Variation of canopy properties between different forest types is seldom taken into account in hydrological and climate models, and consideration of variation inside a forest is normally omitted. In this work, three data sets on near surface energy balance terms (incoming shortwave and longwave radiation; air and snow–soil interface temperatures) were collected in the southern boreal coniferous zone in Finland during three winters below different types of forest canopies. The aim was to evaluate the ability of a snow mass and energy balance model with a canopy module to reproduce the observed differences in below-canopy incoming radiations and snow–soil interface temperature. Clear differences were seen between pine and spruce forest sites (higher snow–soil interface temperatures and incoming shortwave fluxes, and lower incoming longwave fluxes at the pine site). Differences were also observed between the sparse and dense pine canopy locations. Canopy parameter values had a great effect on the quality of the model simulations. The combination of optically obtained leaf area index (LAI) values with a needle clumping correction and either optical or empirical sky view fraction (SVF) values as a canopy parameterization gave better correspondence to observations than the use of uncorrected effective LAI and any SVF.