There are a lot of trails around, says Woods and Water Recreational Trails Association President Lloyd Sawatzky, but most of them are not official. “It’s people who were out riding in the bush. It’s the quadders keeping them open.”
Some of these off-highway vehicle (OHV) users are organized.
Slave Lake Snow and Mud Association is focused on family friendly and environmentally responsible OHV use, says new president Bill Criss. One of its long-term goals is to make a map with all the trails in the area to help with tourism. Criss has ridden in areas that have these types of maps and found them very useful.
The group has been around for five years. In the past, the group organized quad rallies and snowmobile races on the lake. One of these was for Wounded Warriors, which is a program to support veterans.
When organizing the quad rallies, the group kept in contact with Alberta Environment and Parks, forestry and other interested parties. They also did a trail garbage clean up, with nine machines loaded down with waste from the trail.
Criss is “proud of the environmental effort we put in.”
The group has five to seven core members, says Criss, this is a “decent number of core members” and a good place to begin.
In the short-term, they had planned a family quad run in August which was postponed due to rain. They are also hoping to do a circle drag race on the ice this winter. This is a slightly different format from the straight drags they held in previous years.
In previous years, the ice races were held on Lesser Slave Lake off shore from Big Fish Bay campground in Slave Lake.