a peek inside the fishbowl

08 Jan, 2013

New XC ski trail discovery (well, for us anyway)

Posted by andrea tomkins in: - Ottawa for kids|Easy ways to make kids happy|Ottawa|parenting

We checked out a new trail last weekend and it was FAB. If you’re a cross-country skiing family and are looking for something new, try Green’s Creek in Ottawa’s east end. We discovered that it had everything we wanted in a cross-country ski trail: it was scenic, with speedy straightaways, curvy forest trails, and a couple of satisfying hills to boot.

The hill pictured directly below was one a good one. You zip down, turning as you go, right onto a bridge with open water underneath. (!)

XC skiing at Green's Creek, Ottawa

But it was pretty smooth sailing after that.

XC skiing at Green's Creek, Ottawa

XC skiing at Green's Creek, Ottawa

Ski snacks

Curious about how many calories are burned when you cross-country ski? You should read this Globe and Mail article. There are many health benefits to cross-country skiing, and the best thing is that (a) it’s one of those sports you can do as a family (b) and it’s one of those sports you can do your entire life.

After we looped back to the parking lot we took a run down the resident hill. I didn’t know there was such nice tobogganing to be found at Green’s Creek! You east enders have been keeping it a secret from the rest of us, haven’t you? (It is pretty. Here’s a panorama I shot if you’d like a wider view.)

Sledding at Green's Creek, Ottawa

Sledding at Green's Creek, Ottawa

Sadly, the sledding part of our day was cut short. About five seconds after I snapped the photo above Sarah had a big wipe out partway down the hill. Sigh.

Can I share some hard-earned words of parental wisdom?

  • Make sure kids sit on their derrières and HOLD ON TO THE SLED as they are hurtling down the hill.
  • Do not go skiing over lunch time without packing lunch as it results in (1) seriously grumpy behaviour among children and (2) cravings for fast food among parents. Related: bring high-energy snacks and water.

Aside from the wipeout and near starvation, it was a good day, and I can’t wait to go back.

6 Responses to "New XC ski trail discovery (well, for us anyway)"

1 | Brenda A.

January 8th, 2013 at 9:00 am


Looks like a great trail! Thanks for the info!

2 | Sarah McCormack

January 8th, 2013 at 9:05 am


the skiing looks fab!

re. sledding- always struck me as funny that we spend about 8 years strapping our kids into car/booster seats to keep them safe and then the winter comes and we place them on a piece of plastic and push them hurtling down a hill, usually without a helmet, and on a hill scattered with other children. it’s a strange (mosty Canadian) phenomena i think!

i would also like to have a “parenting conference” where we all agree to teach our children to walk UP one side of a hill (ie. the left) and sled DOWN the other side (the right). seems simple..doesn’t it? so, why oh why, does this never happen?

3 | Carly

January 8th, 2013 at 10:55 am


It’s lovely, no? The trails at Green’s Creek are groomed and maintained by the Orleans Nordic Ski Club. I took their Jackrabbit and racing programs as child, then taught for them (their instructors are all volunteers) in my teens/early 20’s.


The club is run entirely by volunteers and they’re always happy to receive donations to assist in the maintenance of the trails. They also try to groom the trails at Mer Blue Bog (on Anderson Road) and in Pine Grove Forest.

I’ve no affiliation with the Club, but have fond memories from my childhood of skiing with them!

And if you toboggan at Green’s Creek, think about wearing a helmet! It’s an awesome hill, but I’ve seen SO many children and adults end up with horrible bruises, concussions and severly injured backs from sledding there without protection. :o)

So glad you had fun in our neck of the woods!!!

4 | Annie @ PhD in Parenting

January 8th, 2013 at 2:17 pm


Looks fabulous! We’ve been doing a lot of snowshoeing lately. The snow has been incredible and it is a huge calorie burner too.

5 | Jen_nifer

January 9th, 2013 at 9:07 am


The toboggan hill at Green’s Creek has always been a little wild. The city has a list of hills at http://ottawa.ca/en/residents/parks-and-recreation/parks-and-sports-fields/sledding-hills.

The hill at nearby Loyola Park is more moderate, but still a thrilling ride.

6 | Pete

January 9th, 2013 at 1:21 pm


Gorgeous shots, looks like amazing trails. You ever taken the kids and yourselves up to the trails in the Gatineau Park? I tell you, it’s so worth the drive up there (only about 20 minutes from downtown Ottawa, really). I’d check it out, coming from Chelsea, I can assure you that you’re in for a treat going up there. There’s a ton of trails, always more to explore. You’ll find the ski conditions here http://www.canadascapital.gc.ca/places-to-visit/gatineau-park/ski-conditions.

Of course, if you’re ever looking for another event, the Ottawa Auto Show coming up in March (http://autoshowottawa.com/) could be fun for the folks interested in cars, and if you’re looking for the right kind of new vehicle to take your family and all the ski equipment to various new locations, well, the show might just be the ticket.

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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