Cross-country skiing

Grab your skis and head out to Gatineau Park or the Greenbelt this winter!

Gatineau Park

Gatineau Park has one of the largest networks of cross-country ski trails in North America. You will find over 50 trails, varying in difficulty (rated from easy to most difficult).

Greenbelt

This area encircling Ottawa has over 150 kilometres of cross-country ski trails. You can use the trails for free, and all are suitable for beginner and family outings.

Gatineau Park #

Gatineau Park cross-country ski

Gatineau Park has one of the largest networks of cross-country ski trails in North America. You will find over 50 trails, varying in difficulty (rated from easy to most difficult). Enjoy classic cross-country skiing and skate skiing in a beautiful conservation area, located just minutes from downtown Ottawa–Gatineau. The Park’s rolling and hilly terrain (320-metre [1,050-foot] vertical drop) is ideal for ski touring.

Cross-country ski conditions

Cross-country ski conditions

The Park’s trails are groomed and maintained, and patrolled regularly. Trail conditions are frequently updated on this map, which also indicate the locations of starting points and day shelters. Plan your outing according to your level, type of activity and the amount of time you wish to spend in the Park. 

Launch the Interactive Map

Trails

  • Over 200 kilometres of trails for classic cross-country skiing, which includes close to 125 kilometres of trails shared with skate skiers, and 54 kilometres of back-country ski trails
  • A 5.5-kilometre training course with gradients meeting FIS standards
  • Primary trails groomed at least four times a week; five grooming machines in operation during the season
  • Trails patrolled by professional and volunteer patrollers
  • Ski conditions and interactive map updated regularly 

Services

  • 14 parking lots
  • 3 starting points accessible via public transit: parking lots P1 and P2 via STO buses (daily), and parking lot P17 via Transcollines (weekdays)
  • Waxing table at the Sugarbush Shelter, near the Visitor Centre
  • 10 day shelters, each equipped with a wood-burning stove, picnic tables and outhouses
  • Ready-to-camp units and winter campsites available to rent for overnight stays
  • Cross-country ski equipment rental is available at some retailers in the region

Fees

  • Trails accessible with fee
  • Self-serve purchase of daily passes at all starting points (parking lots)
  • Season passes with many exclusive benefits and discounts

FAQ

Cross-country ski trails maintenance and grooming

Gatineau Park Winter Passes

You can purchase a daily pass, or save with a season pass.

Exclusive Offers for Gatineau Park Winter Season Pass Holders

Discover our fine partners.

Ski + Stay packages

This winter, extend your outdoor adventure by spending the night in Gatineau Park. 

Gatineau Loppet

Gatineau Park hosts the Gatineau Loppet, the only official Worldloppet competition in Canada.  

Users’ comments

Skiers regularly report about their experiences on Gatineau Park trails on the XC Ottawa website. 


Greenbelt #

Greenbelt cross-country ski

Grab your skis and head out to the Greenbelt this winter! This area encircling Ottawa has over 150 kilometres of cross-country ski trails. You can use the trails for free and all are suitable for beginner and family outings.

The Greenbelt ski trails are a combination of trails, pathways and forest access roads.

Groomed Ski Trails

Over 40 kilometres of trails in the Greenbelt are mechanically groomed by volunteer groups. These trails are:

  • Shirleys Bay — Trails 11 and 12
  • Stony Swamp — Trails 20, 21 and 22
  • Pine Grove — Trails 45 and 46
  • Mer Bleue — Trails 50, 51 and 52
  • Green’s Creek — Trails 61, 62 and 63.

Thanks to the Orleans Nordic Ski Club and the Kanata Ski Club for their efforts in grooming these trails.

At Shirleys Bay, to the west of Ottawa, you can cross-country ski on these trails:

  • Trail 10 — This 4.2-kilometre ski trail crosses fallow fields and young forests, and provides a view of the Ottawa River.
  • Trails 11 and 12 — 2.7 kilometres of groomed ski trails.
  • Watts Creek Pathway — This 9.3-kilometre ski trail connects to the Greenbelt Pathway West and the Ottawa River Parkway, and is part of the Trans Canada Trail.
  • Greenbelt Pathway West — This 10.4-kilometre ski trail passes by forests, fields and farms.

At Stony Swamp, in south-western Ottawa, you can cross-country ski on these trails:

  • Trails 20, 21 and 22 —7.7 kilometres of groomed ski trails that wind through forests with many interesting habitats.
  • Old Quarry Trail — Ski along this 3.1-kilometre trail and learn about the unusual geology of this area. Use Old Quarry Trail: The Making of a Landscape as your guide.
  • Trails 23, 24 and 25 — 9.5 kilometres of ski trails that connect to the Old Quarry Trail if you’d like to go even further.
  • Trails 26, 27, 28 and 29 — 12.5 kilometres of ski trails.
  • Lime Kiln Trail — This 2.1-kilometre ski trail passes a heritage lime kiln.

Some of these trails overlap with the Rideau Trail, which extends to Kingston, Ontario. The main Rideau Trail is marked with orange triangles, side trails with blue triangles.

At Pinhey Forest, to the south of Ottawa, you can cross-country ski on these trails:

  • Trails 30 and 31 — 3.6 kilometres of ski trails through the mixed woods of Pinhey Forest.
  • Trails 32 and 33 — 2.8 kilometres of ski trails through mixed woods.

In Pine Grove Forest, to the south of Ottawa, you can cross-country ski on these trails:

  • Trails 40 and 42 — 4.7 kilometres of ski trails
  • Trails 43 and 44 — 7.3 kilometres of ski trails through a large forested area consisting of a mix of native woods and managed plantations. Pine Grove Forest includes a self-guided forestry management interpretive trail and tree-identification arboretum.
  • Trails 45 and 46 — 6.4 kilometres of groomed ski trails.

At Mer Bleue, in south-eastern Ottawa, you can cross-country ski on these trails:

  • Trails 50, 51 and 52 — 12.8 kilometres of ski trails that wind their way through a forest on a sandy ridge.
  • Trails 53 and 53A — 6.7 kilometres of ski trails, which offer an extended ski from the boardwalk trail.
  • Dewberry Trail — This 1-kilometre ski loop is located on the Dolman Ridge.

At Green’s Creek, to the east of Ottawa, you can ski on trails 61, 62 and 63, which offer 4.1 kilometres of groomed ski trails. These trails wind through Green's Creek Valley, cutting through clay and post-glacial deposits from the ancient Champlain Sea. Natural lookouts offer striking views of the valley.

Things to do

Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing

Grab your snowshoes, and enjoy a walk through a magnificent snowy forest in a conservation area just minutes from downtown Ottawa–Gatineau.

Learn more
Snow biking

Snow biking

Jump on your fat bike, and come out for a winter ride in a scenic conservation area, located just a few minutes from downtown Ottawa–Gatineau.

Learn more