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.
Check for trail closures before you leave.
Groomed Ski Trails
Over 21 kilometres of classic ski trails in the Greenbelt are mechanically groomed by volunteer groups.
- Pine Grove: Trail 45 (start at P19)
- Mer Bleue: Trail 51 (start at P20)
- Green’s Creek: Trails 61, 62 and 63 (start at P26)
- Ottawa River Pathway East: 2.1 km
Thanks to the Eastern Ottawa Recreation Ski Group, the Kanata Ski Club and Ski Heritage East for their efforts in grooming these trails.
At Shirleys Bay, to the west of Ottawa, you can cross-country ski on these trails:
- Trail 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 Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway, and is part of the Great 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 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.
- 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
Trail 32: 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.)
- Trail 45: 6.4 kilometres of groomed ski trails
At Mer Bleue, in south-eastern Ottawa, you can cross-country ski on these trails:
- Trails 50 and 51: 12.8 kilometres of groomed 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 one-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 land with clay and postglacial deposits from the ancient Champlain Sea. Natural lookouts offer striking views of the valley.