Opeongo Hills Nordic Ski Club

FAQ

ONLINE MEMBERSHIP REGISTRATION 2020-2021 • CLICK HERE

PRINT-AND-MAIL Registration Form 2020-21 • CLICK HERE

Emergency and Hospital

For emergencies, dial 911 and request the local fire department (BLR) is called for a medical assist. Opeongo Nordic does not have a fire route number or street address. The closest street address is 486 Drohan Road. Two volunteer firefighters live two minutes from the ski club. The closest hospital is in Barry’s Bay, St. Francis Memorial Hospital, approx 40 minutes west of Opeongo Nordic.

What are your COVID-19 protocols?

All skiers at Opeongo Nordic must maintain a two-metre distance from each other.

Click here to see page 33 of Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework. Cross-country skiing is approved to be open during the lockdown. Diane’s Yurt will be closed until Sunday January 24, 2021.


Who do I call for a tow truck?

Holly’s Garage & Towing (CAA), 613-757-2731, info@hollysgarage.com
(Holly’s is less than ten minutes away from the ski club)


When will the online registration open for the 2020-2021 season?

REGISTER YOUR MEMBERSHIP NOW FOR 2020-2021 • CLICK HERE

Or the old-fashioned way… PRINT-AND-MAIL Registration Form 2020-21 • CLICK HERE


When can I start skiing?

We’re open now until the end of March. We will only close temporarily, now and then, if conditions become poor. Check this website for the trail report. Reservations are NOT required.

May I go in Diane’s Yurt this winter 2020-21?

Diane’s Yurt is only open for emergencies this season, three people maximum with masks on. Please change your boots in the car or use the benches by the trailhead.


Are the trails groomed for skate or classic or both?

All the trails are groomed for classic skiing and some are groomed for both skate and classic. Stonedam and Churchview are best for skate-skiing.


Do you know where I can get used equipment?

Please do not contact the ski club about used equipment. We don’t keep track or facilitate connections for used equipment. We strongly recommend you buy new equipment so you can actually enjoy cross-country skiing! Matching boots with bindings is a constant issue when it comes to used equipment. We recommend you avoid three-pin bindings all together. If have to go with used, try asking your friends, searching Kijiji, going to Mountain Equipment Co-op’s Gear Swap page or try the used sports equipment store in Pembroke. Also note that buying used equipment isn’t necessarily going to be less expensive than buying new. There are lots of great starter packages at retail stores. Do your homework.


Can I walk, hike or bike the trails in other seasons?

No. Absolutely not. Anyone attempting to access the trails at other times of year will be trespassing. Trying to access the trails outside of December to March will also negatively impact our relationship with landowners. Don’t do it. Try this place instead: Dacre Heights Wilderness Park.


When are the trail clearing dates for the fall of 2021?

We’re all volunteers at Opeongo Nordic… including you! Our small ski club thrives on its active and dedicated volunteer base. Trail clearing happens over several weekends in the fall, outside of hunting season. Join our email list, like our Facebook page, or check back here in late September to find out about specific dates.


What’s the date for the Opeongo Classic Loppet, 2021?

Sadly, postponed until 2022.


How many kilometres of trails are there?

We groom about 19+ km of trails. To avid skiers, that may not sound like much distance but because of the hills and gorgeous terrain, it’s plenty of great cross-country skiing.


May I snowshoe the trails at Opeongo Nordic?

Yes!


Are the trails two-way or one-way only?

All trails are two-way. Downhill skiers have the right-of-way. If you fall, please fill in your sitzmark, ~noun, ‘sits-ˌmärk,’ definition: a depression left in the snow by a skier falling backward.


How far is Opeongo Nordic from Algonquin Park?

We’re about 50 minutes east of Algonquin Park’s east gate and Algonquin Park’s Leaf Lake ski trails. We suggest you ski one day at Opeongo Nordic and the next at Leaf Lake! Makes for a great overnight ski vacation. More details on our Nearby page.


Why do I have to sign in and out?

It’s very important for all trail users to sign in and out to fulfill our insurance requirements through Cross Country Ski Ontario.


Where can I rent cross-country ski equipment?

Hilltop Ski Rentals (one minute from Opeongo Nordic).
hilltopskirentals@gmail.com
text: 613-717-1243 • phone: 613-757-1404

Other options… Locally, the Killaloe Library has cross-country skis and snowshoes in its sports hub rentals. If you’re in Ottawa or Toronto, Mountain Equipment Co-op rents skis. At Oxtongue Lake, outside Algonquin Park’s west gate, Algonquin Outfitters rents skis.

Can I rent skis or snowshoes from Opeongo Nordic?

No…. but see above!


What facilities are at Opeongo Nordic?

By the parking area, you’ll find Diane’s Yurt, with a woodstove. For the 2020-21 season, only three people are allowed in the yurt with masks on for emergencies only. The outhouse is about 25 metres from the yurt. There’s a sign-in board and gorgeous, well-groomed cross country ski trails. Trails are groomed using two Skandic snowmobiles and two Ginzu groomers (60″ and 80″). Please take home all garbage—there are no garbage cans. Click here for details on nearby accommodations, shops and restaurants.


May I make a fire in the woodstove?

Yes. Please do! It’s a good idea to bring kindling from home… there will likely be some in Diane’s Yurt, but it disappears quickly! Matches, paper and firewood are usually always plentiful.


Why is it called “Diane’s Yurt”?

We fundraised in order to purchase the yurt in 2015, and we had a particularly significant donation with the request that the yurt be dedicated to Diane Brown, who passed away from the disease of alcoholism in 2014. She loved kids and cross-country skiing. The plaque above the inside of the door reads: In loving memory of Diane Brown, 1958-2014, Never give up, never surrender.


May I hike or mountain bike the trails in the spring, summer and fall?

No. We are not permitted access to the various landowners’ properties during the spring, summer and fall. The cross-country ski trails are open (weather permitting) between mid-December and the end of March.


Are the trails hard to ski?

We purposefully added the word “hills” to Opeongo Hills Nordic Ski Club —it is hilly terrain, and on topographic maps of the area, the region is called the “Opeongo Mountains.” The ski club is also just 10 km downhill from the highest populated point in Ontario (Foymount). So… while we love and welcome beginners, the trails can be a bit challenging because of the hills! When in doubt, take your skis off and walk down the side of hills. Opeongo Nordic trails are a great way to prep for the Canadian Ski Marathon and the Gatineau Loppet.


Does Opeongo Nordic offer cross-country ski lessons?

No, the club doesn’t, but email us at ski@opeongonordic.com for names/contact info for local certified instructors.


Who owns the land the ski club is on?

There are five landowners who have given Opeongo Nordic permission to access their properties. We are very grateful to them!


How are ski club funds used?

Grooming the trails is our biggest expense and most of the membership and day-use fees are put into purchasing and maintaining equipment, as well as fuel. We have the laneway and parking lot snowplowed. A small portion of fees is used for promoting the ski club. $18 of every membership goes to insurance.


Who owns/runs Opeongo Nordic?

The ski club is a not-for-profit, managed by a volunteer board of directors and a dedicated membership.

Board Members
Paul Jorgensen
Peter Cruchet, Loppet, Maps and Signage
Linda Deluca, Treasurer
Monica Prymack, Loppet Committee
Allyson Saunders, Social Media, Opeongo Gliders Head Instructor
Duncan Noble, Secretary
Karl Soopalu, Chief Engineer

Opeongo Gliders
Ally Saunders, Head Instructor
Tammy Thompson, Co-ordinator

Co-ordinators
Beth Kennedy
Wendy Milne, Data Analyst
Marnie MacKay, Assistant
Chris Hinsperger, Loppet Committee

Trail Groomers
Tammy and Dale Thompson


Does anyone check the trails at the end of the day?

No. Do not ski alone! There is no end-of-the-day trail check.


Will my cellphone work at the ski club?

Cellphones generally work at the parking area and Diane’s yurt. They do not work as you head further out on the trails. Texting is always your best bet but it may not work either, especially in trail valleys.


I’d like to register my place of business so that my staff can ski all winter. How can I do that?

Register your business and staff as a family, click here.


Do I have to be a member to ski at Opeongo Nordic?

No. You can pay by the day when you sign in.


If I’m a member, do I have to pay daily too?

No. A season membership gives you a full season of unlimited cross country skiing.


Do I need a four-wheel drive vehicle to get to the ski club?

The laneway into the club and the parking area are plowed but narrow and we do usually get a lot of snow! Use your best judgement as you start coming down Drohan Road. If you’re concerned, as you enter the ski club laneway, park by the big stump on your left.


I’d like to volunteer but don’t have much time. How can I help?

Awesome! Little things help a lot!

If you have 5 minutes, any one of the following is very helpful… sweep and tidy the yurt, tables and fireplace. Shovel the yurt’s entrance deck. Gather small bits of garbage and take home to throw out. Remove food left behind in the yurt (the yurt is not critter-proof!). Shovel the path to the outhouse. Bring in some firewood from the pile.

Bring from home… kindling, toilet paper, matches.

While skiing… clear a fallen branch or debris, trim back an over-hanging branch with folding handsaw/pruners, check in with other skiers and help them have a positive experience.


May I bring my dog?

Yes (if well behaved), but don’t tell anyone. It’s a contentious issue! Be a responsible dog owner so we don’t have to say no to dogs. Not only does poop need to be removed from the trails, please also shovel away pee around the yurt and parking area. If your dog is not good with other dogs or people, do not bring him/her. If you’re not sure, don’t bring the dog. Dog-sledding is sadly not permitted.


Opeongo Nordic is in the National Capital District of the national club system created by Cross Country Ski Ontario and Nordiq Canada.

Opeongo Nordic is a proud member of Ontario’s Highlands Tourism Organization and the Ottawa Valley Tourist Association.