Grab your boots and coats, winter is here! With the recent snowfall, the cross-country ski, snowshoe and snow biking season is officially open in Gatineau Park, the Capital's conservation park. Outdoor enthusiasts have access to 47.9 kilometres of ski trails, 19.3 kilometres of snowshoe trails, 12.3 kilometres of snow biking trails and 1.9 kilometres of hiking trails. Please visit the Gatineau Park web page for recommended trails and starting points.
Gatineau Park boasts one of North America's most beautiful—and largest—winter trail networks, located only 15 minutes from Parliament Hill. This impressive network includes over 200 kilometres of ski trails, 60 kilometres of snowshoe trails, 29.5 kilometres of snow biking trails (shared with snowshoeing) and 10 kilometres of hiking trails, winding through the Park's forests and along frozen lakes and river valleys. In addition, the network includes 10 day-use shelters. The Park also offers 30 kilometres of beautiful scenery for skiers on the parkways.
Cross-country ski, snowshoe and snow biking conditions are updated twice daily during the season on the Park's web page. Primary trails are groomed at least four times a week, with six state-of-the-art grooming machines in operation during the season. Trails are patrolled by professional and volunteer patrollers.
The NCC would like to remind users to stay on the designated trails and not to venture onto frozen water surfaces. Pets are permitted on winter hiking trails only, and must be on leash.
Plan your ski outing with one of the five recommended ski routes on our interactive map.
Some trails are designated for only one type of activity, while others are shared. Check the legend, and choose the right trail. Be sure to wear your pass in plain view.
Trail Access Passes
Daily passes are available at trailhead parking lots (exact cash only) and in person at the Visitor Centre. NEW this year: daily passes are also available for purchase online. Users must select a date of visit when making the online transaction, then take a ticket at the trailhead upon their arrival. Because of intermittent cellphone reception in the Park, it is recommended that you purchase your pass before you arrive in the Park.
Season passes are available online and in person at the Visitor Centre. Select local retailers and ski shops are currently offering the presale rate to their clientele for a limited time. See website for details.
* Due to circumstances beyond our control, there are currently delays in the mail delivery service of the Winter Season Pass. In the meantime, please carry proof of purchase when using Gatineau Park Trails.
Borrow a pass from the library
With a municipal library card, users can borrow a daily pass from the following municipal libraries:
Snowshoes are available for rent at the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre:
Winter enthusiasts can also add to their experience by spending the night in the Park, which offers four cabins, four yurts and four 4-season tents. Although many weekends are booked, there are still availabilities on weekdays; rates are reduced on most weekday stays. For those who are more adventurous, there is winter camping at Philippe Lake. Water and baggage delivery service to the campsite is available.
Winter hours (November 2 to April 30)
Closed December 25.
For more information about Gatineau Park, please 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), sign up for our Gatineau Park newsletter, or stop by the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre at 33 Scott Road, in Chelsea, Quebec.
Source : NCC