Important updates! COVID policies & night skiing

Please read our COVID policies before you attend our facility. They have been updated to fit Grey regulations. Click here.

Rentals and Lessons will not be available during lockdown. 

Night skiing will begin in the new year!

Our Covid Screening

We have implemented a screening test which allows you to feel safe, abide by the covid rules and still have a great time at Highlands! Fill it out here before coming to Highlands please.

Ski Swap Public Notes

Buying & Selling Equipment

  1. You must wear a mask while in the Highlands Nordic building. Please respect this policy. 
  2. There is no cost to put equipment into the ski swap, however 15% of all sales goes to theHighlands Trailblazers Ski Club. All sales are processed through the Highlands Trailblazer Race Society, then cheques are mailed out. 
  3. You will need to book a time slot to enter the ski swap. Each time slot will be for 1 hour. Each person entering the swap needs to book a time slot. There will be a $10 charge to book your time slot, which will act as a credit towards your ski swap purchase. There will be an option to “drop in” on Saturday October 31st, 2020 between 1:45PM to 3:45PM. There is no charge to drop in, although we cannot guarantee when you will be able to enter the swap.
  4. The Ski Swap runs from 10AM to 4PM on Saturday, and on Sunday from 9PM to 2PM. Time slots will be spaced out according. 
  5. We will start receiving equipment on October 19th, 2020 at 9:00am. Equipment must be dropped off by 5:00pm on October 28th, 2020.
  6. Any unsold items not picked up by 5:00pm on Sunday November 8th, 2020 (unless otherwise arranged) will automatically be considered a donation to Highlands Trailblazers.
  7. Please refrain from touching or handling merchandise as much as possible unless you plan on making a purchase. 
  8. Cleaning procedure. There will be a 15 minute window between each time slot to wipe down equipment, washrooms, clean the high contact areas and tidy up equipment to make it easier to find things. 
  9. Due to the high demand of service needs during the ski swap, we are unable to provide binding installs, ski waxing and other in depth ski service “while you wait” during the ski swap. There will be service intake where we can sort out what you need. Any service equipment dropped off during the ski swap will be ready for pick up by Saturday November 7th, 2020.

Tips For Purchasing Kids Equipment

As we are limited to the number of people we are able to allow in the swap. We suggest recreational classic skiers 10 years and under stay home, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get them set up for season!

Here are some steps that will assist you and our volunteers to get the young skier in your life set up for the winter.

  1. Trace your skiers foot on a piece of cardboard or cardstock. This will allow us to compare their foot to the insole of the ski boot. We suggest going a little bigger to get about 2 years of use. Fill the boot with an extra insole, and put on a good ski sock. Once that gets too tight you can take the extra insole out. 
  2. Measure up to their shoulder in centimetres. This will be for their ski poles. This measurement is a little taller than the typical ski pole sizing. This sizing would typically get about 2 years of use out of the equipment. If you plan on just using the equipment for 1 season measure up to their armpit. New skiers 5 years and under do not need ski poles.
  3. Measure to the top of their head in centimetres. This will be for their skis. Depending on their ability we will choose a ski from head height to 10cm over top of their head. At this age having their weight is not as important. Kids skis are designed to be soft, which means the ski makes more contact with the snow to give them more control. 

How Your Equipment Will Be Prepared – we will assist you

  1. Fill out Ski Swap File. Create a code to represent you, with your initials then combine the code and an individual number for each item. 
  2. Write out tag each item like the attached picture. Make sure to include your code, size (European), description, and price. Repeat the same information twice on the tag. We can give you a suggested price range, however you must be the one to set the final price. Ski Swap attendees will not be able to barter with the price.
  3. Tag each item. Fasten the tag securely to the item. 
  4. Keep equipment together! Use an elastic to keep skis together (tape around skis will have to be cut for ski testing). Use tape to keep poles together. Use string to tie boots together, please make sure string is at least 24 inch’s long so that boots can easily be tried on without cutting.

Sample of Ski Swap Tag

Highlands Winter covid policies

Highlands Nordic will be operating a little differently this year. We have worked hard with local Public Health authorities to be able to offer the services you know and love in these COVID times. As a Sports and Fitness facility we are complying with all Public Health and Safety guidelines.

Highlands Nordic is located in Simcoe Muskoka Public Health Unit. As of Thursday January 14th we will continue to be in the GREY (lockdown) zone for 28 days (February 10, 2021). We are categorized as an Outdoor Recreational Amenity. Please respect the policy and procedures put in place to keep our business a safe and happy place to be.

These guidelines are subject to change as we get more guidance from Public Health.

We respectfully request all our trail users follow government guidelines regarding essential travel.


A Buff is NOT is not a mask. Please keep a clean and dry mask to wear within 50 metres of the facility.

While on the trails you do not need to wear a mask. However, you will need to wear a proper mask while you are;

  • in line to purchase your trail pass,
  • in line to show your COVID screening,
  • in line to pick up a Trackside order,
  • are using the washrooms
  • or are not able to maintain physical distancing

You will be asked to leave the property if you do not comply with the Public Health masking requirements.

Building Use

There will be an electronic “people counter” at the main doors to track the number of people currently in the building. Everyone will enter and exit through the front doors that open into the Pro Shop. Of course during an emergency you may exit any of the doors. You MUST come ready to ski.

While in Grey: The building has a capacity of 10 people and is only open for washroom use. Any washrooms made available to the public are cleaned and disinfected as frequently as is necessary to maintain a sanitary condition. You need to spend as little time as possible in the building. You may have to wait outside if our building capacity is reached. The Café will remain open for take-out outside. The wax hut will also be closed, although we will have a bench outside that can be used one person at a time to wax skis.

While in Red: The Café is our designated food services area. This is where you may have a quick bite to eat. Each room will have a max capacity of 10 people. The Rockside Room is designated as a warming room. This where you can come in for a quick warm up! The Boxlunch Room is designated as our change room. This is where you can change your boots if you haven’t already done so in your vehicle. Of course the washrooms will remain open if you need to change clothes. The Granary and Team room be closed to the public. Remember to limit your time inside to 15 minutes. You may have to wait outside if our building capacity is reached.

While in Orange: The Café max capacity will be 23 people, The Boxlunch Room max capacity is 18 people. The Granary and Rockside Room will only be open on the weekends. The Rockside Room has a max capacity of 20 and the Granary 16. The Team Room will be closed for the season. Remember to limit your time inside to 15 minutes.

There will be hand sanitizing stations throughout the building. 

You will be able to purchase trail tickets through a window so you don’t have to enter the building.

Contact Tracing and Active Screening must be done for everyone coming onto the property the day you are visiting. You cannot do this the night before. This is a public health requirement. This can be done online. We request that you complete this before you come to ski or snowshoe or fat bike. Note that cell service may not be good enough to do this onsite. Once the screening and tracing is complete you will receive an email that you will need to show at our health check station before you can head out on the trails. Take a screen shot of your contact tracing so it easy to find once you arrive! If the email you receive has come back red, it means you have answered YES to one of the screen questions. In that case public health regulations mean you are NOT able to ski at our location that day. If the email you receive comes back green, we will see you on the trails shortly!  As a back-up we will have a paper copy that can be filled out onsite.

On top of our regular cleaning schedule; 3 building wipe downs will happen each day. A building wipe down will include: light switches, door handles, railings, bathroom counters, and toilet handles.

Seasons Passes

For those who have already purchased their seasons pass (as of May 31st, 2020), you will have the option to be able to defer your whole pass fee to the 2021/2022 season up until December 1, 2020. As of February 1st you will have a second opt out option where half of your seasons pass fee will be credited to you. This credit can be used to purchase trails tickets, seasons passes and to pay for ski service.

For seasons pass purchased after June 5 you will have the option to pay half of the seasons pass fee. You will have the option to put your payment towards a 2021/2022 seasons pass until December 1st, 2020. The second half will be due on February 1st. At that time you will have option to cancel your seasons pass.


We will be putting the Cafe on hold for now.

The Highlands Café will be offering a take-out menu and limited hours this year. The weekday menu will be offered between 10 to 2, and on the weekend from 10 to 3.

You must eat in your vehicle. You will not be able to stand and eat.


We will be offering outside fittings for ski equipment by appointment only. During the appointment we will only be able to fit one customer at a time. Children 17 years and younger will need to be accompanied by an adult. Dress appropriately as the fitting will be outdoors, you will need to hand sanitize before getting fitted. Drop in’s WILL NOT be accepted. Appointments for January are currently sold out.

Pre-arranged Trackside pick-up is also available for any ProShop items such as clothing and waxes. Please allow for 48 hours for us to put your order together. Please call (705-444-5017) or email to arrange this. No in person ordering is possible. You must order your items and set a pick up time before your arrival.

Service Bench

Our professional Service Desk will be offering their services, although any service you need completed needs to be booked in advance. No in person ordering is possible. There will be a service drop off point where we take your information. From there you can arrange the time you would like to pick the equipment up.


We have made the very challenging decision to close our cross country ski rentals for the season. We do not feel we can safely and comfortably offer properly fitted equipment during Grey (lockdown).

We will be offering snowshoe rentals as it doesn’t require the same kind of fitting. These need to be booked online.


During Grey (lockdown). No lessons or group training will be permitted. Once we are out of Grey (lockdown) we will reevaluate what we can offer.


Under our current restrictions we are not accepting any organized groups.

Highlands Nordic is in the category of Outdoor Recreational Amenity. This means we are able to run our trails to the public as a non-organized event. The minute we start having organized lessons or groups the whole property is limited to 10 people. No lessons or group training will be permitted, including the private lessons we typically offer. If you come to ski at Highlands Nordic please do not wear your team jackets as it may be misinterpreted as a group getting together.

During lockdown, December 26th 12:01AM to January 23rd, there can be no organized activities (including all lessons and training) on Highlands Nordic trails. As the facility we would be the ones to bear the consequences of not following these guidelines.

Elementary Winter Programs

Our Mid-Week Winter Programs are designed to introduce children to cross country skiing, snowshoeing, winter survival skills and winter ecology. Fully certified instructors and staff bring a wealth of experience to our school programs offering an unsurpassed level of quality and expertise.

Please be advised that although Highlands trails are patrolled, it is our policy that students be with an adult at all times.


Winter Program 1: Cross Country Skiing / Snowshoeing

Half Day – $15.00 Per Visit Per Student if 10 or more students

Note: If less than 10 students, public fee rate applies, plus an instructor fee of $40/hour

Either cross-country ski or snowshoe

Skiing:  students have a half-hour lesson in which they learn proper skiing techniques. After the lesson, students, teachers, and parent volunteers explore nature unique to the Niagara Escarpment along our marked trail system. Includes half-day trail fee, ½ hour lesson, and classic no-wax rentals.

Snowshoeing:  per session, the class may choose one of: winter survival, shelter building, predator/prey survival game, wildlife hike, or Trappers and Traders.  Includes trail fee, snowshoe rentals, and snowshoe guide/outdoor interpreter.

Full Day – $20.00 Per Visit Per Student if 10 or more students 
Note: if less than 10 students, public fee rate applies, plus an instructor fee of $40/hour

For each session, students participate in cross country skiing 
for half the day and snowshoe for the other half of the day. 


Winter Program 2: for grades 1 to 6

Half Day Indoor Curriculum Based program/ Half Day Outdoor Skiing or Snowshoeing

A select number of our core curriculum based, half day Science/Geography/Social Studies programs are now being offered ALL year.  Elementary students from grades 1 to 6, spend half day indoors with hands-on learning as they rotate through a series of dynamic activity centres then the other half day, outdoors on cross-country skis or snowshoes enjoying the beauty of a Canadian Winter.

A list of programs available can be found under “Programs – Outdoor Edcuation”.

Full Day – $20.00 Per Day Per Student – includes all ski/snowshoe rentals
Note: if less than 10 students, public fee rate applies, plus an instructor fee of $40/hour


Teachers and Volunteers Ski and Snowshoe for FREE.

Please note that we expect volunteers to assist students with skis, snowshoes and with trail supervision.

For safety and proper fit, it is recommended that all participants use the Highlands Nordic rental equipment.

ALL students must attend the classic ski lesson unless a skate lesson has been requested.

Students MUST be able to tie their own boot laces.



Have any questions? Want to book a date?

Neal Jankowski (Highlands Program Director)
Phone: 1 800 263 5017 or (705) 444 5017

When your trip has been booked

1) Call Highlands Nordic: Confirm final numbers of students, teachers, and parent volunteers. Confirm number of lunch specials. If participating in the ½ day Welcome to Winter program ,we will confirm if your students will be doing snowshoeing or skiing during their first visit.

2) Included in your notice to students, the following list of items they will need to make their day enjoyable:

  • Winter Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Warm Mitts or Gloves
  • Water Bottle
  • Warm Socks
  • Healthy Snacks
  • Layers of Clothing
  • Winter Jacket
  • Snow Pants
  • Lunch (if applicable)

* If involved in the full day program please bring an extra hat, mitts, and socks.

3) Highlands Nordic Inc. will review a list of rules and etiquette on your groups’ first visit. This helps ensure your students’ day is safe and fun. A copy of our Rules and Etiquette will be sent to you along with a final confirmation. In order to invoice each visit with us, we require a teacher to sign off on the number of students in attendance from your school. This helps to ensure an accurate invoice is issued to your school. Upon completion of your school’s elective program or day visit, Highlands Nordic will send/email your school an invoice.

Click on the links below for all your “Electives Pre-Trip” Information.

Responsibility Code

Trail Etiquette

Food Services

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