On the trails again

The Road Less Travelled

By Terri Windover, Connect Contributor


Who has been out on one of our local trail systems since returning from the fire evacuation? I know that prior to that fateful day on May 3, the trails and backcountry was teeming with riders of all ages; my family being one of many out in the hot sun blasting around in the beauty that is the Boreal forest.

We haven’t been out on the quads since May 3. First, because we were hunkered down in Calgary, while our machines awaited their fate back in Fort McMurray. I am pleased to say they made it through the ordeal unscathed.


Then, after our return, we were behind schedule on our newest renovation project – the siding replacement. Add in our pre planned BC fishing trip and there simply has not been the time or opportunity to get out on four wheels and enjoy some mud.

With the damage done to the forest around us, I started wondering where we would go now and what trails were damaged and which were still passable, so I reached out to the McMurray Sno-Drifters. They are the snowmobile club that maintains our award-winning trails and if anyone knows what is happening out there, it’s them.

Due to lost homes and a few key members moving to Ontario, there has been a few changes to the people that run the Club. Olin Perry has stepped up as the new president taking over from Aaron Fuson.

Perry was previously the coordinator for the Stoney Mountain trail, so I think we are in good hands.
Lisa Penner has taken over for Donna Fetzko as the new executive assistant. Fetzko and her husband Ron had made the decision to move for work to Ontario right before the fire happened, but there are good people stepping up to fill their roles.


An aerial shot photo and close-up the Gregoire river crossing on the Connector trail. Photos by McMurray Sno-Drifters.

After speaking with Tom Tabbert, the Club’s Vice president, he assured me the Draper Trail System is still rideable and that Stoney Mountain trail will be in good shape for the coming winter.

As for the Anzac trail, it took a lot of damage with both the Bean and Wells fire pits being destroyed, as well as the Gregoire river bridge crossing on the Connector Trail.

It will take a lot of work to bring these trails back to their former glory, but if we all do our part the task is not insurmountable. Elberne Bean, who is in his eighties and the namesake of the Bean Pit has already been out starting to rebuild it.

Looking forward for the next few years, I would expect that there will be a much higher number of blown down trees on the trails after storms as the fire ravaged forest starts to weaken.

We should all be very vigilante when we ride now of leaning trees that may fall from the wind or in the winter from being snow laden. This also means that the Club will need volunteers to step up now and in the years to come to help keep the trails clear and safe.

I know Kevin and I will be out there with power saw and work gloves doing our share, and I hope you will be there along side us.

For regular trail updates go to www.facebook.com/mcmurraysnodrifters
Club Email: mcmurray.snodrifters@hotmail.com

– Connect Weekly –