The 2019 ski season may be over, but a new piece of equipment funded by the Perth & District Community Foundation is expected to benefit skiers at Murphys Point Provincial Park for years to come.
The Tay Valley Cross-Country Ski Club (TVCCSC) and the Friends of Murphys Point Park partnered in 2018 to seek funds to purchase a new Tidd Tech Groomer, which would provide the equipment needed to accommodate all the different types of weather conditions.
TVCCSC focuses on offering cross-country skiing to all levels of skiers and has an agreement with the park to groom trails for both classic and skate skiing. The club offers a Jack Rabbit ski program for children and workshops for adults who want to learn more about the sport and improve their skills. There is also an annual loppet race which takes place as a fundraiser. St. John’s Elementary School uses the ski trails for its own loppet each year.
“The ski club strives to offer the best ski trails possible regardless of the weather conditions,” explained TVCCSC president Drew Lampman. “The park receives approximately 2,000 visitors each year who take advantage of the trails for skiing, snowshoeing and hiking.”
The ski club had two groomers prior to the recent purchase, including a Ginzu groomer purchased in 2015 and used to groom and track set the main classic trails. A Tidd Tech purchased about 13 years ago was used primarily for the skate ski trails.
“We wanted to replace the Tidd Tech because it was deteriorating,” explained Dave Reesor, the club’s Chief Groomer. “It is now less effective at cutting up and smoothing out the snow, but we are now using it at the Lally Homestead to help improve the trails needed for the Jack Rabbit kid’s program.”
The Friends and the ski club have worked together on various projects to benefit the park over many years, including a successful fundraiser with the Rideau Trail Association to rebuild a bridge along the McParlan House Trail that had been destroyed by flooding.
“We have an excellent partnership with the ski club thanks to our mutual love for the park,” said Stephanie Gray, Friends president. “We look forward to many future opportunities to work together to bring exciting ski experiences to park visitors, and this particular piece of equipment promises to increase and enhance opportunities for people to use the beautiful trails so carefully maintained by the ski club volunteers and park staff.”
“We are grateful to the Perth & District Community Foundation for supporting our efforts to increase fitness and outdoor opportunities at Murphys Point Provincial Park,” Mr. Lampman added. “This will go a long way to help our volunteers and park staff provide wonderful local skiing experiences.”
Murphys Point is located on ElmGrove Road off of Rideau Ferry Road – only a short drive from either Perth or Smiths Falls. Learn more about the skiing at the park at https://tayvalleyskiclub.wordpress.com/. Learn about the Friends and the park at www.friendsofmurphyspoint.ca.