a peek inside the fishbowl

29 Dec, 2013

The family that skis together…

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

All four of us finally have skis. We have been renting skis for the girls for the past few years (you can read more about cross-country ski rental in this post) and it was fine, but I’m happy that we finally have our own skis and don’t have to worry about borrowing/returning/etc.

We’ve decided that we’re going to try a bunch of different trails around Ottawa and post about our experiences, just in case anyone out there wanted to try a new trail too. :)

This afternoon we decided that the first family ski of the season should take place at Pine Grove Forest trails (NCC info here), an area that we checked out for the first time in the fall. We parked and started to unload our skis (at a lot on Davidson Road) when a nice lady in the parking lot stopped to tell us that the trail was too icy.

“You should try the trail on Leitrim,” she suggested. “It’s gorgeous there right now.”

And so we did. And it was.

A great ski trail for kids in Ottawa

  • It was quite scenic. The majority of the trail winds through the woods. And soooo quiet. Totally dreamy.
  • It is clearly marked with NCC wayfinding posts, which is great for paranoid people like me. Bonus points, you can choose a shorter loop if you’re not up for the whole thing. We were out for just over an hour and may have covered a 3.5 km loop (at least that what it felt like).
  • It was well-groomed. There were two lanes of ski trail most of the way.
  • It was quite flat, which makes it perfect for beginners although thrill-seekers might be disappointed.
  • It was blissfully underused. We saw four people the entire time we were out.
  • The trails seemed well-shared; snowshoes on one side, skis on the other. Unfortunately we did see someone embarking on a walk with their giant dog just as we finished our loop. (Many NCC trails are dog-free this time of year. Conroy Pit would have been a better destination for them.)

Other things worth noting:

  • There were no birds to feed at this trail. Go to Jack Pine if you want to feed the chickadees!
  • There are no bathrooms or places to sit and rest at P19 (in case you’re thinking of combining it with a picnic).
  • It is close to civilization. We did a quick grocery shop at Farm Boy on the way home. :)

I don’t know what the actual trail number is (45? 46?), but the start of the trail is located at P19 which is on Leitrim Road between Hawthorne and Ramsayville Road. We found it easily enough, but in case you need help, note that NCC has an awkwardly huge PDF trail map on their website. Check it out before you go because you’ll have trouble loading it on your phone.

Sarah (12) says: “I liked it but I wish it had more hills.” (She’s itching for some downhill action!)

Emma (14) says: “It was nice. There weren’t that many hills. Sometimes I like a hill for a bit of a break. It was nicely groomed. There were no branches in the way.”

I would definitely do this one again. I think it’s one of the nicest ski trails in Ottawa, even though it’s one of the flattest. There’s something about swishing through those silent woods that is like a balm for my busy brain. I just love it.

1 Response to "The family that skis together…"

1 | A rare ski day >> a peek inside the fishbowl

February 23rd, 2015 at 4:35 pm


[…] minus seven it is cause for celebration around here. It was with this in mind that we returned to this NCC cross-country ski trail on […]

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The Obligatory Blurb

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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