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Embracing winter at Gatineau Park

Suzanne Leonard, reporter
February 8, 2012 — Gatineau Park, just outside of Ottawa, has one of the largest networks of cross country ski trails in North America making it the perfect place to embrace the winter.

Snowshoeing at Gatineau Park
Snowshoeing at Gatineau Park

There are over 200 km of trails at Gatineau Park and many of them are back-country trails. You can also snowshoe as well as cross country ski, but like anything, officials say you need to be prepared before you head out.

"It's winter time and if you're in the wilderness, you want to make sure you've got enough clothing to keep you warm. A lot of extra layers," says Louis-RenÚ SÚnÚchal with Gatineau Park. "You also want enough food and water for your trek during the day and it's also good to have a trail map in your back pocket."

And if you plan to stay overnight, a few more items are necessary.

"You'd need a sleeping bag of course. You want to make sure you have matches and candles as well," says SÚnÚchal.

Overnight options at Gatineau Park include winter camping in a tent, a cabin or even yurts that are provided.

"The yurts offer all the comforts that a cabin would. There's a wood stove so you can stay really warm, you have beds with mattresses, you have a refrigerator, so it does allow anyone to enjoy a very beautiful winter experience."

SÚnÚchal adds that observing wildlife during the winter months is especially spectacular as it is a much quieter time.

"So we invite everyone to join us at Gatineau Park."

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