Experience Outdoor Winter Fun in Ottawa

By National Capital Commission January 7, 2021

In Canada’s Capital, we don’t just endure winter — we embrace it! Blanketed with a fresh layer of snow, Ottawa–Gatineau’s vast network of parks and trails becomes a winter wonderland.

That we need to be able to take part in safe and healthy outdoor activities is especially true during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As part of a pilot project, the NCC is adding close to 50 percent more accessible winter trail space to the Ottawa area. Public health directives and measures established by local authorities apply at all times.

The NCC's new interactive map will help you find activities and explore the region’s top nature destinations. With over 450 km of trails for skiing, snowshoeing, snow biking, walking and hiking, hills for tobogganing and fire pits to warm up by, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in our “Winter Capital”!

Bundle up, head outdoors, and don’t forget to enter the #WinterCapital challenge!

Interactive Map

Use #WinterCapital interactive map to find suggested routes in the Capital. Pick an activity, and narrow the results using the duration and level of difficulty filters. 

Your perfect outing is just a few clicks away!

The Greenbelt is a place for nature and people. This vast, protected space showcases a mosaic of landscapes, including farms, forests and wetlands. It forms a horseshoe shape around the southern part of Ottawa from east to west, and its proximity to residential areas makes it a choice destination for safe outings this winter.

Nature lovers can observe many species of wildlife, and outdoor enthusiasts won’t run short of activities to enjoy. With over 150 kilometres trails and some of the best tobogganing hills in the Ottawa region, this winter wonderland makes an excellent place for family outings — great for all ages.

Plan your visit

To make the most of your visit, be sure to plan your route, bring plenty of water and snacks, and dress according to the weather. Some locations also offer equipment rental if you don’t have your own. Check the hours, access routes and fees before heading out.

Engaging in outdoor activities involves certain risks, and it is always wise to exercise caution.

Other tips

  • Follow public health directives and the measures established by local authorities at all times; they may vary by province.
  • Maintain physical distancing, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer, and wear a mask where required.
  • Stay back from the pack. For an optimal experience, find your way to less-visited destinations.
  • Know and follow the rules specific to the location you’re visiting and the activity you’re engaging in.
  • Always carry a map, and share your itinerary. If you’re setting out alone in Gatineau Park or the Greenbelt, bring a cellphone, a whistle and a flashlight in case of emergency.
  • Leave no trace. If there are no waste receptacles nearby, take your trash back home, where you can dispose of it properly.