Last week I reported that the NCC has begun adding barricades and gates to their parking lots to help them enforce closures, like this last week when Gatineau Park was shut down by a wind storm.
Some skiers and snowshoers started panicking because they thought that the gates might be used in conjunction with the NCC’s efforts to close the park at night, part of the NCC’s effort to cut down on unruly behaviour and accidents.
Well fear not – the Citizen is reporting that the NCC has promised the trails will remain open at night, allowing all of us who enjoy moonlit ski and a glass of wine and a snack in one of the cabins to continue our late night adventures!
Here’s the Citizen article:
Cross-country skiers who look forward to moonlight treks in Gatineau Park can relax: the National Capital Commission has no plans to close the trails at night.
Some skiers were alarmed when they noticed that gates are now being installed at parking lots in the park.
The gates will allow the NCC to close off the lots in case there is extreme weather that makes them unsafe, said NCC spokesperson Cédric Pelletier.
“For instance, when there is an extended freezing rain episode or massive snowfall and we can’t maintain all parking lots at once, or when there are strong winds and we haven’t yet assessed the safety of certain trails. These new gates will help to ensure public safety.”
Night ski and snowshoe treks along trails in the park that lead to cabins in the woods are popular. Some people pack full dinners to heat up on the wood stoves.
On full-moon nights, the cabins are often packed.
The Champlain, Gatineau, Fortune Lake and Philippe Lake parkways in Gatineau Park always close to vehicles in the winter, because they become cross-country trails. They closed Oct. 27, and will re-open in early May, depending on the weather.
However, the parking lots adjoining ski and snowshoe trails are accessible via other roads within the park.