keep registrants informed about the status of the trip should the weather look particularly unsettled, but you are ultimately responsible for yourself. 

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!).

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.

What if I want to drive to the resort?

Note: We may not allow or significantly reduce drive up opportunities in 2024. Our ski school simply does not have the capacity to provide drive up lessons. If you exclusively drive up, check back before you join to see what our plans are.

If you would like to take a lesson, you must register for it on the website and, as usual, you must buy your own trail pass and rentals at the resort (they do not allow people not on the bus to get the group rate - please do not request it. They don't like it!). If you don't take lessons, but want to drive up and hang out with your HPSC friends, you will not register for the trip. 

Please note that at some resorts (e.g., Hardwood, Horseshoe) you need to buy tickets and rentals online. Arrowhead requires pre-booking for car access. HPSC is not responsible if you are not able to get a trail pass or rentals.


Can I take lessons?

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 will sign up for lessons during online registration.

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 are still working out the kinks!).

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. While these had to be put on hold during the pandemic, we look forward to re-introducing them! There is no additional cost. You can sign up for most during registration; otherwise, we will communicate how to sign up in advance.

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?

Note: we may not allow or may limit drive up lessons in 2024. Our ski school simply does not have the capacity right now. If you want to exclusively drive up, check back to see what our plans are before joining the club.

Yes, members can take lessons if they drive up. You must register for lessons on the website. Go to the calendar on the registration page, find the trip you want, and select the drive up registration option. Then register for your lesson. You must register by the trip deadline (Wednesday at 6pm) or you will not be able to receive 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.

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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