Snow Biking in the Ottawa Area

The Ottawa area is a great area for those looking to enjoy winter sports. Looking for something to do this winter? You might want to consider snow biking in some of the many trails we have in the area for your winter activity and exercise. Riding your bike in winter has become quite popular in the Ottawa area.

With a fat tire snow bike you can enjoy mother nature all year long. Please note that not all trails listed below are free to use. Most are but Gatineau Park and Larose Forest both require an access pass or membership.

Below are a few pointers for those who have yet to experience riding in the snow but who are interested in trying it out this year.

  1. Front hub motors are not recommended for snow riding because they would lack traction.
  2. A rear hub motor would be better than a front hub motor.
  3. Mid drive motors provide more torque than hub motors.
  4. Fat tires are preferable in snow but knobby mountain bike tires could work.
  5. Fat bike tire pressure should be lowered below 10 psi for additional traction.
  6. Loose snow and ice can make steering and powering the bike more of a challenge.
  7. Start slowly with short rides and work your way up as you get more comfortable.
  8. At first, disable the pedal assist and use throttle only to help.
  9. Enable pedal assist slowly and only as you gain experience.
  10. Braking requires additional distance in snow conditions
  11. Bring battery inside. Do no leave in sub zero temperatures for extended periods of time.
  12. A warm battery will let you travel further than a cold one.
  13. Dress warm, face covering, try using warmed handlebar mitts
  14. Wipe down your bike after riding in winter particularly if your bike was exposed to any road salt.

Snow Biking Trails (2022)

Gatineau Park

The Gatineau Park trails offers many options for snow bike enthusiasts to enjoy over the winter season. It offers more than 40 kms of trails varying in degrees of difficulty from easy to extreme. All trails are multi-purpose trails shared with snowshoe enthusiasts who have the right of way on the trails. Trails are not groomed. Gatineau Park is a prime destination for winter activities. Snow bike tires must be a minimum of 3.7” with less than 10 psi to ride in the Gatineau Park snow bike trails. A daily or season pass is required to access the snow biking trails in Gatineau Park. Pets are not allowed on the snow biking trails.

SJAM (Kichi Sibi) Winter Trail

The Sir John A MacDonald Parkway newly renamed Kichi Sibi trail makes for a wonderful ride along the Ottawa River in the western part of the Ottawa. It is a groomed trail that run from the Canadian War Museum to Westboro Beach.  

The Ski Heritage East Winter Trail

Multi-purpose winter trail located in the east end of the city. 30 Km of groomed trail that runs along the bank of the Ottawa river from Blair in Vanier to Trim Road in Orleans. Free to use and accessible to the public. No membership required.

The Rideau Winter Trail

Multi-use winter trail located in the Overbrook, Sandy Hills area of Ottawa. Accessible to the public. No membership required.

Centre de Plein Air du Lac Lemay

Groomed multi-use trails maintained by the City of Gatineau.

Limerick Forest

This trail system is in the Leeds & Greenville area. It offers some multi-use trails that allow for snow biking in the winter. Snowmobiles and ATVs are not allowed on most trails. Follow guidance and regulations. Have fun.

Snow Biking in the Ottawa Area
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