Thursday 7 January 2016

Melfort Cross-Country Ski Trails

The Melfort Cross-Country Ski Club maintains the Gronlid Trails in Fort à la Corne Provincial Forest. There are 20 kilometers of beginner and intermediate trails with warm-up shelters, washrooms, and parking.

The trails were badly damaged by ATVs in 2015, and the Club requested an EcoFriendly Action Grant to help them repair the trails. The Club received permission from the government to reseed and mulch the trails, using the grant money to purchase the mulch. They posted No ATV signs at entrances to the trails and were pleased with the response. Less ATV traffic helped the grass to get started in the sandier areas.

In addition, the Melfort Cross-Country Ski Club, in conjunction with the Tisdale Running Club, held a run on August 30 to raise awareness of the trails and draw attention to the problems caused by quads. 120 racers made the Wapiti Bush Run the second largest bush run in Saskatchewan.

In the past, the Club has had to wait for a significant amount of snow to fall before they could set track on the trails as they needed at least a foot of snow to simply fill the ruts left by the ATVs. This year, they were able to set track with only 10 inches of snow.

ATVs can cause significant environmental damage and this is a problem in many areas of Saskatchewan. Trevor Herriot provides additional information in More on prairie trails: unregulated ATVs and unmanaged access.