Heritage East

Ottawa River, Orleans
Posted on January 22, 2021 / 2548
Heritage East
Location : Eastern Ontario
X-Ski km : 30
Skate km : 30
Snowshoe km : 30+
Skill Level : Easy
Terrain : small hills, wide paths, gentle hills, open fields, flat sections
Facilities : parking, toilets/outhouse, lodging near, food close by, good trail signage, trails maintained, track set, gear rentals
Trail Fee : Free

Length  ~ 30 km

Cross Country track set   –  30  km
Skate Skiing  groomed  –  30 km
Snowshoe  trail –  30+ km 

Skill – All Levels – good for beginners

Terrain –  Mostly easy flat wide paths, a few hills and wide turns.

Traffic – Cross-country skiing (skate and classic), snowshoeing, fat biking and walkers + dogs

Hours –  Daylight hours 

Fee –  Free

Trail Map – Well signed along the route

Facilities –  Street parking, rentals, lessons, snacks, warming cabins, 

Highlights – Scenic, wilderness,

Phone – none

Website –  Ski Heritage EastFB page   NCC

Current Conditions 

Similar Trails –  SJAM ,  Wesley Clover

Local Clubs – Ski Heritage East, Orleans Nordic Ski Club

Access – Parking can be found along the streets adjacent to the trail. 

  • end of Orleans Blvd.
  • behind Metro store at Hiawatha Park
  • end of Champlain St.
  • Tenth Line & Jeanne-d’Arc Blvd. N.
  • Trim Road & Jeanne-d’Arc Blvd. N.

The NCC will be plowing Lot P7 and P8 (now called P27), accessible from the George Etienne Parkway.

Map with parking locations

Bus Routes 39, 38 and 138 can get you there by transit.

The Heritage East recreational trail along the banks of the Ottawa River is a new 30 km  easy winter trek for Nordic skiing or Snowshoeing.

This is a convenient urban outing for anyone on the east side of Ottawa. Great for beginners like the SJAM trail further upstream or for seasoned skiers looking to put in some mileage. 

I was there last winter and the conditions were good, the sun was out and the air was crisp. The path traverses along the south bank of the partially frozen Ottawa R. with views of Quebec on the other side. 

What is a cycle/walking path in the summer serves as a community classic and skate skiing track in the winter. I have also seen Snowshoe activity and Fatbikes on this route. Add walkers and dogs to the list could also mean a lumpy route of footprints if it has not snowed or been groomed lately for smooth skate skiing (and a good reason to pay for a trail pass elsewhere).

Thankful dedicated volunteers do groom and post snow conditions often. (They are always in need of donations for gas and machine maintenance.)

From the west side, the path now extends to the Aviation and Space Museum, as the route runs down low and flat close to the water’s edge. This stretch is more out in the open and gives beautiful views but could be windswept. As you get to Green’s Creek the route is more treed and sheltered as it climbs to higher ground.

Once across the creek road bridge, the trail swings back to the mighty river as you approach the suburbs of Orléans. Here eventually is a long road crossing where you may have to take off your skis and walk along Radisson Way to Hiawatha Park Rd. for 530 metres.

Beyond this, the Heritage path goes through woodlots and fields with a few short hills and wide turns. This section is much more of a secluded forest setting with limited views of the river or homes. You might even think you are out in the country.

The path finishes at Trim Rd. as it comes up to the road level of Jean D’Arc Blvd. N. a flat, straight somewhat dull ending.

Ample signage keeps you on course. Though there is no designated separate Snowshoe trail, you can wander off on other hiking paths as snowshoers often do and make up your own adventure.

Considering the Ottawa area gets an ample amount of snowfall, back in 2017 this popular summer trail got locals thinking to make good use of it in the winter too. I am glad they did, and since then it has grown in length and popularity every year.

Opening Hours
  • Monday :Daylight Hours
  • Tuesday :Daylight Hours
  • Wednesday :Daylight Hours
  • Thursday :Daylight Hours
  • Friday :Daylight Hours
  • Saturday :Daylight Hours
  • Sunday :Daylight Hours

Trail map 

Heritage ski trail map

Heritage ski trail map

Total Score 1 REVIEW
Fun Factor: Scenic: Trail Design: Technical: Workout:
Leave a review
Fun Factor: Scenic: Trail Design: Technical: Workout: