NCC reopens Gatineau camping
But poor ice conditions mean skaters must stay off Rideau Canal
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.