Top Ten Canada Classic Adventures

Ski Hut-to-Hut in the Gatineau Hills
By Bill McRae

Quebec's deep snows and hardwood-forested rolling hills make for classic cross-country skiing, and on winter weekends it seems like every path in the province becomes an impromptu ski trail. Gatineau Provincial Park, in western Quebec just north of the federal capital of Ottawa, is one of the top cross-country ski areas in eastern Canada for those who want a winter wilderness experience: Dedicated to skiers and snowshoers, the park is one of the North's few destinations free of the whine of snowmobiles.

The park contains more than 200 kilometers of groomed cross-country ski trails winding through deep woodlands and past frozen lakes. The trails link a network of eight warming shelters that serve day skiers. For more of an adventure, these shelters—a mix of cabins, yurts, and a hostel - can be reserved for overnight stays: Pack a sleeping bag and a make a multiday circuit of the park, skiing from hut to hut. You decide how much to rough it: The hostel serves meals and offers saunas and showers, while at the yurts and huts you'll cook over wood stoves. If snowshoeing or winter hiking is more your style, Gatineau Park has 30 kilometers of dedicated trails.

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