Ottawa Citizen

NCC re­opens Gatineau camp­ing

But poor ice con­di­tions mean skaters must stay off Rideau Canal

- ROBIN LEVIN­SON rersk­inelevin­son@ot­tawac­i­t­i­ twit­­levin­son

With the re­cent weather mak­ing win­ter lovers clam­our to get out in the snow, the Na­tional Cap­i­tal Com­mis­sion has re­opened win­ter camp­ing and many trails in Gatineau Park, but still warns peo­ple away from the canal.

Be­low-freez­ing tem­per­a­tures may be call­ing to skaters, but the NCC ad­vises peo­ple to stay off the canal. The ice is still too thin, with water lev­els be­low the ice rang­ing any­where from one me­tre to over four me­tres. The NCC ex­pects the canal to open mid-Jan­uary.

While al­most half of groomed ski trails in Gatineau Park were open this week­end, Thurs­day’s steady snowfall means that only 20 per cent of trails are open. De­spite this set­back, more ski trails have opened up since last week and are cov­ered in a light and fluffy pow­der. Ski trails along the Park­way are open, as are trails con­nect­ing to the Park­way in the south.

And af­ter shut­ting down overnight camp­ing over the week­end be­cause of a dan­ger of fall­ing ice from trees, yurts — the park’s two foursea­son tents — and cab­ins are open again.

Non-skiers have plenty to do. Snow­shoe trails 64, 65 and 66 by the Re­lais plein-air du parc de la Gatineau and 61 and 62 in Chelsea are open. In ad­di­tion to the Sug­ar­bush hik­ing trail, the Pioneers Trail is also open.

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