The weather is getting colder, we've had our first dusting of snow and preparations are well under way for what we hope will be an excellent winter. Last year we had some huge challenges thrown at us. We have some good news on some of these and we've have more challenges thrown at us again this year.
Trail Closures, Re-routes and Fixes
The IB & O Rail trail, which was built in the late 1800's, has been used for the past few decades for multi-use activities, including our trail #606 (Railbed). Last season, landowners revoked our access on a part of the trail between County Road 503 and Gooderham. We have investigated alternatives but as of yet have not been successful. We have not given up but as of now the trail will still be closed between County Road 503 and Gooderham.
We have good news on the next section of the #606 between Tory Hill and Wilberforce. The bridge just west of Farr Road, which is owned by the Municipality of Highlands East, is about to be replaced. We have been told that the bridge will be installed by the second week in December. This was a huge undertaking as the cost of replacing the bridge was over $200,000. The OFSC and other user groups were asked to contribute to cover the cost and the OFSC has committed $72K to the project. Based on this, the municipality has committed to the purchase and installation of a new bridge.
Last season, we moved part of the Baptiste Lake trail (#612) at the north end where we meet Baptiste Lake. It was nice improvement and this season we are doing some work to improve the lake access. We are hoping to work on a few rough areas that created some challenges to groom.
The E trail south of the clubhouse near Highway 28 had many water holes and washouts on hills, resulting in more than one stuck groomer last year. We have received an OFSC grant and 50 loads of aggregate and a lot of machine time were used to improve the trail.