If Borderland Snowmobile Club president John Homer had his way, all the area trails would be open by now.
But that's not the case so far this season, mainly due to a lack of volunteer help.
Homer stressed volunteers are needed to ensure more trails across the district are usable.
“Our club is a very large area," noted Homer. ”Basically, Mine Centre, Fort Frances, Emo, Nestor Falls, Rainy River, and the Bergland area.
“We haven't even had a chance to go east yet towards Mine Centre, so we need people to be able to go check that trail out,” he said.
“We have to stake Rainy Lake," he added. ”We have to stake right across it.
“There's about 350 stakes that still need to be put out.”
Homer said the Fort Frances-to-Emo trail is the only one open as of right now, with more work having to be done to get other ones open.
“I know that there's work that needs to be done up towards Nestor Fall-Sioux Narrows and towards Rainy Lake,” he remarked.
“That whole west end of the district is in bad shape right now and needs some work,” Homer continued.
“We got a handful of about four of us [right now] and three of the four are guys that operate the groomer,” he noted.
“They can't get in the groomer right now because they can't get by the trails, or they don't have the time because they're [operating] the chainsaw or helping out to clear the trails,” he explained.
“If we had more volunteers, we could be grooming the trails already,” Homer said.
"Our trail [Fort-to-Emo], we were the very first trail in Northwestern Ontario to be open and that's our only trail that has been open because of a lack of volunteering.
“It's a massive-sized area with [only] four-five volunteers that run the club, so we're in desperate need of more volunteers to help out,” he reiterated.
Those interested in volunteering can contact Homer via the Borderland Snowmobile Club's Facebook page or by
In related news, the club held a “poker run” Saturday from Fort Frances to Emo.
It began at the club's groomer shack on Eighth Street here, with sledders stopping for lunch at the Emo Inn.
Causeway Insurance staffers Joanne Bliss and Susan Allan, along with Homer's daughter, Ashlee, worked the registration table.
Homer said one rider blew up his sled on the way there while another hit a deer.
Everyone was okay in both cases, he reported.
Cindy Homer, meanwhile, took the rush of people returning to draw their poker hands.
John Homer also noted the trail was in near-perfect condition even though the groomer was broken and stranded on it for the week prior.
Dave Goodman managed to have it fixed Thursday afternoon and he, along with club secretary Chad Jack and Brendon Loney, groomed the trail to a near-perfect condition.
Rick Socholotuk and John Homer hit the trail the day before the event to brush trees and get the event signs out to guide the way.
The event drew a mix of season pass-holders and one-day event holders, with seven riders purchasing event passes for $35.
The club had groups from Atikokan and Rainy River attend the poker run.
John Homer said it was good to see the loyal faces who attend most of the club's events, as well as three groups of new faces supporting it.
The ride concluded at Boston Pizza here, where cards were drawn and prizes were awarded.
The club's next event will be another poker run slated for Saturday, Feb. 10, with a location still to be determined.