Five Great Places to Snowshoe in the Ottawa Area

Looking for a new winter activity for the family? How about snowshoeing? It’s easy to do and there are lots of great places to do it in the Ottawa Area.

  1. Stony Swamp Conservation Area The Jack Pine, Beaver, Chipmunk and Sarsaparilla Trails are all great for a family snowshoe. Bring some sunflower seeds along to feed the chickadees.
  2. Mer Bleue Conservation Area The second largest bog in southern Ontario and it’s right in Ottawa’s backyard. You will find interpretive information and because it’s winter the bog is bug free!
  3. Gatineau Park With one of the largest trail networks in North America there are almost endless opportunities for snowshoeing: 14 trails covering 60km. Parking is free at most lots in the winter but you do have to buy a day or season pass and snowshoeing is only allowed on designated trails. Day passes can be purchased at various locations in the park and also at Bushtukah.
  4. The Sir John A. Macdonald Trail New in 2016 this multi use trail runs along the river from the Canadian War Museum to Westboro Beach.
  5. South March Highlands – Kanata Lakes These trails are maintained by the great folks at OMBA and you will see a few Fat Bikes out on the trails but there is room for everyone.

2016 Events- The Winterlude Triathlon

The Winterlude  triathlon is a skate-ski-run triathlon held on the Rideau Canal, the world’s largest skating rink.  It’s part of Ottawa’s Winterlude, a celebration of Canada’s unique northern climate and culture. It is also the first event required to win a Rudy a triathlon award unique to Ottawa. It’s an 8k skate followed by an 8k ski and a 5k run.

Bushtukah has been a sponsor for many years. Mother nature often plays a role in this event. We have had years when it was really cold and years when it was not cold enough. IMG_0256_copyLucky for us all, long time race director Rick Hellard rolls with the weather and always makes it happen. This year we skied and ran at Moonies Bay.

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The 2017 edition of the event will be held on February 4th. Details can be found here.

2015 Events-The Winterlude Triathlon

The Winterlude  triathlon is a skate-ski-run triathlon held on the Rideau Canal, the world’s largest skating rink.  It’s part of Ottawa’s Winterlude, a celebration of Canada’s unique northern climate and culture. It is also the first event required to win a Rudy a triathlon award unique to Ottawa.

Bushtukah is a long time sponsor of this event which features athletes of all abilities. When mother nature co-operates it’s an 8k skate, an 8k ski and a 5k run. When she does not the race still goes on we just have to improvise a little.  A great event that’s worth braving the cold for (and this year it was cold)!

The 2016 date is January 30th. Details and registration can be found here.

2015 Events- The Mad Trapper Snowshoe Serries

This series of four races is held at The Ark past Wakefield. Each event includes a 5K and a 10K distance. If you have never tried it snowshoe running is tough but it’s a lot of fun and these events are a great way to try it out. You can rent running snowshoes on site. The atmosphere is fun and friendly and each event includes a home made post race meal, beer and Mike’s amazing brownies!

They even made a video about it!

Our favorite is still the Bushtukah Night Race. It’s a fund raiser for i2p  and there is nothing quite like running through the woods on a starlit night!

You can find details about this year’s events here

Ten Online Shopping Ideas for Winter Sports Enthusiasts

All of these items are available on our website http://www.bushtukah.com and in our retail stores.

Merino wool base layers– to keep them warm and dry

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A Snowshoe bag– to keep the snow out of the car.

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A waxing iron– for waxing at home.

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A waxing table– so no one uses your kitchen table!

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A down vest– for cold days or for staying warm after a workout.

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A Garmin Forerunner 15– to keep track of time and distance.

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Merino wool socks– Great for a little extra warmth.

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Snowshoe poles– they can be used for hiking too.

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A ski bag– to keep the snow out of the car.1493288_020

A Bushtukah gift card

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Gift Ideas for Winter Sports Enthusiasts

Brushesto get the waxing just right.

A hatto keep your head warm!

Glovesto keep your hands warm.

Wind briefs– great for guys and not bad for girls either.

A Bufffor flexible extra warmth.

Glove linersfor really cold days.

Hiking poles– for snowshoeing.

Merino wool socksyou will want these every day.

A snowshoe bagto keep the snow out of your car.

A ski bagto keep the snow out of your car.

A quality pair of ski poleslighter and faster.    

A pair of winter bootsto use with snowshoes.

A waxing iron– especially for skate skis.

A waxing benchso no one waxes skis in your kitchen!

Snowshoesfor all kinds of things.

A base layersynthetic or wool both keep you warm.

A breathable jacketfor high energy activities.

A vest– for extra warmth.

A day packfor extra stuff.

A Garmin Forerunner 15so you know how fast you went.

A Garmin Fenix 3so you don’t get lost

Hand and toe warmersfor really cold days

A down jacketpacks up small for extra warmth if you need it.

An insulated containerfor a warm drink on a chilly day.

Sunglassesfor bright sunny days

A face mask – for the really cold day

Gift Ideas for Winter Hikers

The Basics

Merino Wool Socksto keep your feet warm and dry.

Hiking polesfor balance, snowshoeing and for saving your knees.

Yaktrax – for less snowy, more slippery days.

Snowshoes

A good quality day pack

Base layers- synthetic or wool both great choices for warmth. Avoid cotton!

Things you should carry just in case

A compass- great for safety, no batteries required.

A whistle- for emergencies.

An emergency first aid kit.

An emergency blanket or a bivi sack

A headlampbecause things do not always go to plan.

An ignition steel- to make a fire (HINT: dryer lint makes great kindling).

Great add-ons for Winter Hikers

A snowshoe bagto keep the snow out of your car.

An MSR Micro Rocket stovea little stove for a quick warm-up drink and more.

Gaiters- to keep the snow out of your boots.

A Jetboil cooking system– fast and efficient for a quick hot drink on the trail.

A water filter- for safe hydration.

Garmin Fenix 3 – the best GPS watch for hiking.

An Icebreaker mid-layer- for extra warmth and they don’t get smelly.

A pair of waterproof breathable pants- great for winter hiking.

A waterproof phone case.

A Swiss Army knife or a multi tool.

An insulated canteen.

A backpack rain cover.

Glove liners.