Posted by Michael McGoldrick, Wed Jan 25 2017 at 8:16 am
Skiing the new cross-country trail next to the Ottawa River.
The trail is an initiative of the Westboro Beach Community Association and is maintained by volunteers. They started grooming the trail late last winter, and it officially opened at the beginning of the 2016-2017 ski season. It is groomed for both skate and classic cross-country skiing.
I have to say that I was impressed by the trail, given that it is free to use, and easily accessible for anyone living in the area just west of Ottawa's downtown core. Needless to say, it is very flat, and it is not nearly as challenging as some of the trails in the Gatineau Park. However, it's ideal for beginners, and it has more than enough to satisfy people who only has time to get out for a short ski.
The main trail is a little over 5 kilometres long, but with all the side trails, the entire network is probably about 10 kilometres long. Some of the tracks for classic skiing were a little mucked up when I was out on a weekday morning, but one of the volunteers was already on the trail with a snowmobile and grooming machine to get everything back into shape.
Because the trail runs next to the Ottawa River, most of it is in a wide open area where there's little protection from the wind. This is something to consider before heading out on a cold day when it's blowing hard.
Anyone planning to get to this trail by car should remember that the NCC parking lots at various locations next to the Ottawa River are closed during the winter. There is some parking around the Canadian War Museum and on the residential streets in the Westboro Breach area.
For more information (and map) about this cross-country ski trail, go to:
For trail conditions, go to:
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