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Dusk & Dinner in Gatineau Park #TheWinterResolution

In my ongoing quest to not become the most bitter woman on the planet because of winter, I said yes to going for a cross-country ski outing with my family last Sunday. The whole drive there I was plotting my immigration to Australia and what year would be best for the kids’ schooling. (I kid you not.)

And yet? It was a beautiful (dare I say magical) time with my family. The trails were so peaceful. The time with my son (he can’t keep up with the rest of us yet, so I stayed at his pace while telling Hubby and Stella to go burn some energy) was just precious. There was nothing to distract me away from him. We just skied at our own mellow pace and chatted most of the way. And some of the way, we didn’t talk at all. We were just quiet. Just the sound of the skis against the snow.

Here is a photo recap. We skied up to the Shilly Shally shack in daylight, ate dinner, and then skied back down at dusk.

4:30 pm. Lacing up in the car.


Every woman of my age will know what this picture is about. Stupid bladder.


This is the sign at our starting point. (You actually ski on a road that is closed in winter.)


Here’s my son Max. He’s six years old. He’s a great little skier.


You don’t need to be a fit little ski bunny to do this. I am your proof. (Here’s what gear I needed to get started)


This is a favourite resting spot for the kids. You can sit comfortably on this bench without taking your skis off.


The turn-off to head to the Shilly Shally shack.


The Shilly Shally. It’s not just a cute name. It’s a cute place, isn’t it?


Hot chocolate (mandatory, of course).


After eating our meal, we had some apple strudel for dessert. All toasty warm from sitting on the iron fire place wrapped in tin foil.


After our nice, leisurely hang-out inside the shack, we set out as dusk set upon the hills.


The great part about the way back is that it’s almost entirely downhill.


Here’s that same resting bench I showed you earlier.


We all did a switch — Hubby skied with Max on the way back (below), while Stella and I shot off ahead.


It was a wind-breaking downhill all the way back to our starting point.


8:00 pm. Taking the skis off, back at the car park.


What to read more about cross-country in the Gatineau Hills? The Shilly Shack is our family fave trail right now, so it’s no surprise that I have this post on Shilly Shally shack and another one as well. To change it up, we’ve also gone to the Keogan cabin.  


  1. Brenda A says:

    Love this day. Love it!

  2. What a fabulous idea! This looks amazing. I hope we can get to do this next winter

  3. Good times for sure. Love this type of adventure.

  4. This looks awesome! This would be one reason I might love to live in Ottawa. Just this month my family and I learned to ski at Tremblant and Now we LOVE it so much. I am dreading missing the ski hills. This is such a great activity for fitness and health and for families to do together. I heart this. Looks like you had a great time and hot chocolate is definitely good motivation to complete the route.

  5. or Ottawa area, I should say….

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