Hiawatha Highlands COVID FAQ for 2020/21 Season


What is our vision for the 2020/21 winter season?

To provide safe outdoor cross country skiing, snowshoeing and fat biking opportunities for the residents of Algoma.  We want these activities to be sustainable for the entire upcoming COVID winter season.  To make this happen we will be providing minimal indoor amenities to keep our staff, trail pass holders and the general public safe.

Can I enter the Kincentre/lodge when Hiawatha Highlands opens on Nov 19?

Yes, however, access to the lodge will be limited to 7 people at a time and there will be no seating or socializing opportunities as in the past.

There will be access to the lodge for ski rentals and washrooms will remain open.

A limited selection of merchandise, beverages, and snacks will be available inside the facility.

Day tickets can be purchased online.  https://hiawathahighlands.com/passes/

What is the COVID protocol upon entering the lodge?

There will be separate entrance and exit doors.  The only entrance to the lodge will be on the west side of the building, facing Landslide Rd.   The exit is on the north side of the building (near the women's washroom).

Upon entry we require you to sanitize your hands. Please follow all COVID signage inside the building including directional arrows and spacing markers on the floor at the checkout.
Face masks are to be worn at all times inside the lodge.

Buffs are NOT considered an effective in preventing the spread of COVID.


"As for neck buffs they are not recommended.  They become moist quite easily   and it is not possible to put them on/remove them without contamination and thus public health does not advise their use as a face covering."
- Algoma Public Health, October, 2020  


Non-medical face masks or face coverings should:

  • allow for easy breathing
  • be large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose, mouth and chin without gaping
  • fit securely to the head with ties or ear loop
  • maintain their shape after washing and drying
  • be changed as soon as possible if damp or dirty
  • be comfortable and not require frequent adjustment
  • be made of at least 2 layers of tightly woven material fabric (such as cotton or linen)
Can I buy food or hot drinks at the lodge?

Yes. We will be selling coffee, tea, hot chocolate and Mary's Feeding Your Soul packaged baking, for TAKE OUT ONLY.

Can I buy anything else in the lodge?

We will have a small selection of hats, buffs, ski wax, scrapers etc available for purchase in the lodge.

How can I pay for items in the lodge?

Credit/Debit cards with TAP technology are the preferred method of payment.

Are washrooms available at the lodge?

Yes. Washrooms are available in the lodge.  Access to both the men's and the women's washroom will be limited to 1 person or 1 household at a time.

A portable toilet will be located outside of the lodge to help reduce the need for people to enter the building.

Can I store my belongings inside the lodge?

No. We ask that you store your personal belongings in your vehicle, as lodge access will be limited.

Can I change clothing inside the lodge?

No.  Please return home to change your clothes.

Are groups permitted at Hiawatha Highlands?

Yes, groups of up to 10 maximum are welcome, but if anyone needs to purchase a day pass or get rental equipment, we ask that you call ahead of time to let us know your expected arrival time so we are prepared for your group.

A maximum of 7 people are permitted in the building at one time, so if possible, it is good to have a designate in your group who can come in to get trail passes for the group.

Everyone is reminded to maintain 2 meters distance from anyone not in the same household for physical distancing.

Are rentals still available?

Yes. We are cleaning and disinfecting all equipment between rentals.  Be advised that rentals are on a first come first served basis and may be limited because of the time it takes for boots to fully dry between users.

 Can I use the Wax Building?

No.  The blue Soo Finnish Nordic Clubhouse will be closed until further notice.  We will continue to provide a paid wax service in the lodge.

Grooming information & weather will be provided on the Hiawatha Highlands website so that members can prepare their skis at home.

Are there any parking restrictions? 

No, however, we do ask that you follow guidelines and remain in your vehicle until you can keep 2 metres apart from others.  We have expanded the parking area in the Pinder parking lot for the 2020-21 season.

Can I come to the lodge if I’m sick?

No. Please stay home if you are feeling under the weather.
Use the Government of Ontario COVID-19 Self Assessment Tool and it will recommend what to do next.

Get tested if you have COVID 19 symptoms or are advised by public health or a health care professional.

I’m registered in a Soo Finnish Nordic program, are there COVID protocols and guidelines I should follow?

Yes. Please see our SFNSC COVID-19 policy page as well as our SFN COVID-19 FAQ.

I really want to ski but I’m very concerned about COVID, how can I make my trip safer?

Purchase your tickets online rather than in the lodge. Print out your receipt at home and keep it in your pocket or carry your receipt on your phone to show Trail Ambassadors.

If you must enter the lodge, wear a mask and use hand sanitizer upon entry and exit.

Ski in the afternoon and try to avoid Saturday mornings and afternoons when there will be small groups of children in the SFN Jackrabbit program heading out onto the trails, from all trailheads at 10am and 1pm.

If there’s an outbreak and the area is forced to close, can I get a refund on my season's pass?

No refunds will be given but depending on the date that a closure is mandated, you may be eligible to use your pass for the 2021/22 season. https://hiawathahighlands.com/about/

If there is an increase in COVID cases in Algoma, what is Hiawatha Highlands' plan?

At Hiawatha Highlands we will be closely and continually monitoring and following recommendations from the Algoma Public Health as well as the Government of Ontario, Cross Country Ski Ontario and Nordiq Canada. We have created a completely flexible and dynamic operational plan.  The safety of our trail pass holders, customers, staff, and guests is our number one priority.

Whenever recommendations change, we will provide updates to all of our trail pass holders, and customers in the form of newsletters, social media posts, emails, updates to our website and press releases if necessary.

If you have any further questions, please reach out to our Operations Manager, Tina Bowen at info@hiawathahighlands.com or our Soo Finnish Nordic Ski Club President, Amy Wheeler Reich at sfnpresident@gmail.com