Fun and fit long-weekend getaways

Turn a long weekend out of town into an adventure with one of these Canadian fitness-focused getaways

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Craving some “me” time? Then wave goodbye to the kids, grab a friend (or not) and head off to a women’s fitness weekend. Polish your current skills – finally ace that half-moon pose! – or try something completely new like surfing, horseback riding or meditation. There are dozens of weekends to choose from across the country. Here are eight great options for spring and beyond.

1. Winding Trails and Wildflowers Women’s Weekend Adventure (Fairview, Alberta): Get away from it all with a fresh-air weekend of trail riding, nature hikes, wine tasting and campfires. Accommodation is in tents with cots, and a mini cowgirl rodeo is planned. Manicures, pedicures and massages balance out the weekend. (June)

2. Santosha Yoga Retreats (Salt Spring Island, B.C.): Start or grow your yoga practice at the tranquil Salt Spring Centre of Yoga nestled amid 70 acres of meadows, forest and organic gardens. Organic meals, massage and body work are also offered during weekend retreats. (April to October)

3. Surf Sisters Surf Camp (Tofino, B.C.): Learn proper surfing technique, surfing etiquette, equipment and ocean safety in an all-women environment.  All you need are basic swimming skills and a sense of adventure! There’s a mother and daughter weekend too. (May through September)

4. Bay of Fundy Hiking Weekend (Nova Scotia): Explore Nova Scotia’s beautiful Bay of Fundy shore with three days of hiking ranging from two to six hours each day. Traipse to a cliff-top view of currents and whirlpools below and descend to explore cascading waterfalls and pristine beaches. (June through October)

5. Women’s Kayaking Weekend (Nelson, B.C.): Take in the lush beauty of the West Kootenays while learning kayaking skills, safety techniques, trip preparation, boat control, carving and edging. Loan of all gear is included. Accommodations are a full-service campsite overlooking the beautiful Slocan River. (July)

6. 4th Annual Canmore Fitness Weekend (Canmore, Alberta): Here’s your chance to mix with Paul Plakas of the hit fitness and weight loss television show X-Weighted. Plakas and his trainers lead two mountain hikes, stretch classes and a boot camp workout. “Do not expect spa treatment,” says the promo information, so be prepared to sweat! (July)

7. Women’s Outdoor Weekend (Minden, Ontario): In its 17th year, this weekend is for women interested in fishing and hunting who don’t know where to start. Highlights include sessions on GPS orientation, firearms handling and safety, fly tying, casting and rock climbing. A pig roast and fishing tournament are also part of the fun. (September)

8. Camp Glen Bernard Women’s Weekend (Sundridge, Ontario): This 90-year-old girls camp welcomes women in mid-September each year. Try a Zumba or yoga class, or go Nordic walking or mountain biking on the gorgeous trails. Painting, zip-lining and archery are other fun choices, and of course there’s a campfire and starlight sing-along. (September)

Barb Gormley is a certified personal trainer and a freelance health and fitness writer. You can contact her at

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