Staging areas closed


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.

Trail Report – March 26, 2020


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.

Trail Report – March 19, 2020


Late Spring Conditions appearing on the system. There is still lots of snow and amazing riding out there.

Trails have not been groomed. Please consider hanging outside in the wide open spaces and stay out of the warm up shelters.

Trails are still in very good shape, some rough spots, creek fills are starting to wash out. Please cross with caution. Use caution on hills as portions of them are starting to lose snow.

Please use our staging areas to offload – Eagle River Recreation & Staging area and Groat Creek Recreation/Staging Area

Golden Triangle Letter Carson Cabin (L) to Letter O is still under construction – PLEASE USE CAUTION. It is passable, but due to equipment breakdowns, they will be there for another week.

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