7 Ways to Enjoy Winter Outdoors in Ottawa, ON

Winter is in full swing, but you can still enjoy some fresh air and exercise outdoors. Although it's cold and snowy most of the winter here in Ottawa, there are plenty of ways to enjoy some time outside in and around the city. If you're having trouble finding ideas for activities that will get you out of the house, you've come to the right place. Our team at Jim Tubman Chevrolet has created this helpful guide to ways you can enjoy winter outdoors in Ottawa. We hope it provides some tips you can really use this year.


Go Skiing at Mont Cascades

Location: 448 Mont-des-Cascades Road, Cantley, Québec

Skiing is a popular winter activity around the world, and we have some incredible locations for skiing right here in Canada. Mont Cascades is just one of the places close to Ottawa that offers abundant opportunities to strap on your skis and hit the runs. There are trails for all ability levels at Mont Cascades, so it's winter fun for the whole family. They also have a snow park for those who prefer snowboarding over skiing. If you've never been skiing or need to brush up on your skills, consider taking lessons from a professional here.

Take a Toboggan Ride in Greenbelt

Location: Varies depending on the section of the Greenbelt you visit

A toboggan ride is fun for young and old alike, so you can't go wrong choosing this activity when you want to get outdoors in Ottawa. Canada's Capital Greenbelt has several great hills that are excellent for tobogganing when the snow conditions are just right. You can visit the Bruce Pit toboggan hill in the Stony Swamp section of the Greenbelt. It makes for a perfect daytime toboggan spot.

If you want to slide down the hill at night, then check out Conroy Point in the Pine Grove Forest section of the Greenbelt. This area is lit up at night to make it safe and fun for everyone. Another good spot for tobogganing is Green's Creek. All of these hills are well maintained by the city of Ottawa.

Try Ice Skating on the Rideau Canal

Location: Corner of Fifth Avenue and Queen Elizabeth Driveway

Once the ice on the Rideau Canal reaches a depth of 30 centimetres, which usually takes about 10 to 14 days of temperatures at or below minus 10 degrees Celsius, the Rideau Canal becomes the world's largest ice-skating rink. Typically, the skating season lasts from January to March, but the canal closes to skaters if the conditions aren't entirely safe. You can check their website to make sure it’s open before you head there. This location draws in winter sports enthusiasts and tourists from all over the world, as it's also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Don't miss it.

Hike Along the Winter Trail

Location: Runs along the Ottawa River

Although it's called the Kichi Sibi Winter Trail, this path is open all year to those who want to enjoy a stroll along the beautiful Ottawa River. As a result, you can get out for a hike no matter the time of year. The trail is also open to cross-country skiers, snowshoers, and fat-tire bike riders. You can pick up the trail from parking spots at Westboro Beach, Champlain Park, and the Canadian War Museum, making it easy to access from several locations along the river. Also, it's good to know they keep the path clear after a significant snowfall.

Cross-Country Ski in Gatineau Park

Location: 33 Scott Road, Chelsea, Quebec (visitor's center)

Pick up a season pass so you can cross-country ski as often as you like at Gatineau Park this winter. Daily passes are also available if you just want to go once or twice during the season. The park is just a short drive from Ottawa, and it has one of the most extensive trail networks in North America, with over 200 kilometres of nature for you to discover. So, you can strap on your skis and head here regularly because there's always somewhere new to explore. The winter scenery makes this a magical place to visit.

Rent a Cabin or Yurt for Winter Camping in Gatineau Park

Location: 33 Scott Road, Chelsea, Quebec (visitor's center)

Winter camping is a unique experience that you'll enjoy if you give it a try. Because many people think of camping as a summer activity, you'll have a very peaceful and relaxing time alone out in nature on a winter camping adventure. At Gatineau Park, you'll find several types of accommodations that should suit your needs. You can choose a four-season tent that blends tent-style camping with staying in a cabin. They also have cabins and yurts that provide what you need in a rustic setting. You must snowshoe or cross-country ski to reach the camping facilities in the park.

Walk the Grounds of Parliament

Location: 2 Rideau St., Ottawa

If you missed the popular light projection show at Parliament Hill, don't worry. There's always next year. However, you can still take a lovely stroll around the grounds of Parliament. Just looking at the majestic building is awe-inspiring. And you can always walk around the grounds for free, no matter the time of year. Make sure you check out the Centennial Flame, a monument that honours Canada's 100th anniversary of confederation. It's been a beacon in the city since 1967, and the burning flame makes for a nice spot to warm up during frigid temperatures.

Well, there you have it, our Jim Tub Chevrolet dealership's list of the best ways to enjoy winter outdoors in Ottawa. Of course, these are just a few ideas you can use to get started, as there are lots of fun things to do in Ottawa during the winter. If you have any other ideas that we should have included on our list, contact us and share them. We would love to go check out your favourite outdoor activity this winter.


Image by Banff Sunshine Village is licensed with Unsplash License

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