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Where are the snowmobile trails?

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The newly-amalgamated Borderland Snowmobile Club is starting its second year of operation.

A lot has been accomplished since last year when our local trails faced a total shutdown due to lack of funds and volunteers to fill all the executive positions in each area.

This would have meant that years of trail work, bridges, land use permits, etc. would have been lost forever.

With the help of the Northwestern Ontario Snowmobile Trails Association (NWOSTA), and volunteers who came in from Kenora, Dryden, and Sioux Lookout, local trails were saved by amalgamating Mine Centre, Fort Frances, Emo, Rainy River, and Nestor Falls under the newly-formed Borderland Snowmobile Club.

This has been a great benefit to all of us, by reducing the paperwork by more than 80 percent and the sharing of equipment, including the five groomers that maintain more than 400 km of local trails.

The Borderland Snowmobile Club’s operating budget for 2008 was $20,000, which was spent on local trails and in local businesses.

Last year, permit sales (100) and fundraising covered only 75 percent of operating costs. The balance was donated by snowmobilers in other NWOSTA clubs to keep us operating.

Last winter, Kenora sold more than 500 OFSC trail permits, Dryden more than 300, and Atikokan over 200. Snowmobilers in these communities have realized that snowmobile trails don’t just appear and that someone has to pay the costs of building, maintaining, and insuring them.

Just imagine what would happen to minor hockey, the curling club, or the local golf courses if half the people who participated decided their financial contribution were not needed.

Last year, this area had some of best trail conditions in years, thanks to the volunteers, groomer operators, and good snow.

L201 from Rainy River to Nestor Falls was a little used hidden jewel in our area last year. It makes a good one-day circle route from Rainy River to Nestor Falls and then back through L601 to Emo.

Another fun day ride is from Fort Frances through Mine Centre to Marr’s Perch Lake Camp near Atikokan for a hamburger (great food, and cabins if you want to stay overnight).

Later in the year, spend a three-day weekend and travel the circle route (Fort Frances, Mine Centre, Atikokan, Ignace, Sioux Lookout, Dryden, Nestor Falls, Rainy River, or Emo).

About 600 miles, great trails, spectacular scenery, and the best of Northwestern Ontario.

For more information on your local snowmobile club, visit www.borderlandsnowmobileclub.com

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