Snowmobilers make pitch for inclusion on Ottawa Valley Rec Trail

Scott Hamilton (left) and Darin McRae presented the case for making the Ottawa Valley Recreational Trail a multi-use path that includes snowmobiles during Carleton Place Town Council’s March 28 meeting.Photo credit Matthew Behrens
Posted on: March 29, 2017

Matthew Behrens

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.

6 thoughts on “Snowmobilers make pitch for inclusion on Ottawa Valley Rec Trail

  1. Tim Bell

    I personally do not support the use of atv’s on the trail. While I realize that most ATVers are responsible drivers, there’s the few who have no regard for theirs and others safety by travelling at excess speed. I don’t even think that most ATVers even have a horn to sound when approaching walkers from behind.It only takes one accident to very seriously injure a person. It would be interesting to know how may owner’s of atv’s have insurance on them. I find that some of the ATVers are reckless when in a group destroying others private property.
    I’ve seen may ATVers driving on the street in our neighborhood without helmets.again this is safety issue as well as being a against the law. So no, I don’t think atv’s should be allowed on this section of trail.
    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to comment.

  2. Debbie Lackey

    Every year snowmobile clubs put in hundreds of hours in the fall getting the trails ready for the 4 to 6 weeks they will get to use the trails if they are lucky with snowfall. In return, all other users from dog walkers to hikers to bicyclists to cross country skiers etc get to use the same trail all year round thanks to the volunteers’ hard work of clearing away brush and fallen trees. Everyone should get the chance to use and enjoy this multi use trail.

  3. Kevin O'Neill

    This trail system must be multi use. As a tax payer and as many many other taxpayers, we will all benefit from a multi use trail system. The economics and safety of the motorized groups will only benefit our towns as well as off season visits from those who got to know our friendly hospitality. Let’s not waist this enormous opertunity and we can all share a great trail.

  4. Deanna Fenwick

    The middle of town is not the place for a snowmobile trail. It is not only loud, annoying for residents, but dangerous! What business will it bring? Other than bar traffic that shouldn’t be mixed with snowmobiling. This is a bad idea all around.

  5. Ryan

    Of course the snowmobile club should gain access to this trail. Snowmobiling brings 1.6 billion dollars to the province every year. That’s a lot of tax dollars, eh?

    Snowmobile clubs in Ontario are involved in charities and raising fuss for local communities. We don’t just take we give back. If the trail is signed properly and patrolled the risks associated with accidents are greatly reduced. We have a multiuse trail in Osgoode, there has not been any accidents involving pedestrians and it does go through the town. We have our patrollers on the trail whenever possible to send the message that the the trail is not guaranteed and that everyone must act accordingly. Rural Ontario needs to embrace this, it can have a tremendous impact on the local economy.

    1. Tim

      I totally agree with snowmobiles on the trail. As I said in my earlier post, it’s the atv’s that I have problems with as theyou will be on the trails when the Skidmore season is over, and there’s no one to patrol the trail then until the following Skidmore season.

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