Sat. May 21st, 2022

Winter is a big part of living in the capital, and Ottawa has a well-maintained winter network that is nearly 100 kilometers.

There are trails throughout the city, including one classified by the National Capital Commission as located in the city center; The Rideau Winter Trail is 12 km, running along the east side of the Rideau River, from North River Road (Donald Street) to Bank Street.

“I come every day, I get up and down the trail – it gives me really good exercise,” says Bob Tipple, who was out on his cross-country skis on Friday afternoon. “It’s a beautiful day, blue sky, beautiful snow, amazing day!”

The groomed course is now in its second season.

“Our track is free to use, it’s completely run by volunteers; and anyone can come and use it. People come and go, they come and go cross-country skiing, skate skiing, classic skiing, winter biking, snowshoeing, everything.” says Peter Nor, president of the Rideau Winter Trail. “We’re really lucky in Ottawa.”

It is one of many groomed winter trails in the capital region.

“We have an amazing network of community-driven groomed trails,” said Dominque Huras, Strategic Communications Advisor at the National Capital Commission.

And the trails continue to expand, as does the Scott Street Connector supply to the Kichi Sibi Winter Trail.

“It’s about connecting communities,” Kris Phillips says with the Kitchi Sibi Winter Trail. “Honestly, what a great way, especially in these bizarre COVID times, to get people outdoors, to enjoy some of the fresh air that we have here; and the countryside, brother – come down to the river, it’s phenomenal tomorrow,” he tells CTV News Ottawa.

Ottawa Outdoor Gear Library

If you have wanted to try cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, but the price of equipment is a barrier to try, the Ottawa Outdoor Gear Library can help.

“We recognize that Ottawa has a lot of opportunities to be outdoors, but access to those opportunities is not equal for everyone; so we exist to make access to the outdoors a more equitable process,” said Sherry Wu, coordinator.

The Ottawa Outdoor Gear Library has a pop-up location at the Overbrook Community Center.

“We are located about 800 meters from the Rideau Winter Trail,” says Wu.

It is open Tuesdays and Saturdays; you can book online via the website.

They are also actively looking for outdoor equipment to donate.

While enjoying the weather along the Rideau Winter Trail, take a break at one of five campfire sites at the Bridge Public House.

“Our base camp for the Rideau Winter Trail is Bridge Public House, which has these campfire sites; they can be rented for two hour blocks and you can be served out here, mingle with your friends, it’s a safe way to be outside and have fun “And then you can order from our regular menu,” says Nicki Bridgland.

It costs $ 40 to reserve a campfire, with half the money donated to the trail as a fundraiser.


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