About Greenbelt (east) XC Trail Grooming and Track Setting

The Orleans Nordic Ski Club (ONSC) has been grooming and track setting for classic style skiing at 3 locations in the eastern Greenbelt for 20 years.

    1. Green’s Creek/ Hornet’s Nest (where the Club runs its Learn to Ski programs).
    2. Mer Bleu-west of Anderson Road
    3. Pine Grove Forest- north of Leitrim Road

    Thank you to ONSC volunteers who widened the trails for the 2020-2021 season in order to facilitate physical distancing.
    Each of these areas share common characteristics that influence how and when grooming can be done:
      • the trails are generally NOT paved or hard surface.
      • the trails are generally narrower than for example the trails along the Ottawa River. In some places, the trail is only slightly wider than the ski doo. They are not suitable for skate skiing.
      • there are boardwalks and bridges incapable of supporting heavy grooming equipment.
      • the ground that makes up trail must be frozen and there must be a minimum of 10 cms of snow before grooming can take place. Grooming and track setting takes multiple passes of the equipment.


      Grooming equipment must be trailered from site to site. The equipment is NOT kept on site. Because it is trailered, the grooming equipment is mechanical rather than hydraulic or electrical- grooming is done with drags and the tracks are set with a commercial but mechanical Bachlor track setter.

      Tracks are set by pulling the track setter behind a ski doo. Molds on the track setter press into the snow to give you tracks. Depth of track is adjustable and additional weights can be added to the track setter.

      For 20 years, the ONSC has fully funded the grooming and track setting. The commercial rate is $95 per hour. A volunteer has been doing this work using the club’s equipment.

      In 2019-2020 the NCC and the City of Ottawa provided some funding to those groups who groom and track set on the Ottawa side of the river. ONSC received an amount that allowed for approximately 80 hours of grooming and track setting in the eastern Greenbelt.