Cross-Country Skiing in Gatineau Park

Cross-Country Skiing in Gatineau Park
Cross-Country Skiing in Gatineau Park

Gatineau Park has one of the largest networks of cross-country ski trails in North America. You will find over 50 trails, varying in difficulty (rated from easy to most difficult). Enjoy classic cross-country skiing and skate skiing in a beautiful conservation area, located just minutes from downtown Ottawa.

Gatineau Park’s cross-country ski trail network

  • Over 200 kilometres of trails for classic cross-country skiing, which includes 100 kilometres of trails shared with skate skiers, and 45 kilometres of back-country ski trails
  • Rolling and hilly terrain, ideal for ski touring (320-metre or 1,050-foot vertical drop)
  • Primary trails are groomed at least four times a week
  • Fifteen starting points provide access to over 50 trails
  • Four starting points are now accessible via public transit: parking lots P1 and P2 via STO buses (daily), as well as parking lot P17 and the Visitor Centre via Transcollines (weekdays)
  •  Fourteen free parking lots and one paid parking lot (P2 at the Relais plein air du parc de la Gatineau)
  •  Self-serve purchase of daily ski passes in the parking lots
  • Season passes with many exclusive benefits and discounts
  • Ten day shelters maintained daily, each equipped with a wood-burning stove, picnic tables and outhouse
  • Twelve ready-to-camp units and campsites located just off the ski trails
  • Cross-country ski equipment rental is available at some retailers in the region

Plan your ski outing

6 Recommended ski routes

  1. The Heart of the Network (18.7 km): This ski route was developed by the Ottawa Ski Club in the early 1900s. It features scenic lookouts overlooking Ottawa, Gatineau and the Ottawa Valley. Begins at P7. Map.
  2. From the City to the Wilderness (11.4 km): This gently rolling trail winds through mature forests and open fields and includes a view of Pink Lake, an exceptional meromictic lake. Begins at P2($). Map.
  3. A Prime Minister’s Backyard (7.9 km): This ski route begins at the Mackenzie King Estate, the former summer home of William Lyon Mackenzie King, Canada’s longest-serving prime minister. After passing by the Estate’s Abbey Ruins, the route leads to the unique Pink Lake. Begins at P6. Map.
  4. Paths of the Early Settlers (20.4 km): This ski route is part of the Trans Canada Trail. The route features Herridge Shelter, an original settler’s house that was built in the late 1800s. Begins at P17. Map.
  5. Nature and Tranquility (11.4 km): This trail from Philippe Lake to Lusk Lake offers more solitude than the busier trails in the southern part of Gatineau Park. Begins at P19. Map.
  6. Gatineau Loppet Circuit (40 km): Ski the trails that are used for the Gatineau Loppet, Canada’s largest cross-country ski event. Points of interest along the way are the Eardley Escarpment, Pink Lake, and scenic lookouts overlooking the Ottawa Valley. Begins at P2($). Map.

Users’ comments on XC Ottawa

Skiers regularly report about their experiences on Gatineau Park trails on the XC Ottawa website. You can visit this site to read the latest comments made by Park users.