There is a new place to enjoy the winter weather that stretches out for kilometres along the Ottawa River. The Sir John A. MacDonald multi-use trail that launched as a pilot project last year has passed the test and is officially open.

The trail is 16 kilometres is length and runs along the Sir John A. MacDonald Parkway from the Canadian War Museum to Westboro Beach. For outdoor sports enthusiast excited by the new trail, the picture perfect view of the Ottawa River is an added bonus.

“It’s phenomenal and everybody I see is smiling,” said long-time skier, Shelley McKay. “I’ve been able to just get up and grab my skis and polls and step onto a beautifully groomed trail.”

The trail is managed by Dave Adams, who played a key part in fundraising for the project.

“We had to buy the dedicated equipment because we want to groom on a regular basis. We want the train to be free, accessible, and inviting, and when I say inviting I want it nice,” Adams said.

It was started by the Westboro Beach Community Association, in partnership with Dovercourt Recreation, Fresh Air Experience, Bushtukah, and the National Capital Commission.

“We’re doing a long-term plan for this shoreline and we’re working actively to create the Linear Park between Dominion and Cleary Station, and one of the comments was let’s activate this in the winter, so the community led this and we followed,” said Mark Kristmanson, CEO of the NCC.

The trail is open to skiing, as well as winter biking, running, walking, and snow-shoeing.

More information is available here.