New winter trail opens along Rideau River

A new winter trail along the Rideau River opened this weekend for residents to enjoy just before the snowy cold weather ends this year.

Pilot project will run from Hurdman Bridge to Montreal Road

Nicki Bridgland, founder and CEO of the Rideau Sports Centre, a partner in the pilot project. (Hallie Cotnam/CBC)

A new winter trail along the Rideau River opened on Saturday for residents to enjoy just before the snowy weather wraps up.

Residents can now snowshoe, cross-country ski or use their fatbikes along the one-kilometre stretch from from Hurdman Bridge to Montreal Road.

The pilot project was launched in collaboration between the Rideau Sports Centre and Coun. Mathieu Fleury​.

"It's a nice urban connection to stay healthy and fit, and enjoy winter here in our capital city," Fleury told CBC Radio's In Town and Out. 

"It's a great connection point for those who live in Sandy Hill, for those who live in Overbrook and for those who live in Vanier." 

More sections may be added 

If the project is successful, Fleury said more sections will be added to the two groomed this winter.  

The Rideau River already has a pathway that connects various areas of the city, such as Carleton University, Mooney's Bay and Old Ottawa South, he said.

The trail will not be groomed with classic cross-country skiing tracks for this pilot run, he said, but there are plans to include the opportunity after the pilot. 

Fleury said he is excited for the project because it will give people the chance to carry out their winter activities within their own urban spaces.

"People will be able to use it as often as they want [and] when they want until the weather permits," he said.