Trail Conditions and Grooming Operations
Last updated: March 17, 2023
Relatively significant temperature variations are expected over the weekend because of the current rain. A cooling effect will be felt by Sunday morning.
Significant network traffic is expected this weekend due to forecasted weather conditions. Therefore, we recommend that you monitor the updates on the capacity of the parking lots.
The public is asked to respect the signs in the parking lots and at trail entrances. People who walk their dogs are asked to stay on the four winter hiking trails. Recreational activities in Gatineau Park must be engaged only on designated trails to preserve the park’s ecological integrity and ensure the public’s safety.
Temperature variations will remain near freezing. These conditions require proper snow management as snow conditions are continually changing. This means adjusting the pace of trail maintenance. The goal remains to provide good short-term operating conditions on a sometimes reduced network. In the medium term, maintenance aims to sustain the base and snow cover as much as possible. The change of wet snow into ice requires longer maintenance. However, the time available is shorter due to warming.
Given last night’s mild temperatures and today’s snow and rain precipitation, last night’s maintenance activities were halted. Due to the gradual temperature cooling, maintenance activities will begin at approximately 2:00 a.m. and end mid-morning. The network should be groomed except Trails 7, 15, 33, 35, 36 and the training path. The maintenance crew will have to work on very wet snow. We can therefore expect fast and icy sliding conditions. Be careful.
On Saturday, every starting point for cross-country skiing should be recommended, except possibly the P11 parking lot. On Sunday, they could all be recommended.
The back-country trails will not be recommended this weekend because of temperature variations, and the surface will be crusty and icy. The descents on them will be very fast and dangerous.
The entire network is recommended for snowshoeing. The base of the trails is soft due to warmer temperatures.
The cooling to be expected over the weekend should transform this base, which will become hard and even icy on Sunday. Cleats may be recommended on Sunday.
Finally, please note that access to the P15 parking lot has been closed due to the temperature rise. Trails 70 and 71 can be accessed from Trail 72, which starts at parking lot P17. Therefore, we recommend that you monitor the updates on the snowshoeing conditions page.
The parking lots recommended are: P1, P2, P5, P6, P13, P16, P17, P19b and P20.
The snow biking trails are not recommended due to the temperature rise.
The cooling to be expected over the weekend should transform the base, which will become hard and even icy on Sunday. The trails may be recommended again after an assessment. The descents may be fast and dangerous; the use of studded tires will facilitate traction. Please read the weekend conditions report to find out the status of the trail network.
Finally, please note that access to the P15 parking lot has been closed this week due to the temperature rise. Trails 70 and 71 can be accessed from Trail 72, which starts at parking lot P17. Therefore, we recommend that you monitor the updates on the snow biking conditions page.
All parking could be recommended on Sunday, depending on the evolution of the base.
Winter hiking trails are soft due to mild temperatures. The base is expected to harden over the weekend due to the gradual drop in temperatures.
The maintenance team plans to compact the Capital Pathway, Pioneers Trail, and Sugarbush Trail if conditions in the Hull sector permit. The Lauriault Trail was not compacted.