SCT is a community based, not-for-profit group dedicated to the preservation and creation of a green trail network linking the village centre, schools and community centres to neighbourhoods and to the natural assets of Gatineau Park and the Gatineau River. Contact us by email at [email protected]
SCT was founded in October 2009 when a small working group of Chelsea citizens got together to look for ways to preserve what remains of Chelsea’s rich cultural and historical legacy of trails, and, where possible, to enhance and expand this existing trail system. Officially established as a not-for-profit organization in August 2010, Chelsea Trails has charitable status, a constitution, and a 12-person Board of Directors.
SCT works to give the trail network a stronger voice in our community. SCT promotes active living, active transport and enjoyment of nature. We strive to:
- Advocate for the preservation of existing community trails.
- Improve active transport options for Chelsea residents and visitors, building on Chelsea’s Active Transport Master Plan.
- Seek out opportunities to build Chelsea’s trails networks through new trails development.
- Integrate trail considerations in the development and recreational planning process at the Municipality.
- Help turn the Municipality’s inventory of raw lands designated for trails into active trails.
- Expand the network of trails in a sustainable and environmentally sensitive way.
Our Trail Network
Cascades-Farm Point – The Lost Field Trail
This neighbourhood trail is located in the northern most sector of the Municipality of Chelsea – in a triangle of wooded land bounded on the west by Route 105, on the east by the Gatineau River, and on the north by the border between Chelsea and La Peche.
This is the first municipal trail network created entirely by volunteers from Sentiers Chelsea Trails, in partnership with the Municipality of Chelsea. The trail provides a walking connection between several adjacent neighbourhoods in the Cascades area whose residents would otherwise be dependent on roads for transportation.
The trail was built and is maintained entirely by volunteers from Sentiers Chelsea Trails, with tools and materials provided by the Municipality of Chelsea. Trail construction began in 2012, and incremental improvements are done annually, usually through Saturday morning work bees. Approximately 40 volunteers have contributed roughly 650 hours of labour as of 2019. .
As with all trails, if you use them please remain on the trail and avoid unnecessary noise which can disturb trail neighbours. Take out everything you bring in and keep your eyes and ears open for wildlife
The Lost Field Trail / Sentier du pré perdu The trail has 3 trailheads. The southern trailhead is located on Route 105 about 400 metres north of chemin Pine. The trail extends north two kms to a trailhead on chemin Winnisic, with a portion branching east to chemin Dunbar and then again east to chemin Mountainview, adding one additional km. An additional trailhead is located on chemin du Vignoble. The landscape varies between wooded areas and field, with several short boardwalks. The terrain is steep in some sections and flat in others, and there is a variety of wildlife. One section of the trail is situated on a remnant of an old farm road that in the mid-1800’s led to Meach Creek valley.
The Municipality acquired land for this trail network at various times over the years as part of the sub-division approval process. Several adjacent property owners have also generously signed revocable land owner agreements to allow sections of the trail to pass on their priv!ate properties; these are valuable contributions which can greatly enhance the trail network
Change is coming to this sector of Chelsea, with several new housing sub-divisions approved in the Cascades and Farm Point areas. These developments will have a significant impact on the labyrinth of other informal trails which have existed for generations, but they also provide opportunities to further extent the official trail network on land acquired by the municipality. The potential exists to create additional municipal trails linking more neighbourhoods in this sector, and Sentiers Chelsea Trails will continue to need volunteers to help with trail building and maintenance. If you are willing to lend a hand, or interested in allowing trails on your property, please get in touch!
Community Rail Trail
The historic CPR railway line running alongside the Gatineau River in Chelsea, has been slowly transformed into a 4 season, non-motorized municipal trail and superb recreational asset for the village. It all began in 2006 when the railways corridor was turned into a short, winter trail, groomed by the local ski club, to give their racers a place to practise. Over the next 10 years, Chelsea Trails join the winter trail effort and volunteers supported the groom, maintenance, fundraising and expansion of the winter trail
In Fall 2020, the vision of a 4 season multi-purpose trail presented by Chelsea Trails to the municipality in 2015, will reach a major milestone. The entire 22 kilometer section of the trail bed corridor will be the resurfaced with stone dust, making it a smooth trail for bikers, walkers, runners, skiiers, birders, dog lovers, children heading to school and young ski racers training. The trail traces the history of our community through an interpretive panels project with the Gatineau Valley Historic Society and connects 9 neigbourhoods with a safe, offroad pathway to the centre village, schools and community centres.
Active Transport Plan
SCT is always looking for new ways to increase access to active transportation in our community from on road cycling infrastructure to nature paths linking neighbourhoods. We work closely with the Municipality of Chelsea on this goal. Over the past 10 years, Chelsea Trails volunteers have worked on municipal committees, planned trails, presented visions and injected the voice of trail users and cyclists into the municipal process. And we continue to make a difference.
The potential exists to create and link many more trails in our village, and the Municipality’s recently adopted Master Plan for Active Transportation confirms its commitment to further trail development.
When new sub-divisions are proposed the Municipality requests recommendations from Chelsea Trails regarding potential trail routes and has committed to assisting in surveying and the purchase of trail building materials.
Public works has improved the network and safety of on road cycle structure and supported neighbourhood trail building by Chelsea Trails volunteers with materials and tools provided by the Municipality of Chelsea. These trails provides a walking connection between several adjacent neighbourhoods whose residents would otherwise be dependent on vehicle transportation.
Chelsea Creek Bridge
In the next few years a few hundred families will reside in the centre village and it will be important that they have an access to an active transportation network. This network will should offer both work related and recreational use that is safe and connect to neighbouring communities.
In following the population growth of the center village Chelsea will need to invest in the development of the Chelsea Creek multi purpose path situated on the east side of the A5 linking Old Chelsea road to the Blvd de la Technologie à Gatineau. The main challenge on this project will be building a bridge over the Chelsea Creek. This path will provide a quick access to the Gatineau/Ottawa active transportation network.
Centre Village Trail Network
The Centre Village Trail project will provide an offroad alternative to residents and visitors wanting to exploring Old Chelsea village. It will create a walking trail from Padden Rd, across the Padden Lofts property, across the MRC des Collines property to connect with the property of the St Stephen church, chemin Nordik and chemin Old Chelsea. If crossing the chemin Old Chelsea towards the Henderick Farm a walking route would allow a complete loop, a connection with the trail following the ravine south of Old Chelsea road to the NCC parking lot and trail system into Gatineau Park or alternatively back to Chelsea village services.
Special Event 2020
Stories – Community Rail Trail Walking Guide
The Annual General Meeting of Sentiers Chelsea Trails (SCT) will take place on Monday, April 6th, at 7pm, at the Farm Point Community Centre. You are cordially invited to join us for a presentation of current and future SCT projects in all sectors of our community.
Dear SCT friends, Mark your calendars: January 26 is the date for the Chelsea Ski Challenge under the banner of “Winter Fun Days.” It’s an opportunity to celebrate the Winter Community Trail. You are invited to come out and enjoy some skiing, walking, fat biking, or...
In the context of Chelsea Days, the Municipality of Chelsea invites you to a guided trail walk activity, organized in collaboration with Chelsea Trails. This guided trail walk will take place on June 1st, 2019. Approximately 5.3 km in length, the walk is scheduled to...
Rail Trail Art Project
CHELSEA, QC, May 1 , 2017 – Tonight, the Chelsea Community Trail Coalition will present the powerful results of a petition to the Chelsea Municipal Council to voice their collective support of a viable recreational option for the former Chelsea rail corridor. The...
Time Again to Get Ready for Winter along the Rail Corridor – a Call for Volunteers! Snow is not too far away! And once it comes, the rail corridor will transform, as it has for the past 10 years, into a beautiful ski and walking trail along the river. But this only...
More than 100 residents packed into the Cascades Club last night to hear about the opportunities and benefits of turning Chelsea’s railway corridor into a year round, multi-purpose trail. The meeting was organized by Chelsea Rails 2 Trails, a newly formed group...
Join a Crew
Over the years, hundreds of SCT volunteers have invested thousands of hours to map, build and maintain the trails we use. The vibrant trails culture and trails networks we have in Chelsea could not exist without the dedication, energy and talents our strong volunteer workforce
We need people to help plan, build and maintain our trails and support the work of our organization in the community so are many jobs to be done.
Build a trail trail
For trail planning, we need people for surveying, engineering/technical drawing for structures such as small bridges and to help negotiate land owner agreements. Trail building and maintenance requires clearing bush, carrying materials, building boardwalks, constructing stone stairs, and installing signs. For ongoing trail maintenance, there’s brush cutting, clearing branches, repairing bridges/boardwalks and signage, and picking up litter that needs to be done.
By becoming a member of Chelsea Trails you are speaking up for the preservation of our precious and historic trails networks, the reduction of our carbon footprint by supporting the connectivity through active transport networks, and advocacy for future trails infrastructure , and the the ability to pursue an active lifestyle close to home.
For more than a hundred years, the culture of our village has been defined by the beauty of the landscape and wildlife of the Gatineau hills and river. It is this treasured asset and the access to the natural worlds and recreation that continues to draw residents and visitors alike.
In the face of rapid development, we need your voice more than ever to help us build a vision, shape the future, spread the word and keep this trails culture alive and growing within our community. Please speak up for our environment and our lifestyle and become a lifetime member of Chelsea Trails .
Events & Committees
We hold two annual events so we need event planners, organizers, trail photographers, social media posting, website editing, grant writing, fundraising and other committee work to support our board of directors.