By Vivian Collings
Pine Springs section of the “B” trail from Carnarvon to Bracebridge will open
During the Haliburton County Snowmobile Association’s (HCSA) annual general meeting on Sept. 17, president John Enright announced the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs’ (OFSC) “B” trail is reopening between Bracebridge and Carnarvon after years of closure.
“This is the biggest thing to happen in Haliburton snowmobiling in the last five years,” Enright said. “This will be a huge thing for winter tourism in Haliburton County.”
Enright explained that the “B” trail is essentially a trans-Ontario route for snowmobiles and ATVs to make it from Goderich across the province to Quebec.
This part of the trail was severed by a washout.
“Haliburton County and Muskoka are among the top places to snowmobile in Ontario. Having an alternate route to the “B” trail that was less than satisfactory and not as safe was not ideal. We’re so excited to hopefully have more snow so that we can have more visitors coming from the west,” Enright said.
A new seven-foot-wide culvert is set to be installed on Pine Springs Road where the washout occurred.
“We have every expectation that it will be open for the coming season,” Enright said.
The project is made possible by a group effort between HCSA, OFSC, Bancroft Minden Forest Company, Haliburton ATV Association, and Ontario Federation of 4WD Recreationists.
President of the Haliburton ATV Association Joel Bocknek said to the Echo, “This is very exciting news, and the work has been long overdue. This section of trail along Pine Springs Road is a vital link to several of our trails that branch off from Pine Springs Road. This link makes it possible for ATVers and other ORV enthusiasts to readily and safely access these other trails regardless if they are novice or experienced riders.”
At the HCSA AGM, members celebrated the 51st anniversary of the association at the A.J. LaRue Arena in Haliburton.
Among announcing the reopening of the Pine Springs section of the “B” trail, the meeting highlighted successes and challenges from their past snowmobile season and looked forward to the upcoming year.
From the trail report
The “B” Trail has a new reroute from the north end of Haliburton Lake into the forest to Ross Lake Road. This part of the trail is a $10,000 project.
HCSA trail 7 has been rerouted back to its original route approaching Pockett Lake. This trail is also rerouted in a second location from Hilltop Road to the Ontario Hydro Corridor.
On Trail 10, $5,000 is being used for bridge improvement.
There will be a closure in the OFSC B112 route from the South Lake bridge to Hospitality Road. A reroute will take sledders across South Lake.
“Minden would be cut off to riders if this reroute didn’t happen. This is one of the most challenging areas in the province to build trails because of road allowances, private properties, and lakes,” Enright said. “We’re fortunate enough to have community acceptance and private land owners who allow us to have trails on their properties.”
HCSA volunteers and staff
The association withstood two difficult years during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The past year was difficult for trail conditions with only one significant snowfall throughout the whole season.
“It was not the best year for consistent snow. We had two trails that weren’t open last year,” Enright said.
Acquiring more volunteers and staff was a main theme of the meeting.
“We all have one thing in common,” Enright said about current HCSA volunteers, “Grey hair. We need some younger volunteers to share as little or as most time they can. Any amount of time is helpful.”
Noah Black received the Groomer Operator of the Year award for the 2022 year.
Scott and Sherri Patterson and their children received the Family of the Year award.
Brad Griffin received the Volunteer of the Year award.
The HCSA board has 10 members. Cole Finlay and Ted Roberts were re-elected, and Paul Wilson, Sheri Patterson, Rob McTeague were newly elected to the board at the AGM.
More groomer operators are also needed for the 2022-2023 season to maintain the association’s trails.
Enright commemorated two HCSA volunteers, Bill Wilson and Ron Fitch, who was also on the board of directors, who both passed away in 2022.
To learn more about HCSA and purchase trail passes for the 2023 season, visit hcsa.ca.
“I just want to say what an honour it’s been for me to be president.” Enright said. “We’re a great big neighbourhood watch. Let’s everybody be our neighbourhood watch.”