We recently made a trip to Ottawa so that we could enjoy a bit of winter with family. Our first stop in the city (second if you include the rest stop) was to the new Sir John A. MacDonald (SJAM) Winter Trail. I'd read a lot about this trail and couldn't believe that a multi-use pathway that was groomed regularly by volunteers existed right in the city (map). How amazing would it be to live in Ottawa and be able to take advantage of the the trail? Wouldn't it be cool if you could ski to work? We had to check it.
|Excited to be Trying Out the SJAM Trail|
We parked at Island Park Drive. The map doesn't show a parking lot, but there was one that was plowed. Although it was cold, with a bitter wind the day we visited we still had a great time. The trail was well groomed and there were a ton of people out. Lots of parents were there introducing their children to skiing. The trail was a flurry of activity. There were beginner skiers, expert skiers (both classic and skate), snowshoers,
fat bikers fat-bikers fat bikes and even some walkers. All of this is available free of charge but you can make a donation here (it's worth it). It was incredible. What a great way to get people active in the winter.
|Cruising Along the SJAM Trail|
|Heading Under the Parkway|
We packed up our things and went to visit some family. During the visit we planned what the next day would look like. We all wanted to go skiing in Gatineau Park. The park is an amazing collection of cross-country ski trails (over 200 km). To say it's a cross-country skier's paradise would be an understatement.
We thought it would be a ton of fun to park at P10, ski the Fortune Lake Parkway to Keogan Cabin, have lunch then ski back. Round trip would be about 7 km. We weren't sure how the younger members of our group would fare and the forecast was for cold temperatures again. Rather than trying to push it we decided to do an easier route. We started with a stop at the visitor centre to purchase our tickets. It was here that we discovered that kids under the age of 13 are FREE. What a great deal!
|So Much Snow|
|Time for Some Assistance|
|Having a Great Time|
|Camp Fortune in the Distance|
|View from the Lookout|
|Getting Late in the Day|
|Early Morning on the SJAM Trail|
|Looking Out Over the River|
We're already planning our next winter outing. Where will your winter adventures take you?