Skating on Trail #15, one Skier's Concerns
By: Félix Gervais (2008/02/14)
Dear skiers of the park,
We have the amazing chance of sharing the trails of a beautiful nordic playground. Wide skating trails are numerous and varied and I enjoy all of them as much as you. On occasion I, and I believe many other skiers, like to do classic skiing on smaller trails, where you feel more in contact with nature. One of these rare jewel is trail #15. Unfortunately, there are some fellow skiers who do not respect that and skate ski on this trail, destroying the tracks and transforming a wonderful classic skiing experience into backslip nightmare. Only one skier does a lot of damage, three and you don't have classic tracks anymore...If you are one of these skaters, please respect others and stop skating on trail #15. For all other respectfull skiers I encourage you to express your concern when you meet a skater on trail#15.
Thank you all,
We understand your concerns and we generally try to avoid skating on #15 and other similar small trails. Yes, classic can be frustrating when someone has skated over the tracks we run into that all the time too. Unfortunately we can't really fault skiers trying to prepare for the Gatineau Loppet this weekend for doing so. The skating course uses that section, so why should they not be allowed to prepare on it occasionally? There are no rules about this in the park, and the park doesn't specify classic/skating trails or one way trails so it's a free for all. Oops, I stand corrected. Trail #15 is specified on the park maps as a "classic only" trail. All trails are designated either "shared", "classic only" or backcountry on the park maps. The park map is available on line at the NCC site. We encourage obeying these rules. But maybe the park could accommodate skaters leading up to the Gatineau Loppet - Saturday skate, Sunday classic or Odd # days Skate, Even # days Classic. That way there good grooming isn't ruined and people can feel comfortable testing themselves on a narrow section of the skating course without guilt.
Skating on "classic only" trails: I share Felix's concerns. As one who frequents the north end of the park, I've experienced many disappointing outings on 52 and 53 where the classic tracks have been destroyed within hours of fresh grooming. When we want to skate, we go to P19 or P16 to ski the 50 (or venture over to Chelsea). When we want to classic we hope for good classic tracks on the trails designated classic only. - Jenny