Different trails for different activities

Please be considerate of other users. Use only the trails designed for your activity.


Before you hit Gatineau Park winter trails, get familiar with trail etiquette.

Cross-country ski, snowshoe and snowbike trail conditions are updated regularly during the winter season. Winter hiking and walking trail conditions are updated once a week, in the section below.

Please be considerate of other users. Use only the trails designed for your activity.

Weekly Update: Trail Conditions and Grooming Operations

Last updated: January 21, 2022

With the snowfalls we recently received and the colder temperatures we are experiencing, the maintenance team has been working on making more of the trail network available for users. About 90% of the trail network has been groomed and is recommended. And this trend will likely continue, given the weather forecast for the coming weeks.

Please be sure to dress warmly for your outing, as temperatures in the region have gotten colder.

The improved trail conditions that we now have will also bring a substantial number of users to the trails this weekend. Keep an eye on the updates for parking lot capacities.

Park users are asked to obey the signage posted in the parking lots and at trail entrance points. People walking dogs are asked to please use only the four trails designated for winter hiking. To plan your outing, check trail condition updates on the web page for your particular winter activity.


REMINDER: Following the announcements made by the Quebec government on December 31, 2021, please note the following changes:

  • Day shelters are closed, and available for emergency use only.
  • The Visitor Centre is closed, but information services are available by phone.

NEW! Pilot project

Please note that the NCC has initiated a pilot project on the Gatineau Parkway between trails 77 and 79, which allows snowshoers and snow bikers to use the service lane. The goal is to create a link between the snowshoeing and snow biking trails in the southern sector. It is therefore essential to use the service lane and not the part of the parkway designed for skiing. Please be cautious, as snowmobiles may also be using the service lane. Signage about this pilot project has been installed.

Skiing

The maintenance team has been working very hard to offer the best conditions possible on the trail network. Conditions remain soft, but with continued grooming, in addition to the cold temperatures, the base will become firmer.

The snow we received earlier this week has adhered well to the hard trail base, which will help us to gradually increase the available trail network for skiers. The challenges of creating a skiable trail surface lie in trail preparation, which entails gradually filling in holes, depressions and ditches to eventually achieve the full width of the trail. This explains why, on some trails, the tracks could be set only on one side, and why trails 33 and 36 need more snow before further grooming can be done. Because of the risk that slabs of snow or earth will be lifted from the surface, since the base is quite thin, trails 3, 4, 7 and 15 black cannot be groomed regularly.

The maintenance team plans to groom the entire trail network this weekend, except for trails 33 and 36. Trails 3, 4, 7 and 15 black will be groomed the following night.

Our patrollers have been inspecting backcountry trails, and conditions are excellent. The patrol is working to remove debris and cut branches that are obstructing the trails. Please be cautious.

All starting points for skiing will be recommended, except for parking lot P11.

Snowshoeing

All snowshoeing trails are recommended. The recent snow has created excellent conditions, covering previously exposed rocks, roots and wet areas.

Since the trails in the northern sector are less frequently used, snow accumulation may be greater in those areas, especially on trails 58, 71, 72B, 73 and 74.

We would like to remind users that snowshoes are required on snowshoe trails, except when the trail surface is very hard.

Please note that dogs are not permitted on the snowshoe trails.

Recommended starting points: P1, P2, P5, P6, P13, P15, P17, P19b and P20. With the high volume of users expected this weekend, parking lots P15 and P20 may be preferable.

Snow biking

With the recent snowfalls, the accumulation of snow on some trails in the trail network is substantial. The patrol is currently assessing the conditions, which remain soft, and compacting is more difficult with the extremely cold temperatures. The trail surface should become firmer with the continued cold temperatures.

Do not bike on trails that have not been sufficiently compacted by snowshoers. Tire tracks could create dangerous conditions for other users.

After assessment by the ski patrol, some trails in the southern sector, such as trails 65, 66, 67, 79 and 79B, could be recommended, along with Trail 70 in the northern sector, as it has been regularly compacted by snowmobile. Because they are not as frequently used, other trails in the northern and southern sectors are not recommended. However, they may be recommended after the weekend.

Recommended starting points for this weekend: P1, P2, P5 and P15. With the high volume of users expected this weekend, parking lots P1 and P15 may be preferable.

Hiking

The four trails for hiking have been compacted. There is a fresh layer of snow covering the hard trail base. Winter hiking conditions are excellent.

You can walk your dog on the four hiking trails. As a reminder, your dog must be kept on leash at all times.