There are a number of facilities for cross country skiing around Ottawa.
Some folks want to cross-country ski rather than ski downhill. Sure, it’s slower, but that is part of the charm. Cross country skiing the back country brings beautiful vistas, encounters with wildlife, camaraderie, maybe some peace and quiet if you are a solitary skier, and, of course, lots of exercise.
To help you decide where you might want to go cross country skiing around Ottawa this winter, here are facilities in alphabetical order. As promised, all listings will give you and idea of the distance to the cross country trails from the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa.
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 from beginner to advanced. Enjoy classic cross-country skiing and skate skiing in a beautiful conservation area, located just minutes from downtown Ottawa.
The center of Gatineau Park is 48 kilometers (approximately 30 miles) from the Parliament Buildings.
Mooney’s Bay Ski Centre
Mooney’s Bay Park (Terry Fox Athletic Facility) offers 5 km of groomed and well-lit trails. Learn or improve your skills with our lesson packages for all levels in classic or skate skiing. Mooney’s Bay Park has it all. Perfect for after work. Perfect for the entire family.
The facility will be open from January to early March (weather permitting) at the following times: 9 am to 9 pm Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm Saturday and Sunday. Hours are subject to change.
The cross country ski facility is 7 kilometres (about 4.3 miles) from Parliament Hill.
- Terry Fox Athletic Facility (at Mooney’s Bay Park)
- 2960 Riverside Drive
Nakkertok Nordic Cross Country Ski Club
I know you want to know so here’s what Nakkertok means: it is an Inuktitut word meaning moving swiftly on snow.
Nakkertok Ski Club is reputed to be the largest ski club in Canada.
They offer the skier two facilities, Nakkertok South and Nakkertok North. The Southern location is the closest to the Parliament Buildings, being about 14 kilometres (about 8.75 miles) away, on a fairly non-complex driving route.
As a member of the Nakkertok cross country ski club, you can take lessons to learn to ski, or complete in high-end cross country racing, and everything in between, including a club house (newly built in 2012) to sit by the stove, wax your skis, and hand out with fellow skiers.
More info? Visit the Nakkertok website: nakkertok.ca
Ottawa’s NCC oversees a number of cross country ski areas in the Greenbelt that surrounds Ottawa.
- Shirleys Bay — Trails 11 and 12
- Stony Swamp — Trails 20, 21 and 22
- Pine Grove — Trails 45 and 46
- Mer Bleue — Trails 50, 51 and 52
- Green’s Creek — Trails 61, 62 and 63.