The Town of The Blue Mountains (TBM) is maintaining trails at the Tomahawk Recreational Complex and the Georgian Trail for public use throughout the winter season, following the popularity of the trails last winter.
“The town received very positive feedback last year regarding the addition of the groomed trails,” said director of community services Ryan Gibbons. “To continue to provide residents with outdoor recreation options, the trail maintenance program was supported by council for the 2021/2022 winter season.”
Looking to introduce more outdoor winter recreation to the town last year, council supported grooming the trails for the season, which saw an average of 520 visits per day, according to the town.
The Tomahawk Recreational Complex sports 2.5-kilometre and 800-metre loops available for public use from sunrise to sunset.
The trail is being maintained for walking and cross country skiing, with set tracks allocated for each activity.
Visitors to the trail will need to either pay for parking onsite or display a resident parking pass in their vehicles.
The Georgian Trail is similarly being groomed multiple activities, including walking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and fat biking, but it has no set tracks for any activity due to space constraints. The Town of Collingwood also maintains its portion of the Georgian Trail in the winter.
Motorized vehicles are not permitted on the trails, and dogs must be leashed and picked up after.
In a press release, the town stated that residents need to carry out all garbage with them, as there are limited trash cans.
In order to maintain the trails, the community services department acquired a surplus RTV from the fire department, and they have hired two additional staff on a contract basis to carry out the work.
"The Town has hired two contract staff positions with the responsibility of grooming both the Georgian Trail and the 2.5-kilometre groomed trail at the Tomahawk Recreational Complex," Gibbons said. "These staff positions also provide additional capacity to the community services department for general maintenance activities."
When the trails were approved for maintenance through last year's winter season, town staff estimated the total costs would be around $39,000.
Additional information about the town's trails system may be found here.
Greg McGrath-Goudie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca