GTC Report for the April 21, 2010 AGM
The Trails committee began meetings in 2008 with a mandate to review the use of all existing trails and to explore development of new trails. Presently all trails are shared by skiers, hikers, snowshoers, motorized and non-motorized vehicles.
Contact the trails committee at: firstname.lastname@example.org
GTC Report for the April 21, 2010 AGM
History of the Committee
- Established by the Grindstone Cottagers Association at the request of Parks so that all concerns, proposals re trails would be vetted through a committee rather than individual cottagers.
- The committee was given a mandate to look at ways and means to maintain and improve existing trails and to explore and propose the development of new trails for Grindstone.
- The Committee was to meet with Parks Staff on issues related to trails.
- The Committee was to report on its activities to the Association and the cottagers on an ongoing basis. To fulfill this requirement members of the executive are on the Committee, reports are made through the gazette and at the AGM. Minute are also kept of all meetings.
- The GTC had its first meeting on February 20, 2008. The Committee since its formation, met 15 times plus 3 times with Parks Staff.
History of Trails in Grindstone
- Grindstone was designated as a recreational park. An extensive snowmobile trail system was in the Parks plans but it never materialized. (1986) The Muriel Lake Trail is the old logging trail which is mainly used by hunters and it is exclusively maintained by hunters, snowmobilers and ATVers.
- The trails in the development were mainly built by cottagers and were exclusively maintained by cottagers, mainly snowmobilers and ATVers. Parks built the bridges and put some gravel on some of the trails.
- In the mid 80s several cottagers proposed that walking trails be developed between the lake and existing lake front cottages. This was debated at the subsequent AGM and the proposal was soundly defeated.
- In 2002 Parks built a snowmobile trail from the Hecla Trail to Washow Bay. This was designated as a Snoman Trail and it connected to the Riverton Pine Dock Trails. It was proposed by the Parks Administrator of the day that a trail through the bush should be built to connect to the Muriel Lake Trail. A bush trail would extend the snowmobiling season and keep sleders off the lake until the ice is safe. Also the existing trails are close to cottages at South Beach and Island View. The proposal was never implemented because of lack of funding.
- All trails in Grindstone were multiuse. Motorized vehicles were allowed on the trails from October 15 – May 15.
- In 2005 barriers were installed and all trails were off limits for motorized vehicles with the exception of the Muriel Lake Trail. As a result, the trails were not maintained and fallen trees and debris made most of the trails impassable. In winter the trails were not packed by snowmobiles and as a result the trails were not used by walkers or skiers. In the fall of 2008 parks authorized the removal of the barriers and once again a group of volunteers cleared, packed and groomed the trails.
- When White Sands was developed, Willow Trail was destroyed. Willow Trail was developed by cottagers. Willow Trail was on high terrain and was ideal for walking, skiing, biking, snowmobiling, and ATVing. In lieu of Willow Trail, Wolf Kill Trail and the trail west of the existing trails were developed. These trails are in swampy terrain and are not suitable for walking, biking, and ATVing. Furthermore, these trails were closed to snowmobiles and ATVs.
Goals of the Trail Committee
In an ideal situation all trails should be segregated and designated for specific use. However, that is not feasible in Grindstone as Parks does not maintain them and there are not enough volunteers to maintain segregated trails. Therefore it is essential that trails are multiuse.
- To maintain and improve existing trails.
- To develop new trails which will provide safe access to the warming shelter on Mile Ten and to Muriel Lake before the lake freezes and is safe to use.
- To develop a protocol for safe and ethical use of trails for all users; respecting the historical use and development of trails in Grindstone.
- To develop an education component for safe and courteous use of trails.
- To develop new trails to compensate for the loss of Willow Trail.
- To work cooperatively with Parks Staff to insure that the recreational needs and aspirations of all cottagers are met and that the environmental concerns are considered.
- To revitalize the snowmobile trail proposal that was in the1986 Parks plans.
Activities of the Committee
- Cleared and maintained existing trails.
- Cleared the trail at the Harbour
- Proposed a washroom at the Harbour and explored ways to finance it.
- Groomed all trails in the development so that they were usable for walkers, skiers and snowmobilers.
- Marked the trail from South Beach to the Resort so that snowmobilers can go to the Resort safely. Fog and snowstorms can make the trip very hazardous.
- Built a warming Shelter at Mile Ten. This location was chosen so that all trail users could access it. This also serves as a rest stop for all snowmobilers using the Snoman Trail.
- Met with Parks to plan for the warming shelter, new trails and strategies for developing education programs.
- Lobbied the Resort for funding. To date the Resort has donated $800.00 plus prizes for the silent auction.
- Coordinated the 2009 silent auction. The Committee will also coordinate the 2010 silent auction.
- Negotiating with Parks to develop a multiuse trail around the pits by the old dump on the west side of the road.
- Negotiating with Parks to develop a winter trail to the warming shelter and to the Muriel Lake trails. This will provide safe access prior to safe lake freeze up.
- Improve existing trails by adding gravel. Most of the trails require additional gravel.
- Met with Interlake Snotrackers to explore options for grooming Washow Bay Trail.
- Build a washroom at the warming shelter. The shelter needs to be stained.
- Two cottagers have volunteered to coordinate the marking of a trail across Washow Bay. This trail would connect to the Riverton and Pine Dock Trail. However, if this is to occur additional help will be required.
- The Fun Ride is not a fund raiser. One of the cottagers facilitates the activity. It is an opportunity for cottagers to participate in an activity of mutual interest and to meet old and new friends. The Resort has been gracious by providing a place for the riders to meet and enjoy a snack and a drink.
If the work that has been started is to continue, more volunteers are required. If anyone is interested to be on the Committee or help in anyway, place your name on the sign up sheet.
On behalf of the GTC I would like to thank the volunteers, the Riverton Parks Staff, and all the cottagers for their help and support. Also thanks to the GCA for giving the proceeds from the silent auction to the Committee and the Radisson Hecla Resort for its financial support.
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