Snow Valley

It is a ski resort located near the city of Barrie in the southern part of Ontario. The city is on the west shore of Lake Simcoe and is part of a populated area called the Golden Horseshoe. It is a very family-friendly resort and has the reputation of having the gentlest skiing terrain for children. It offers skiing and snowboarding classes for people of all ages and skill levels. Actually, the resort's ski and snowboard school is considered one of the biggest of its kind in the province and is the chief promoter of the resort's motto: safety on the slopes and awareness of the environment. The resort is open all year long, with day camps for children up to 13 years old held during the summer. Its winter facilities are available from December to March.

The resort was founded in 1950s by a local ski club that is dedicated to safe and socially responsible skiing. The resort was soon after owned and managed for several decades Hans Eder, an Austrian-born athlete who migrated to Canada and lived in Barrie with his wife. Eder competed in the Winter Olympics in 1952 and is considered to be an all-around Nordic skiing athlete. Eder's favorite is ski jumping. In 1987, Eder sold the resort to some local businessmen and the resort quickly gained the reputation of being one of the best places in Canada to ski or snow board. Various new facilities were added to Snow Valley and has numerous programs to make skiing more accessible and less daunting for people of any age or economic background.

The resort covers a total skiable area of 255 acres or 103 hectares with 20 ski runs. Its highest accessible point is 81 meters or 266 feet up. The weather in Barrie can be moderate but its location near the lake results in an average of 95 inches or 241 centimeters of snowfall every year. It has more than 30 snow guns to add to the terrain cover when natural snow is inadequate. Many of the resort's skiable terrain are gentle enough to be handled by beginning skiers, although the resort boast of more challenging ski runs.

The ski resort has long promoted itself as a family destination, so it is no surprise that most of the visitors there are traveling with little children in tow. Since its terrain is made up mostly of gentle slopes, the resort is not really something that serious skiers with advanced skills would look forward to. The ski school, however, is not something to scoff at because it has the reputation of getting people past the beginner stage in less than five lessons. The resort also has a wide variety of activities for the whole family and for young children who want to learn how to ski. It has snow tubing and snowboarding, apart from the skiing and snowshoeing programs. It also has catering services available all through winter and summer.

If you plan to spend your winter doing some serious skiing, this resort is probably not for you. Snow Valley in Barrie, Ontario is more for people who are thinking of spending their winter with a group that includes a lot of young children.