Swan Hills Snowmobile Trails Upgraded

·2 min read

The Alberta Snowmobile Association facilitated a local project of the Swan Hills Snow Goers with funds from the Government of Alberta to resurface five snowmobile bridges around Swan Hills. This funding was designated for the upkeep of recreation trails, specifically snowmobile trails. The Swan Hills Snow Goers thoughtfully chose to employ local businesses in the completion of this project.

The surfaces of the snowmobile bridges had originally been constructed with wood, which was beginning to deteriorate. Two of the bridges were in such need of repair that they had to be removed and reworked at the CNRL warehouse yard in order to make them safe to use again. The repaired bridges were installed in the latter part of March, in time for the spring break-up. The bridges were all resurfaced using metal to increase their longevity.

The resurfacing project has had multiple benefits to the Swan Hills area, both to the snowmobile trails and the local economy. Repairing the snowmobile bridges has had the effect of making some hazardous crossings much safer. The utilization of local companies in this endeavour has been a welcome boost during the currently trying economic conditions in Alberta. Many club members also put in an enormous amount of time and elbow grease to see this project completed for the community.

In a remarkable display of true community spirit, Swan Hills' businesses also made some extremely generous donations of time, equipment, materials, and services. Northwell Oilfield Hauling Ltd provided a bed truck to haul rig mats for the project. Hands-on Picker & Tractor Service donated time to transport the repaired bridges back to the work sites for installation. CNRL supplied pipe used to complete the guardrails of some of the bridges and some damaged rig mats that were able to be repurposed for the project. And Irving K Excavation Ltd provided some of the equipment used for the project.

This project's timely funding, support from the community, and assistance from local businesses have been instrumental this year as the Swan Hills Snow Goers were unable to host their usual fundraising event due to the pandemic.

The Snow Goers have received assistance from other quarters as well this year. Millar Western helped the club by cleaning up the trail's edge by Boy Scout Road in the Trapper Leas area, and West Fraser (Blue Ridge Lumber) has helped fund the repair of a portion of trail damage due to cut block activity.

The Swan Hills Snow Goers is a non-profit volunteer organization promoting tourism to the Swan Hills area.

Thank you to all parties involved in this effort to improve the Swan Hills snowmobile trails for many years to come.

Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette