It can be pretty easy to be negative about winter and people do sure love to lament, this, the coldest of seasons. You know who they are. You know who you are, maybe.
For those people, I feel more than a little bit sorry. Because winter is magical. The crispness of snow, the sparkle of a frozen lake, the swoosh of racing down a snowy hill and once it's all done, the complete and utter satisfaction of getting cozy in front of a blazing fire, warm drink in hand.
There are many ways to embrace winter and actually live it, not just survive it. One of our favourites is the welcoming and totally charming Falcon Trails Resort. With a plethora of things to do outside and ways to savour the cozy inside, this should be at the top of your list every winter.
Swoosh down the slopes
The owners at Falcon Trails Resort, also run the nearby Falcon Ridge Ski Slopes and this is where your adventure begins (and yes, you can downhill ski in Manitoba). This friendly hill is perfect for beginners and their middle-aged parents afraid of breaking bones. Avalanche free since 1959 (according to their website), this hill in the prairies boasts 12 alpine ski runs, a biathlon range and an epic tubing hill complete with a tow rope that oh-so-gently escorts you back up the hill, so you don't have to trudge your way back up to the top which we all know is the worst part of sledding.
Falcon Ridge has rentals available and you can book a lesson with one of their friendly ski instructors.
Once you've had your fill of the slopes, head into the charming chalet complete with whimsical vines growing across the ceiling, a huge stone fireplace, live entertainment every weekend and a menu of comfort foods to fill you up for your next run. There's even beer on tap and other grown up bevvies to make your day complete. Be sure to pop into the adorable yurt where you can also sit down and take in a bite.
Slide along the surface
Once you've gone down the hill on skis, it's time to move cross country. The area also offers up 30 km of ski trails that range from flat and open right out on the lake to a little more challenging in among the forest and trees. In addition to skiing on the lake, you can also strap on your skates and practice your triple salchow out on the ice. With the sun shining overhead, it's the perfect way to immerse yourself in the wonder of winter.
Embrace the sparkle
When faced with an enormous lake covered in a pristine layer of snow, it's hard not to be dazzled by the sun glancing off the surface creating an untouched blanket of sparkle that even Elsa would envy. Pull on your snow pants and explore Falcon Lake in all its frostiness. Take a walk to the various islands noting the footprints of animals in the snow and the way the ice freezes into sculptures any artist would be proud to call their own. The water in Falcon Lake is so clear you can see the bubbles, leaves and even the occasional fish suspended in the ice below.
If you're feeling really adventurous, pack a lunch and cross the lake to picnic island where a perfectly placed picnic table awaits you and your feast.
Once you've gotten all that fresh air, it's time to check into your cabin. Falcon Trails offers up a variety of lakefront cabins and other options ranging in size from a two-person suite to a full eight-person cabin.
The lakefront cabin we nested in was peak cozy. Inside was a wood stove that kept the space warm and toasty as well as a three-person hot tub on the back deck inside a screened-in porch. There are few things greater than the agony and bliss of walking in bare feet across an icy cold deck and then plunging them into the steaming hot water a few seconds later.
Cabins offers up full kitchens and bathrooms (with towels both for bathing and hot tubbing), as well as a cute and cozy loft to sleep--it's a scientific fact that your bed will be at least 53% more comfortable and snuggly in a loft than a regular bedroom.
For complete details on cabins and which one is right for you, visit their website. Be sure to book soon--this popular spot fills up fast.
With all this winter magic, it's not hard to see why.
Travel Manitoba was hosted by Falcon Trails Resort, who did not review or approve the content of this story. #tmbpartner