With this week’s heavy snowfall, the cross-country ski and snowshoe season is officially open in Gatineau Park, the Capital’s conservation park. Outdoor enthusiasts currently have access to 32 kilometres of ski trails and all snowshoe trails (57 kilometres).
Gatineau Park boasts one of North America’s most popular and beautiful winter trail networks — and it’s only 15 minutes from Parliament Hill. This network includes more than 250 kilometres of ski, snowshoe and hiking trails that wind through the Park’s forests and along frozen lakes and river valleys as well as 10 day-use shelters.
Skiers and snowshoers can also add to their experience by spending the night in the Park, which offers four cabins, four yurts and four 4-season tents. And for those who are more adventurous, Gatineau Park offers winter camping at Philippe Lake. Stay during the week and get a 30% discount.
Work has already begun on some trails: Up-to-date ski conditions and trail status can be found by visiting the Gatineau Park website, updated twice daily. The National Capital Commission (NCC) would like to remind users to stay on the designated trails and to not venture onto any frozen water surfaces. Domestic animals are permitted on leash on winter walking trails only.
Snowshoes are available for rental at the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre:
- – Monday to Friday, 10 am to 2:30 pm (last rental)
- – Saturday and Sunday, 9 am to 3:30 pm (last rental)
You can purchase a season pass
– online at gatineaupark.gc.ca
– in person at the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre (33 Scott Road in Chelsea)
You can purchase a daily pass
– at the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre
– in the parking lots at the starting points of Gatineau Park ski and snowshoe trails
The public can also borrow free ski and snowshoe passes at the following municipal libraries:
Winter Hours (November 2 to April 30):
– Monday to Friday, 10 am to 4 pm
– Saturday and Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm
– Closed December 25
– Extended hours from December 26, 2014, until January 4, 2015, 9 am to 5 pm
For more information about Gatineau Park, the public may contact the NCC at 819-827-2020, 1-866-456-3016 (toll-free), 613-239-5090 (TTY) or 1-866-661-3530 (toll-free TTY), visit the NCC’s website at gatineaupark.gc.ca, or visit the NCC’s Gatineau Park Visitor Centre, 33 Scott Road, Chelsea, Quebec.