Winter is over!

Winter trails are no longer recommended. This page will be updated for the 2021-2022 season.


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.

Weekly Update: Trail Conditions and Grooming Operations

Last updated: March 19, 2021

The winter season in Gatineau Park is drawing to a close. The continual temperature fluctuations, as well as the exposure of the trail base to the sun, are accelerating the melting of snow and making the trail base icy. Part of the trail network will no longer be recommended. Substantial debris and gravel can be found on forested trails. Despite theses obstacles, we plan to continue maintenance operations on the network as long as the weather and snow base permit.

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.

Skiing

Activity webpage

The trail base is hard, and conditions are changing considerably throughout the day. Users are advised to be cautious and to keep the following in mind.

  • Descents are icy; be extra cautious.
  • The skiing is very fast due to the considerable fluctuations in temperature.
  • Trails are narrower, and open trenches have formed as the snow has melted.
  • Trails may sometimes be covered in water or debris, and the ground may be exposed in places.
  • For your own safety, please stay on the recommended trails.

The maintenance team plans to groom most of the network over the next two nights. However, please note that the following places are more difficult to groom:

  • all trails in the Hull sector, due to warmer temperatures in this area, and exposure to the sun; at parking lot P1, grooming was only possible from the parkway, about 100m after the starting point;
  • parking lots where trails start off on a slope, such as P7, P12 and P16 - grooming on trail 40 from P12 is only possible from the top of the first slope;
  • secondary trails, as conditions can degrade more rapidly on these trails;
  • the section of trail 1 between trail 3 and trail 1B - users are asked to proceed to the Etienne Brûlé Lookout on trail 3 if they wish to join trail 1B or trail 1 further west;
  • the section of Trail 51 between parking lot P19 and Trail 55, and the section of Trail 55 between Trail 50 and Trail 51, because of gravel and ice; these two sections may be closed for safety reasons, as well as to continue operations in the campground.

All starting points are recommended this weekend, with the exception of P11.

Back-country trails will not be recommended this weekend due to crust and ice that have formed on the trail surface. Descents are very fast and dangerous.

Snowshoeing

Activity webpage

All snowshoeing trails are recommended.

The trail base is hard and icy. Most often, the icy conditions in the morning require use of crampons, but then change to soft conditions and granular snow later in the day, which require use of snowshoes.

The warmer temperatures are accelerating the melting of snow. As a result, more and more exposed ground can be found on several sections of the trails, and especially on trails 63, 65, 66, 67, 71, 79 and 80. Users are asked to turn back if the ground is too exposed, to avoid damaging the trail base. With the gradual warming, some streams will become difficult to cross. Check the trail condition web page for updates on snowshoeing this weekend.

Also note that access to parking lot P15 is closed due to the closure of Cross Loop Road. Access to trails 70 and 71 is possible via Trail 72 from parking lot P17.

Recommended starting points for this weekend: P1, P2, P5, P6, P13, P17, P19b and P20.

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

Snow biking

Activity webpage

The snow biking season is drawing to a close. The trails are no longer recommended, and the base is hard and icy. Most often, the icy conditions in the morning are changing to soft conditions and granular snow later in the day. Descents are fast and dangerous without studded tires.

The warmer temperatures are accelerating the melting of snow. As a result, more and more exposed ground can be found on several sections of the trails, and especially on trails 65, 66, 67, 71, 79 and 80. Users are asked to turn back if the ground is too exposed, to avoid damaging the trail base.

Also note that access to parking lot P15 is closed due to the closure of Cross Loop Road. Access to trails 70 and 71 is possible via Trail 72 from parking lot P17.

Hiking

Activity webpage

The trail base for winter hiking is hard and icy. The use of crampons is required.

The maintenance team plans to compact the Sugarbush Trail, as well as the Capital Pathway and Pioneers Trail, if conditions in the Hull sector permit. Maintenance operations are not possible on the Lauriault Trail, and it has not been compacted.

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