Some of our members and fellow Yellowknifer’s have been talking about the trails in the city and who has the authority to access or maintain them.
It’s a good question and the answer depends on what trails you are talking about.
Some trails were developed by the city, such as the McMahon Frame Lake system, Niven Lake or Tin Can Hill.
These trails are actively managed by the city so it’s their responsibility to designate what activities occur on the trail, some prohibit snowmobiling.
Prohibited areas include playgrounds, parks, sliding hills, Bristol Pit, the golf course greens, and ski club trails.
Snowmobiling is also not permitted in the downtown core – any street bounded by 48 Street, 54 Street, 49Avenue and 51 Avenue.
Lastly, the Willow Flats Nature Preservation Area adjacent to Ragged Ass Road is off limits to protect this natural area.
Many other trails in town were developed by snowmobilers as a means to safely travel without relying on roads.
These unofficial trails are not maintained by city workers so the GSSA has acted as a steward to spread gravel, clear brush and groom out the bumps to enhance the network for all Yellowknifer’s.
Keep in mind, these in-town trails are subject to city jurisdiction so may change due to local development.
The GSSA has actively worked with city planners to maintain the network and even relocate trails when necessary.
New development projects are important to city growth and thoughtful planning allows trail access and better recreational options. For this reason, we take exception to complaints regarding our volunteer work.
If you have concerns, please contact us directly so we can work with you to alleviate those concerns.
The GSSA understands everyone enjoys the trail network for their own purposes, even if not for snowmobiling. We are willing to work with concerned groups or citizens to make Yellowknife a better place to live.
Looks like we have a warmer weekend approaching, so get ready to hit the trails.
I have not received many updates on the trail conditions this week, so I leave it to you for next week.
I can report the trails we groom are in excellent condition including Kam Lake to Great Slave, Deh Cho Boulevard and the airport fence through to Frame Lake and Back Bay.
There’s thick overflow in the brook that flows across the Deh Cho trail near Polar Tech and along the Old Ski Club trail in Niven.
Be careful on Kam Lake near the city garage where the excavator went through the ice at the site of the sewage spill.
If travelling on Walsh Lake, please watch for TerraX’s two drill sites on the west side of the lake; one active and one near Freeman Island to be in operation Feb 5. There will also be heavy equipment in the area.
Travel safe and have fun.