Dirk and Claudia Van Wijk have been the chief landowners at Nakkertok since 2003 when they purchased 300 acres from the Webers — one of the club’s founding families. The Van Wijk’s have worked closely with Nakkertok to develop the facility it is today with road access, parking, a stadium, a chalet, timing hut, snow-making equipment, the trail network, and other buildings that make up the heart of Nakkertok South.

For the club to evolve, it needs significant investments in its  infrastructure: running water, a septic system and chalet that accommodate more people. Dirk and Claudia recognized that the club would be better able to attract these investments — whether from the community or government — if it owned the land.

The couple have offered to donate key land that includes the parking, stadium, buildings and Nakkertrak.

“This is a truly outstanding gift by Dirk and Claudia to the ski community and beyond,” said Nakkertok President Dave Allan. “A big thank you to Dirk and Claudia as we embark on this new chapter for the club.”

Nakkertok South has hosted mountain bike races, trail running events and archery in recent years in addition to the ski events that we all know well.

“We see how committed the Van Wijks are to supporting outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes,” Allan said, adding that Dirk and Claudia have also built OWL rafting on the Ottawa River and the Madawaska Kanu Centre into regional establishments.

Dirk continues to groom at Nakkertok for the Cookie Race, nationals and other events as well as at several Olympics and international world ski championships.

Background

Nakkertok started in the early 70s on land owned by the Weber family. Sentier Des Outaouais – Outaouais Trails, a member owned company purchased additional land. The club attracted most of the serious skiers in the area. Nakkertok won more than half the medals at the 1976 Nationals.  Sue Holloway and Dirk are the only remaining active members from those times.

The focus of ski activity at Nakkertok floated from Nakkertok East on Montée Paiement to a farmhouse to the west and then returned to the Weber farm in a portable classroom donated by Ashbury College in the Bradford Bunker Parking lot. Then it moved across the field to the newly built J’Hus.

By the early 2000s though, the Webers — who were in their 80s — were looking to keep Nakkertok going but needed to sell.

Claudia and Dirk were interested in recreating a Nordic Centre in Ottawa-Gatineau to replace the lost Nordic Centre of Fortune Lodge in Gatineau Park where they had all skied and grown up.

  • 2003 – Purchased 300 acres from the Webers (Weber Trail, Adi’s Way, Trail 4, Weber Pond, Van Wijk Pond, Morrall Loop.
  • 2003 – Purchased 50 acres from Ethier (Parking, Stadium, Powerline, and Immediate Race Trails)
  • 2005 – Purchased Future Steel Building, assembled by members
  • 2006-7  – Purchased insulation, flooring, electrical to finish chalet
  • 2013- Purchased 60 acres from Levert (Pond Loops)
  • 2017 – Purchased 30 acres from Frechette (Lake Trail – Renegade – Toilet Bowl)

Nakkertok has made huge strides in the past 20 years. Its membership has increased five fold. Its racing and learn to ski programs are huge. The club has won the National Aggregate Champions trophy 13 times. It has an amazing volunteer-driven spirit, facilities, power, trails, FIS homologated race courses, snowmaking and big plans including expanding into mountain and fat biking.

These plans need better indoor spaces, running water, toilets, code-compliant lighted trails, more snow-making,  600 Volt 3 phase power, more durable roadways, and parking areas.

To secure grants and fundraise successfully to fulfill these plans, it needs to own the land it’s on.

Dirk and Claudia are not going anywhere — Nakkertok remains their passion and they are proud of how the club has grown into one of the top clubs in the country  and they plan to remain a key part of this ongoing journey.