The Government issued a temporary fire ban and a ban on off-highway vehicle use within Fire Protection Areas. Both take effect on April 15th. They are wanting to limit human caused wildfires during the pandemic and believe both will peak about the same time.
PLEASE NOTE: OHV = sleds (confirmed by ABP&E)
For more information, please see a couple of the articles speaking to this:
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Happy Easter everyone! We are wanting to wish everyone a safe and healthy long weekend. Our trails are holding up, despite the warm weather this past week. We are wrapping up our season and are excited about what next winter holds for us. This was one of the best snow seasons we have had and also it might be the latest we have ever groomed. Looking forward to seeing you all next season. Take care!!
Spring Riding Conditions. We have had some fresh snow. TRAILS: REMINDER THAT THE GOODWIN TRAIL AND GROAT CREEK CONNECTOR TRAILS ARE CLOSED FROM THURSDAY APRIL 2 TO FRIDAY APRIL 3-6:00PM DUE TO TIMBER HARVESTING IN THE AREA. Please obey all signs to ensure everyone’s safety. Trails are still in great riding condition. Some bare patches with dirt spots, exposed rocks and debris are now emerging in open areas. Beware on south exposed hills. Also beware of drifting across the trails. Golden Triangle Trails are in great shape as well. The section that was under repair from Carson Cabin to Letter O, has been completed. GROOMING: No future grooming is expected. HAZARDS: If you are riding, please use EXTREME caution. Please use extreme caution when crossing water areas including rivers, lakes, ponds and streams. There is “Active Logging” present in our areas as well, please STOP at all signs, where indicated. STAGING: Staging areas are both closed. CABINS & LOOKOUTS: Please stay out of cabins, outhouses and lookout areas. PLEASE PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING AND GUIDELINES AS SUGGESTED BY AB HEALTH REGARDING COVID 19 VIRUS.
South side Trail closure due to Industry presence. The closure would be from the intersection of the summit and Goodwin trail to the cut across trail to the groat creek lookout from Thursday April 2 to Friday April 3rd at 6:00pm.
SORRY STAGING AREAS ARE CLOSED! As of today, all staging areas and parking lots are closed to Alberta Parks. The Eagle River Staging Area is owned by the Alberta Government, but maintained by the Whitecourt Trailblazers Club. We have therefore, been notified to close the area down for the season. Our gate is closed with this notice posted on it. In addition, please be advised the Groat Creek Staging Area is also closed. PLEASE NOTE: if you are sledding, please practise the Safe social distancing as per Alberta Health COVID-19 guidelines. Please Stay out of cabins and avoid groups of people. PS: All north trails were groomed this week.
As per their regulations today an email was sent out later today:
March 27, 2020 Media inquiries Automobile access is temporarily suspended at access points to all provincial parks as well as provincial recreation areas.
The restrictions, which came into effect March 27 at 1 p.m. through two ministerial orders, are in place to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus and are the same restrictions currently in place at national parks. Last weekend revealed a disturbing trend of people not exercising physical distancing and leaving behind garbage and human waste in some provincial parks.
Alberta’s chief medical officer of health has advised that Parks facilities, like washrooms, can only remain open if Parks staff have access to personal protective gear for cleaning. Government recognizes that these scarce resources are needed in Alberta’s health-care and social services front lines, which is why facilities will remain closed and access restricted to help reduce the spread of the virus.
Albertans who choose to access the province’s parks and recreation areas should follow the advice of government health experts on physical distancing and public gatherings.
“We understand the need to get outdoors, but now is not the time to visit our provincial parks and recreation areas without abiding by common-sense public health and safety measures. We are asking all Albertans to assist us by complying with the public access restriction and to stay home during this critical time. If you have plans to travel to a provincial park or provincial recreation area, please rethink your plans. We all need to do our part to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 among vulnerable Albertans, including ensuring protective gear is available for the service providers that need it most. If you decide to access parks and recreation areas at this time, please leave the area better than how you found it.”
Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks The suspension applies to motor vehicle access to parking lots and staging areas. Albertans should choose recreation opportunities close to home, like going for a walk in their neighbourhood, but if they do travel to provincial parks or recreation sites, access is by non-motorized means only.
The restrictions do not apply to forestry or oil and gas operations.
Access for First Nations and identified Metis Harvesters is still permitted. Physical distancing and mass gathering restrictions still apply.
Enforcement officers will be doing routine checks in provincial parks and on public land to support education and awareness on the temporary closure. Officers can issue fines for non-compliance, if required.
We are asking Albertans to exercise good judgment. Vehicles should not be left on the side of the road or on private property. If a car is required to be left behind while using a park or public land, do not go. Horseback and off-highway vehicle use are still permitted where legal, and users are reminded to practise physical distancing.
Alberta Parks facilities, including toilets and picnic and warm-up shelters, have been closed for more than a week to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. No Parks staff are currently supporting facility operations so visitor safety cannot be ensured.
Improperly disposed of garbage and waste also has the potential to draw wildlife, like bears coming out of hibernation, close to facilities and amenities, which creates an issue for when provincial parks resume normal operations. Fines of up to $250 for littering will be issued to users who dispose of garbage improperly. Albertans are asked to take out whatever they take in with them when they visit parks and public lands.
Spring Conditions are here. We have had above 0c temperatures this past week and expecting above 1c this upcoming week. We received fresh snow the past couple of days: 2-6″ on south side and north side saw more. TRAILS: Trails are still in great riding condition. Some bare patches with dirt spots, exposed rocks and debris are now emerging in open areas. Beware on south exposed hills. Also beware of drifting across the trails. GROOMING: North side trails (Athabasca trail/approach, Gundy and Manweiler to the River-Silver Triangle piece) were groomed a few days ago. South side trails have not been groomed for a couple of weeks, but still in great shape. HAZARDS: If you are riding, please use EXTREME caution. Please use extreme caution when crossing water areas including rivers, lakes, ponds and streams. There is “Active Logging” present in our areas as well, please STOP at all signs, where indicated. Please beware of trail/road crossings south of town on the Goodwin trail – grader banks to get over. GOLDEN TRIANGLE SECTION L TO O IS STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION. BEWARE OF EQUIPMENT IN AREA. STAGING: It is recommended to stage from staging areas-gates remain open at Groat Creek Staging and Eagle River Staging Areas. PLEASE PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING AND GUIDELINES AS SUGGESTED BY AB HEALTH. USE PRECAUTIONS WHEN IN THE WARM-UP SHELTERS AND AROUND OTHER AREAS THAT PEOPLE ARE OR HAVE BEEN.
We are happy to announce that we are open for this coming season. We have most of our weekends booked, but looking to book up the rest. Please note, due to the COVID 19 Virus we are regulated at this time for each booking to only have 15 people. In addition due to health regulations, our Gazebo, outhouses and water pump are unavailable for use. Please cont... Read More
As you are aware, the Whitecourt Trailblazers Executive works very hard throughout the year, but especially from September to April. Every year there are always some blips and adversities and this year was no exception. We will however, not remember this year as any other year that the 2020-40th Anniversary Sled Invasion. It was a great year, with a lot o... Read More
Posted by: Cindy Brooks on April 24, 2020
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For up-to-date trail conditions, phone the Sno-Line: 1-800-313-7383