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Ottawa River Pathway Skiing (SJAM East!)
By:  Bob Monnette   (2017/03/29)


Update: if we get enough snow, the section between Radisson Way and Greens Creek will be groomed tomorrow morning (April 1st, no joke!). Go out and try it.

New winter activities on the Ottawa River Pathway!

An exciting new recreational opportunity is now available to east-end Ottawa residents. An 8 km stretch of the Ottawa River pathway has been groomed from the east side of Green's Creek to Trim Road. This will enable both classic and skate cross country skiing, as well as for snowshoeing, pedestrians and dog walkers to enjoy this gorgeous stretch along the Ottawa River.

This pilot project has been launched with the generous support of Lafleur de la Capitale and the full cooperation of the NCC, City of Ottawa and, especially, the support from Councillors Bob Monette, Jody Mitic and Tim Tierney as well as the Mayor's office.

When long-time Orléans resident and avid skier Jean Lepage learned about the Dovercourt project in west-end Ottawa to groom the trails along the Sir John A. MacDonald Parkway (SJAM) he thought we can do the same in the east. Enter Robert Lafleur, President of Lafleur de la Capitale, who has for many years held a vision of creating an urban cross-country ski network that, combined with the Gatineau trails, could make the National Capital the number one destination in the world for cross-country skiing.

Next came a furious round of discussions and meetings between the east-end organizing group and the SJAM team, the National Capital Commission, the City of Ottawa and key east-end Councillors that resulted in this pilot project. “The trail runs through both NCC and City properties and we received generous cooperation and support from both” said Jean Lepage, who worked with Ian Gadbois and Louis Caron on this project.

Lafleur agreed to groom this stretch of trail on a trial basis, to demonstrate both the technical ability to do it and the attractiveness to residents. Robert Lafleur and his head groomer Bob Walsh, bring a lifetime of experience to this task, having been responsible for grooming ski trails in the Gatineau and elsewhere around Ottawa for many years.

When the Pilot proves successful (and the team is confident it will) it will be expanded both in time and distance for the 2017/2018 ski season. The vision is for the trail to run from the Rockcliffe boathouse at the west-end to Trim Road in the east and to be groomed on a regular basis from December to April. It will accommodate skiers, snowshoers, walkers and possibly fat tired cycles. This will also open a wealth of winter activity possibilities for carnivals, races and events.

To make this project sustainable in the future, organizers will be seeking sponsorships from a number of sources, including developers and other businesses, municipal and provincial governments and possibly crowd-funding.

This is a community-based project and organizers have been meeting with community associations in the east who fully support this initiative.

For more information please contact Nicholas Gadbois at gadbois.nicholas@gmail.com

Source: https://www.facebook.com/bob.monette.7/posts/10155308211539835?comment_id=10155311307539835

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