As Bluenosers’ noses turn blue and cabin fever sets in, it’s time to take the roof off winter.

Handily, there’s a government website for that. Taketheroofoffwinter.ca opens the door to a range of outdoor activities, from ice fishing and snowshoeing to building your own outdoor skating rink.

Randy Brooks at the department of tourism sounds amazed that anyone could even think of being bored in winter.

“Get out there and enjoy the fresh air!” he urges, highlighting eagle watching in the Sheffield Mills near Kentville. The official weekends are Jan. 23-24 and Jan. 30-31, with experts and church breakfasts on hand, but you can go any time.

“I don’t know how many people have never gone down to see that — it’s spectacular,” he says.
The eagle-watching sites are well marked off the 101, but check www.eaglens.ca for feeding times (farmers throw out old food, drawing huge flocks of the bald birds).

Brooks suggests booking a room at a country inn and making a weekend of it.

Winter is a great time to try snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, especially at Kejimkujik National Park. “It’s become quite a popular thing,” he says.

Taketheroofoffwinter.ca has activities suitable for people with disabilities and children, plus a listing of what hiking trails are open and where to go downhill and cross-country ski.

Perhaps “skijoring” — a winter sport where a person on skis is pulled by a horse, a dog (or dogs) or a motor vehicle — is more your style. Dartmouth businessman Richard Black loves the stripped-down style of dog sledding, where all you need is cross-country skis, a harness, a belt, a line and 35 pounds of dog.

Black and his Siberian Husky Cali skijor in the parks around Halifax and into the wild for the annual winter camping trip.

“He loves it,” Black says. “Last winter, I let the boys get a quarter of a mile ahead of me and let the dog chase them.

“When I flew by them, I cracked a beer,” Black laughs. Check out mushmaritimes.fyweb.com for details or go to www.crownjewelresort.com to learn about traditional dog sledding in Cape Breton.

A more sedate ride can be had just outside of the city at Hatfield Farm, which offers horse-drawn sleigh rides (www.hatfieldfarm.com).

Snowmobiling is a pricier hobby, with rentals few and far between, but you can find out how to get started with the Snowmobilers Association of Nova Scotia (www.snowmobilersns.com).

Outdoor stores such as Mountain Equipment Co-Op, the Trail Shop and The Adventure Outfitters (TAO) can link would-be outdoorsmen and outdoors­women to like-minded people.