Trails Committee News

Enhancing Outdoor Experiences for All

What is the trails committee:

History of the Committee

  • Established by the Grindstone Cottagers Association at the request of Parks so that all concerns and proposals regarding trails would be vetted through a committee rather than individual cottagers.
  • The Committee was mandated to look at ways and means to maintain and improve existing trails and 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, executive branch members are on the Committee, and reports are made through the gazette and at the AGM. Minutes are also kept of all meetings.
  • The GTC had its first meeting on February 20, 2008. The Committee, since its formation, has met 20 times plus five times with Parks Staff and once with the Minister of Conservation

History of Trails in Grindstone

  • Grindstone was designated as a recreational park. An extensive snowmobile trail system was part of the Park’s plans but never materialized. (1986) The Muriel Lake Trail is the old logging trail 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, on a cost-sharing basis with the Association, 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 Snowmobile Trail connected to the Riverton Pine Dock Trails.
  • The Park’s Administrator of the day proposed that a trail from Blacks Point should be built through the bush to connect to the Muriel Lake Trail. A bush trail would extend the snowmobiling season and keep sledders off the lake until the ice is safe. Also, the existing trails are close to South Beach and Island View cottages. The proposal was never implemented.
  • All trails in Grindstone were multi-use. 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 them 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 unsuitable for walking, biking, and ATVing. Furthermore, these trails were closed to snowmobiles and ATVs.

Goals of the Trail Committee

  • Ideally, 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 multi-use.
  • To maintain and improve existing trails.
  • To develop new trails that 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 ensure that all cottagers’ recreational needs and aspirations are met and that environmental concerns are considered.
  • To revitalize the snowmobile trail that was in the1986 Park’s plans.

Recent Trails Committee News