ATV club reaches out to develop trails and tourism

By Contributor
February 11th, 2012

With the tremendous potential for tourism development within the Boundary region notably the excellent terrain for biking, hiking, horseback riding, all terrain vehicle (ATV) use, motorcycling and other recreational activities, collaboration between interest groups will be key to the future of trails in the area.

On Jan. 18, two members of the Grand Forks ATV club attended a Grand Forks Community Trails Society meeting and brought forward ideas on how the two groups could work together for the betterment of all recreational trail users around Grand Forks.. Examples such as Quebec’s trail system were presented, where millions of dollars have been brought into local communities from trail development.

Collaboration and cooperation agreements where also discussed, and would see the different groups working together for the benefit of all trail users. Similar working agreements have been made in areas such as Princeton and Ferine, and has resulted in a sense of unity between the groups. From the meeting it was agreed the those present would like to explore how working relationship could be formed.

With recent articles and feedback from the general public there is a growing interest from residents in trail development.

Concerns were expressed about problems in trails use in the West Boundary. Land owners that live adjacent to the Trans Canada Trail had allegedly constructed barriers, to block access to the Trans Canada Trail. This has a very negative impact on tourism in the area, and the message tourists take home with them will surely not be a good one.

At the meeting there was also discussion around the proposed paving of the Trans Canada Trail from Grand Forks to Christina Lake. A total distance of approximately 17 kilometres would be paved three meters wide, with gates and barriers blocking access to some users of the trail. The local ATV club feels a long term plan is needed to ensure that all aspects of tourism is considered, while at the same time, local residents are included and supportive of the direction groups are taking.

One of the biggest concerns is the safety of trail users. It seems there are some, and not just from the motorized sports, who have no manners or regard for other trail users, and this is a concern for all.

The GFATV Club was formed in the spring of 2008 and has since been incorporated as a non-profit society. Nearly 35 members enjoy camaraderie and outings in the regions beautiful outdoors.

The club holds safety courses each spring, which has resulted in over two dozen members passing the approved ATV safety course. Other projects include trail development and maintenance, as well as hosting events that allow local ATV enthusiasts to get out and enjoy their ATV responsibly. The club’s goals for 2012 are to provide more safety courses, hold a spring fling fundraiser event, and to map, mark and develop trails that can be used by all.

If you are interested in more information about the Grand Forks ATV Club, visit their website at www.gfatv.ca  or contact Doug and Pat Zorn at 250-442-3359.

Categories: GeneralIssuesSports