Dominique Jolicoeur

Content Strategist

Our #WinterCapital is beautiful after a snowfall, and there’s so much to do in the great outdoors during the winter months. Here are a few activities to try on NCC lands during this wonderful time of the year.

Skating outdoors in the Capital is hard to beat…

Is there anything better than skating outdoors? The NCC maintains the world’s largest skating rink right here in Ottawa. The Rideau Canal Skateway winds its way through the heart of downtown, over a total length of 7.8 kilometres. Along the way, you can find rest areas and benches.

Wax up your cross-country skis and hit the trails…

Gatineau Park has one of the largest networks of cross-country ski trails in North America — with over 200 kilometres of trails of varying difficulty.

The Greenbelt has over 150 kilometres of cross-country ski trails. You can use the trails for free, and all are suitable for beginners, and great for family outings.

There is also a large ski network right in the heart of the Capital, which is entirely maintained by volunteers, in partnership with the NCC. The SJAM Winter Trail has about 50 kilometres of trails running from Westboro Beach to the Champlain Bridge. The Ski Heritage East trail stretches from Green’s Creek to Trim Road. Other trails in the region are maintained by Kanata Nordic Ski Club, Orleans Ski Club, Britannia Winter Trail Association and Rideau Winter Trail. All you have to do is choose your new favourite cross-country ski destination.

Try a great Canadian tradition…

Pack up the family, and head out to one of the toboggan hills in Canada’s Capital Greenbelt. These snowy hills are some of the best in the Ottawa region, and are sure to provide thrills for the young and the young at heart.

The Bruce Pit Toboggan Hill is located in the Stony Swamp section of the Greenbelt. The hill offers great daytime sliding, but is not lit at night.

The Conroy Pit Toboggan Hill is located in the Pine Grove Forest section of the Greenbelt. At Conroy Pit, you can toboggan in the evening, as well as during the day. The hill is lit daily from 4 pm to 11 pm.

There are also great toboggan hills at Green’s Creek. These hills are also lit in the evening, extending the fun.

You don’t have to miss cycling on snowy days…

Jump on your fat bike, and come out for a winter ride on 40 kilometres of snow biking trails in Gatineau Park. The NCC works in partnership with the Ottawa Mountain Bike Association to offer this activity on its trails.

For that perfect snowy Instagram shot…

Grab your snowshoes, and enjoy a walk through the magnificent snowy conservation forests of the Greenbelt and Gatineau Park. Both settings are perfect for capturing the beauty of winter, so be sure to bring your camera.