FITZROY HARBOUR – It’s a peaceful ski trail through a beautiful part of West Carleton maintained by a club enjoying its 27th year.
The West Carleton Nordic Ski Club has recently kicked off its 27th season in Fitzroy Provincial Park, providing 10 kilometres of skate skiing trails and another 10 km of classic ski trail, through a partnership of volunteers, the park and the City of Ottawa.
The club is responsible for the grooming and upkeep of the trails, and the organization of the access while the park provides a beautiful winter scene for skiers to enjoy and the city provides some funding.
Like many outdoor winter activities this season, it’s been a slow start due to unpredictable weather.
“We started late,” WCNSC volunteer Tammy Meagher told West Carleton Online Jan. 31. “I think the first sign-in was a week ago.”
The groomed trail runs through beautiful wooded sections of the park, up and down various slopes and is a peaceful escape from the world around it.
“If you like nice, groomed trails, this is the closest place in west Ottawa,” Meagher said.
Meagher lives deeper in the urban city but owns a cabin right across from the park. She has been a member for around 20 years.
“It’s gorgeous,” she said. “There’s a whole mix. There are two different types of forests – there’s a century-old White Pine forest and a stand of 200-year-old Bur Oak. It’s beautiful and it’s not a far drive from Kanata. It’s not too busy. If you like being in nature, in the quiet, this place is perfect.”
The trail crew heads out after every snowfall of more than five centimetres to get the track in tip-top shape again.
Last year the club boasted about 150 members and holds its annual general meeting in April after the ski season wraps up. A season pass to the groomed trails is $40 a year for adults, $20 four youth and $105 for the family. The club welcomes drop-ins as well and has a spot for visitors to pay a $7 drop-in fee at the sign-in table in the parking lot.
Membership allows access to the groomed and marked trails, a parking pass and access to the clubhouse/washroom.
“It’s close to the urban part of the city, but when your out her in nature, it feels like you ae in the middle of nowhere,” Meagher said.
For more information on the West Carleton Nordic Ski Club including trail conditions, click here.