You could sit inside and wait for the warm weather to blow in. Or not.

With the ground covered in snow and the temperatures dipping well below zero, we recently took a group of our friends out to Haliburton to explore Lexus’s winter driving potential. Guests had the opportunity to experience some classic winter events at Haliburton Forest Wild Life Preserve, an evening of fine dining and company at Pinestone Resort, and a great spin around a few challenging (and intentionally slippery) snow and ice tracks in the 2017 lineup of Lexus performance vehicles.

Our winter driving event has become something of a tradition at Northwest Lexus—and, as a dealership wholeheartedly committed to providing our guests with the best possible experiences that reach far beyond our dealership, it’s one we’re only too happy to offer.

The festivities kicked off at Haliburton Forest Wild Life Preserve, a 2hr and 45min drive from Northwest Lexus HQ in Brampton. Guests arrived and were treated to lunch at The Cookhouse Restaurant on the Preserve’s grounds before heading out into the wild for an afternoon of snowmobiling or dog sled tours. They’re no Lexus, but these machines (motor or dog propelled) offer a great way to explore the area’s vibrant winter forests.

After a couple of hours of trail making in the snow, the group headed over to Haliburton Wolf Centre, a 15-acre enclosure that is home to a family of wolves. “It seemed nobody wanted to leave the sanctuary,” recalls Justin Dhama, the photographer who captured the images for the weekend (and this story). “It’s not every day you see wolves up close. They’re huge, I couldn’t believe how high they could jump…pretty surreal.”

Eventually, they pried themselves from the captivating carnivores and made their way to the Pinestone Resort to check in and get freshened up in their rooms. Drinks, appetizers and good conversation were had in Stone 21, the on-site bar, followed by dinner in the resort’s Highlander Room. It happened to be our Fixed Operations Manager Kent Gerhardt’s birthday, so they took the opportunity to slice some cake and celebrate. (We could think of worse places to have a birthday party, Kent.)

Day two began bright and early with a breakfast at the resort. Then the crew set out for the main event, a series of high performance driving test courses at nearby SG Nesbitt Memorial Arena.

Winter driving experience

Our experts gave some guidance before setting the drivers loose on the courses, which included a slalom that trains braking, accelerating and avoidance, a winter driving course that had them drifting around corners, and a skid pad exercise to hone car control skills like slide recovery on a slippery surface.

“On the track, everyone seemed a bit stiff the first hour or so,” says Dhama. “But towards the afternoon people really started seizing the opportunity. And thankfully, no one put their car into the banks.”

Winter track life at our winter driving experience event. #blackandwhite #lexus #lexuslife

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One more meal as a group concluded the affair and then everyone headed back to the city, hopefully with improved winter driving skills and a renewed appreciation for the season.