As Lanark County continues to hold consultations on the ultimate disposition of the Ottawa Valley Recreational Trail (OVRT), representatives of a number of local snowmobile clubs spoke to Carleton Place town council on March 28 about their desire to be included as part of a multi-use trail.
Darin McRae of the Beautiful Eastern Association of Snowmobile Trails (BEAST) and Scott Hamilton of the West Carleton Snowmobile Trails Association both touted the economic and safety benefits of including clubs like theirs as part of the OVRT. While discussing their role in clearing and grooming the trails, making them accessible to others wishing to engage in winter recreation, they noted their clubs’ 25 years of experience, along with solid links to local municipalities and police, provide the basis for trusting working relationships that will ensure good access for all trail users.
Other items from March 28 council
Sneddon receives community builders award
Carleton Place in good shape, according to municipal audit
McRae noted that other local trails have successful multi-use track records, including the Trans-Canada Trail between Carleton Place and Stittsville, the Cataraqui Trail between Smith Falls and Yarker, and the Shared Trail in Constance Bay Torbolton Forest. By extending snowmobile access to multi-use trails, McRae also spoke to a positive economic impact, given snowmobiling currently contributes $95 million and 850 full-time jobs to Eastern Ontario.
In addition, McRae said all users would benefit from signage, along with patrols provided by members of the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs. “We take trail management very seriously,” he said, “and we are excellent stewards of the trails not only during the winter but year-round as well.”
“We’ll be waiting until the county compiles the comments from all residents, and hopefully we can find some way to accommodate all the people who want to use that trail,” said Mayor Louis Antonakos.