The unofficial trails that have developed over the years have a significant environmental impact on the sensitive habitats in this conservation park.
The Responsible Trail Management project aims to meet our environmental obligations and comply with the Park’s conservation mandate, while enriching the offer of recreational opportunities by providing a variety of outdoor experiences. To do this, we are undertaking the following:
- Integrating approximately 100 kilometres of unofficial trails into the official trail network, and these trails will be accessible to users;
- Naturalizing approximately 200 kilometres of unofficial trails, to protect sensitive habitats, and these trails will no longer be accessible to users.
We take our job of responsible trail management seriously, and we need the support of the public to succeed. Please help us by using only the official trail network and obeying all signage.
Between 2014 and 2017, public consultations were held with park users, stakeholders, associations and elected officials to share information and find solutions to reduce the environmental impact caused by the use of unofficial trails.
Please note that trails identified for integration will not be part of the official trail network until their official opening.
The project is being implemented in phases from 2018 to 2021.
Summer use: biking, hiking
Winter use: depending on the trail, winter biking and snowshoeing
Work begins: Mid-June 2018
Expected opening: September 2019
Summer use: biking and hiking
Winter use: winter biking and snowshoeing
Work begins: Spring 2019
Expected opening: Spring 2020
Summer use: biking and hiking
Winter use: depending on the trail, winter biking, snowshoeing and back-country skiing
Work begins: Spring or Summer 2020
Expected opening: Spring 2021
Summer use: back-country hiking (self-guided)
Winter use: snowshoeing and back-country skiing
Work begins: Spring 2021
Expected opening: Fall 2021
Proposed trails were evaluated according to the following:
- Legally protected species at risk
- Rivers, lakes and streams
- Legally protected habitats
- Field and GIS analysis
- Level of use
- Aesthetic appeal
- Experiential appeal
- Design and sustainability
- Level of maintenance required
- Active transportation
We are currently working with volunteers from the Ottawa Mountain Bike Association to carry out the trail work for phases 1 and 2.
We will be seeking volunteer involvement in this project for phases 3 and 4, planned to begin in summer 2019. Sign up for our Gatineau Park newsletter to stay informed about volunteer opportunities.
- Responsible Trail Management Presentation (661.29 KB)
- Conservation Status of Gatineau Park (3.07 MB)
- Responsible Trail Management - Public Consultation Report (235.80 KB)
- Responsible Trail Management - Consultation Report April 16 2015 (202.33 KB)
- Responsible Trail Management - Consultation Report March 8 2017 (343.78 KB)
- Responsible Trail Management - Public Consultation April 27 2017 (5.87 MB)
- Responsible Trail Management - Consultation Report April 27 2017 (1.08 MB)