Share your trail adventures this long weekend!

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Many trails across the province, like the one pictured here at Regina Beach are still in great condition!

The extremely warm weather Saskatchewan has been experiencing this summer looks to be carrying over through the long weekend. This is a perfect opportunity for everyone to get out and explore a trail.

If you do happen to be out on the trails, snap a photo, do a short write-up about the experience and comment below or send your story to info@sasktrails.ca. Those who make a submission will be eligible to be named an STA trail ambassador and win a free STA t-shirt.

STA trail ambassadors are trail enthusiasts who represent the STA out on the trails by wearing our gear, promoting their adventures on social media and writing the occasional guest blog to be published on our website.

Paul Cutting was named our first trail ambassador and received a free STA t-shirt. Check out his guest blog post on hiking Beaver Lake Trail in Moose Mountain Provincial Park: http://sasktrails.ca/sta-trail-ambassador-beaver-lake-trail-in-moose-mountain-provincial-park/ 

 

Celebrate The Great Trail on Aug. 26

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On Aug. 26, 200 events are being organized from coast to coast to celebrate the connection of The Great Trail! In Saskatchewan, there are plenty of celebrations, from trail tours at Mervin to a trail unveiling at Lebret.

Here is a list of the Saskatchewan events:

Lebret
Location: May Street bridge on Highway #56. – 50°41’42.9″N 103°37’25.9″W
Time: 10:30 am
Contact: Elaine Baillie (baillieke@sasktel.net)

On Saturday, August 26, 2017, at 10:30 am, we plan to celebrate the reconnection of a section of the Katepwa Lake Trans Canada Trail over the May Street bridge. We will have a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the new safe place to walk, bike or ride over the bridge. Our Katepwa Lake Trans Canada Trail provides a safe alternative to walking on Highway # 56. Following the ribbon cutting we will celebrate with a catered barbecue for our dedicated volunteers.

Lumsden
Location: River Park, SK-641
Time: TBD
Contact: Chris Exner (c.exner@lumsden.ca)

Join us for a ceremony unveiling a new bench and Canada 150 Plaque, followed by a community picnic in the park.

Moose Jaw
Location: 50°22’38.2″N 105°32’24.6″W
Time: 11:00 am
Contact: Margaret Moran (wakamow@sasktel.net)

This event will be held at the Saulteaux Bridge site at the newly named Paashkwow Park. Paashkwow means meadow in Michif, the language of the Metis. The event will honour the first nation heritage within Wakamow Valley, and our organization, partnering with the Wakamow Aboriginal Community Association, will feature traditional celebrations.

Loreburn
Location: 51.108601, -106.605701
Time: 11:00 am
Contact: Natalie Letts (nat_letts@hotmail.com)

The Friends of the Elbow Trail Committee has planned a Walk-a-Thon and community bbq to celebrate the Great Trail connectivity on August 26, 2017. Walk-a-Thon participants will be able to raise pledges (proceeds of which will go to the Friends of the Elbow Trail), but there is no pledge requirement for participating. We just want any interested members of the community to come out and enjoy the trail. The BBQ to be held at the mid-way point on the trail will be free for everyone.

Coteau
Location: Gardiner Dam Visitor Centre – Gardiner Dam, Coteau No. 255, SK – 51.269189, -106.869243
Time: 10:00 am
Contact: Jocelyne Petryshen (info@lakediefenbakertourism.com)

A local photographer will embark on a Photo Walk along the TCT with providing people with tips and tricks to improve their photography. Join us afer for coffee and cake with the Friends of the Elbow Trail and find out about the Chief Whitecap Waterway section of The Great Trail.

Outlook
Location: 51.489 -107.069 degrees. (Outlook and District Regional Park)
Time: 12:30 pm
Contact: Donna Smith (outlookrec@sasktel.net)

Join us for a BBQ on the trail. The area cannot be accessed by vehicle unless you have accessibility needs, so everyone who is able walk, bike, run to the BBQ. There will be some paddle-boarders in the area to trek there by river, thus connecting our trails. Food would only be $2 for a burger, pop, and chips and proceeds would go to the purchase and planting of trees and forage along our trail.

Saskatoon
Location: 402 Third Ave S
Time: Dawn till dusk
Contact: Andrea Ziegler (aziegler@meewasin.com)

Walk, run and roll the Trail from Wanuskewin through Saskatoon to Chief Whitecap Park.

Mervin
Location: 53.336300, -108.957700
Time: 2:00 pm
Contact: Tom Brown (parklane@sasktel.net)

We have entitled our event as “Exploring the Great Trans Canada Trail”. Our goal for our event is raise awareness and profile the trail in our municipality. We will be walking, biking and offering tours on the trail on August 26th. We will be unveiling road signs that will permanently mark the trail. We will have a tent and at 3:00 pm will cut a special commemorative cake of the trail accompanied by juice, coffee and tea. It will be similar to an old style rural picnic with lots of visiting.

Hudson Bay Ski Club completes trail improvement project

The Hudson Bay Ski Club is pleased to announce that the trail improvement project for the Pineview Cross Country Ski Trails in the Hudson Bay Regional Park has been completed. The project was supported by a $500 Membership Grant from the STA.

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Jasper and Benny are excited to try the new upgraded trail!

The project organizers were able to add a 1.6 kilometre loop that is wide enough to skate ski in the winter as well as being suitable for mountain biking or hiking in the summer. The total trail system in the Regional Park now sits at 12.3 km, which is maintained for skiing in the winter and hiking in all other seasons. All of the trails, including the new fun loops, now have GPS coordinates. A large trail map showing all current trails has been erected beside the first shelter at the start of the trail system. Each of the shelters has a new sign plus a number of small signs reminding users that these trails are not meant for motorized use.

The STA was proud to support this worthwhile project. If you’re interested in the STA helping bring your trail project to life, visit http://sasktrails.ca/trail-builders/#funding to learn more about our funding programs.

Deb Serhan at the improved Hilltop Shelter

Deb Serhan at the improved Hilltop Shelter

Celebrate Saskatchewan and International Trails Day on June 3rd

Every day is a great day for a trail, but join us June 3, 2017 to celebrate Saskatchewan Trails Day, held in conjunction with International Trails Day. The Saskatchewan Trails Association is encouraging people to find their path on Trails Day. This is an opportunity to celebrate and enjoy the beautiful trails in our province. In addition to a wonderful time, trails promote healthy living, economic development, tourism, and environmental preservation.

Go have an adventure, and discover the beauty of the Saskatchewan trails. Bring your family, a friend, or have your own personal adventure. When you are out on the trails, we encourage you to share your experience with us using #SaskTrailsDay.   You can follow us and our experience on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also participate in our social media contest by sharing your pictures and experiences using the hashtag. To help you plan your adventure visit: www.sasktrails.ca – here you can find all the great tools to help assist you in your planning.

Five ways you could celebrate Saskatchewan Trails Day

1.   Try a new trail

You can visit the www.sasktrails.ca to find out more information about trails and activities you can do in your area. You can also visit us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more great information about trails.

2.  Introduce a friend to your favorite trail or to hiking

Share your love for nature and hiking in Saskatchewan with your friends! Being outside and being active with a friend is a great way to spend Saskatchewan Trail Day (or any Saturday!)

3.  Share your favourite trail photos with us #SaskTrailsDay

Share your experience on Saskatchewan Trail Day or any past experiences with us. Your pictures could be featured on our page and you could win great prizes!

4.  Become a Saskatchewan Trails Association member

Memberships are available for as little as $25 per year for an individual. STA members have accesses to trail funding and other resources, and can also attend and vote at meetings of members.

5.  Donate to Saskatchewan Trails Association

The Saskatchewan Trail Association accepts individual and corporate donations for communities, or to the trail of your choice, to help support trail development and maintenance programs in Saskatchewan.

TCT awarding grants for The Great Trail connection celebrations (Deadline Extended)

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In 2017, the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) has reached its goal of achieving country-wide connection of The Great Trail. Since 1992, TCT has been working with donors, partners, governments, landowners and volunteers to create an epic trail of trails offering a wide range of outdoor experiences on greenways, waterways and roadways.

A grand celebration to mark the occasion is being held on Aug. 26, 2017, and the TCT is handing out some grants to help groups across the country put on some unforgettable events.

Eligible Canadian trail groups, partners or municipalities may apply for a grant from TCT to host a connection celebration. TCT will support event grant requests in the amount of $1,500. Applications will be accepted until May 19, 2017.

Who is eligible?

  • Local trail organizations who either build, manage or operate sections of The Great Trail (groups who solely use the Trail will not be considered).
  • Municipalities that either build, manage or operate sections of The Great Trail (municipalities that border the Trail but have no responsibility for their section of The Great Trail will not be considered).
  • Groups on the main spine and groups on the spur trails linking to The Great Trail are considered eligible to apply.

To apply or get more information, visit TheGreatTrail.ca/Celebrations.

Michael Hornick donates $1,000 to the STA

We would like to thank Michael Hornick for his $1,000 donation to the Saskatchewan Trails Association in memory of Bill Hornick. The money will support the development of Elbow Trail.

In making his donation, Hornick becomes our second Trail Ranger, a classification of donors who give between $1,000 and $4,999.

For more information on ways you can support the STA, click here to visit our Get Involved page.

Joe Milligan receives inaugural STA Trail Stewardship Award

STA President Saul Lipton (right) presents Joe Milligan with the STA Trail Stewardship Award.

STA President Saul Lipton (right) presents Joe Milligan with the STA Trail Stewardship Award.

During the 2017 STA AGM, we were proud to recognize Joe Milligan as the recipient of the inaugural STA Trail Stewardship Award, which recognizes the outstanding people and organizations that have been dedicated to the restoration, preservation and enhancement of Saskatchewan’s trail system through a variety of efforts: contributing money to or raising funds for trail projects, serving as a trail advocate, or helping with the building and upkeep of trails.

Joe, a recreation/interpretive specialist with the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport, was nominated by the Saskatchewan All Terrain Vehicle Association Inc., which had this to say about Joe’s contributions:

Starting in his early days with the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association, Joe has dedicated his working life to trail development in the province. He has been a key contributor to the development of trails for all users in the province.

Joe was a driving force behind the development of the Moose Mountain ATV Trail. The trail is located in the back country of Moose Mountain and makes use of some of the snowmobile trails. The Government of Saskatchewan contributed $125,000 to the project, which was matched by the National Trails Coalition (NTC). Joe assisted in our NTC application and helped coordinate the matching contributions. Joe also helped select a project manager and the construction crew, while troubleshooting issues as they arose. He also oversaw community engagement on allowing ATV use in the park and how this might assist future ATV development on other Crown lands.

The new ATV Trail is very important to Moose Mountain as it will increase the park’s exposure. It will also be a great experience for the ATVers, as they will have the opportunity to pass through beautiful stands of aspen, birch, green ash and Manitoba Maple trees that characterize this unique southern Saskatchewan forest.

It should be noted that while Joe was working on the Moose Mountain project, he also assisted on trail development at Wascana Trails and Buffalo Pound Provincial. Recently, he assisted with the development of a new trail at Elbow.

Congratulations to Joe Milligan from everyone at the STA!

Informative presentations highlight STA AGM

STA AGM

Keith Bossaer, Oasis Insurance

The STA held its 2017 AGM on March 25 at the Home Inn & Suites Saskatoon South. There was a great turnout to the event and some productive discussions about issues facing trail builders, administrators and users in the province.

Here is a look at the three of the presentations that took place as part of the AGM:

Keith Bossaer, Oasis Insurance – The Right Insurance for Trail Administrators: Keith indicated that general liability is the core insurance for most organizations. Once you get that in place, you will usually require directors and officers (D&O) insurance. D&O insurance is important because once you are on a board, you become personally liable.

Keith indicated that Oasis Insurance can assist small organizations including bike clubs to get started. Prices are typically on a member based system. There are instances in other provinces when everyone gets named in a lawsuit such as ATV clubs, snowmobiles, trail operators, etc. It can be years before these clubs can be removed from the lawsuit. Oasis also does insurance for special events. Be aware that all policies will have a liquor exemption so it is not included as part of their regular policy. Oasis needs to add liquor as part of the insurance. There may be additional insured if the municipalities want to be covered for a race or run.Some clubs may need property insurance if they have a club house and also need the contents covered. Policies are done on a case-by-case basis.

Placing signage on bridges and other difficult spots on a trail can help mitigate your liability. Trailheads are also good for signage. If there is a problem with the trail you should identify it and place barrier around it as well. For groups that do walks and runs, they should ask the trail operator to be an additional insured.

Ryan Goolevitch, STA Secretary – OpenStreet Mapping: There is a need to develop more GPS maps. Most maps that the STA currently has on file are PDFs. OpenStreet map is like a Google map where you can see information, but all of the data has been contributed by people contributing the information. This is an open model that anyone can use.

You can update information right away on OpenStreet map. Google maps are not updated as quickly in this manner. There can be a lot more detail in just a few minutes, and anyone can be an editor. Mistakes can also be undone. It takes a person to create and input the data to create a base map. That information usually originates from free sources. Trail users should try to GPS your track logs and insert them into the map.

The software is available on many devices and you do not have to pay for updates. You can use aerial imagery tracing from places like Bing and upload the files. You can also take notes and record your trip on a phone app. When you upload it, it will automatically place it in the map according to GPS coordinates.

Kyla Tulloch, U of R student – Rails to Trails Conversion Guide: The Rails to Trails Conversion Guide consists of three components:  the framework, additional resources, and case studies. It contains 11 chapters and there is considerable information based upon the Rails Trails Conservancy. There are also excerpts from the case studies.

The guide has been written in a roughly chronological fashion to follow once a rail line has been scheduled for abandonment. There are additional resources throughout the document such as government websites, the National Trust of Canada, and various funding options.

Case Studies

Meadow Lake Pedestrian Trails: This trail project is led by the local In Motion steering committee and Flying Dust First Nation. They held a symposium to develop guiding principles and pathway. This led to a discussion on environmental remediation and costs. The complexity of the project makes it difficult to get volunteers. A visual aid was eventually developed that helped promote the project.

17th Street Greenway in Saskatoon: Residents were concerned about the deteriorating coordinator and approached the city. An open house was held to determine the best approach, which was later implemented.

Leader: This rail line was abandoned about 30 years ago and became used by land owners. Many were opposed to a trail since they had access to their land on the corridor. CN removed the bridges for liability reasons, which would later become an issue for development.

Regina Beach: A local landscape architect looked at creating a linear park in the Regina Beach area. There were a number of communities that would be linked. Regina Beach was most receptive. CN removed the culverts which created some problems. The project was successful in terms of usage.

STA releases 2016 Annual Report

The STA recently released its 2016 Annual Report.

This year marked another significant year of development for the STA. We created new educational resources for our members and the larger trail community, actively promoted trails to potential users and created and implemented a new fundraising strategy to assist members in developing and maintaining their trails.

For more information, click here to read our 2016 Annual Report.

The lost trail near Fairy Hill

A guest blog post from trail enthusiast Russ Hodgins.

Last summer, I ran from our place along the back trails and ended up at the Fairy Hill Natural Area. I had heard on the radio that there is a trail there but I never did find it. My guess is that I would have had to take the dirt road at the bottom of the valley east to access it, but as I still had a long run to get back home on a hot day, I  stopped short of going that far.

This is on the south east side at the top of the valley.

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I followed this old road for a bit and then cut into the pasture:

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I tried following the fence line but no trails anywhere near there:

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I ended up circling back towards highway #6 and found what I assume
was the old highway:

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This took me almost to the bottom and then I gave up and ran back  home. As I said, it was hot and I was short on water. I ran back up the highway and there was a Fairy Hill sign on the west side as well  but no trail there.

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Do you know where the trail is? Email us at info@sasktrails.ca.