Embracing winter in Ottawa
Some visitors also try their skills on the increasingly popular snowshoe trails. "If you know how to walk, you know how to snowshoe!" advised Gatineau Park spokesman, Louis-Rene Senechal. "All you have to do is grab your snowshoes, drive up to the park, step on the trails and go!"
Be on the lookout for white-tailed deer or a hare - or listen out for the hoot of an owl or the gentle persistent beat of a woodpecker. But do not worry - the bears will still be sleeping.
Winterlude guide: www.canadascapital.gc.ca/winterlude
Dow's Lake (www.dowslake.com): A rest and relaxation area with bars, restaurants and a place to rent skates and sleighs.
A winter sports mecca would not be the same without downhill skiing. Four well-established resorts - Camp Fortune (www.campfortune.com), Vorlage (www.skivorlage.com), Mont Cascades (www.montcascades.ca) and Edelweiss (www.edelweissvalley.com) - are nearby, featuring a good range of beginner, intermediate and expert machine-groomed slopes with hardpacked snow. Though the hills are relatively small, it is all about location, location, location: the resorts are just a 15-25 minute drive away from Parliament Hill.