With snow about to fly and stick for the winter, avid snowmobilers will be seeking a place to spend some time with their families and friends.
Peace Valley Snow Riders (PVSR) have a solution for them, and they’re hoping to draw out new members to enjoy their trails.
“We have long cold winters and people need a reason to get off the couch and enjoy winter,” says PVSR’s Dwayne Buchholz.
“(Riders) don’t need anything fancy and anyone is welcome. There are rest areas on the trails, and we are family oriented so bring the family to enjoy,” he adds.
Buchholz says because it’s such a sparsely populated area, that there is a high number of snowmobilers and in the past, there have been issues with environmental damage and trespassers on private land. These are issues volunteers have worked hard to address by creating Peace Valley Snow Riders.
“We’re part of a solution because we have areas of acceptable use,” says Buchholz, who explains there are trails stretching from Peace River to Hines Creek and beyond.
“Our trails provide an awesome opportunity for people to get out and enjoy nature.”
The goal of the club was to provide a trail network to help direct snowmobile traffic to areas that are cleared, signed, and groomed. They are promoting riders using shared footprints to reduce environmental impact and disturbance, all while promoting safe operation of snowmobiles.
“We have a stance of zero alcohol tolerance,” says Buchholz, adding that they really promote a family-
“Our view is to save it until you’re done at the end of the day.”
Each of the club’s trails have at least one staging area at the trail head to allow snowmobilers to park and off load their machines. The staging areas have a large sign showing a map of the trail, along with conditions of use. Trails are all groomed to a width of five metres as volunteer resources and funds for contractors allow. All the trails have rest areas that provide a fire pit, picnic table, outhouse, and woodshed.
The four trails include Osmond/Getaway Cabins Leddy Lake trail north of Peace River, Baytex Wesley Creek Trail north of St. Isidore, Zavisha Smith Mills Trail running between Grimshaw and Hines Creek, and Canfor Hines Creek Trail. The trails provide over 200 km of snowmobiling fun for enthusiasts.
Volunteers have identified potential areas to extend their trails and work tirelessly to ensure the trails are clean and ready for riders.
Buchholz explains joining the club allows people to join a great social network of other snowmobilers and allows people to be part of a club that is creating a legacy of trails for future generations.
Alberta Snowmobile Association (ASA) Annual Trail Passes are required to utilize the trails, but the pass can be used on any ASA member club trail in Alberta. The passes are available from snowmobile dealerships in Peace River and Hines Creek, or on the ASA website for $80 before Dec. 31 or $90 afterward.
“Our sponsors are really helpful,” says Buchholz. “We also hold a Poker Rally and other events through the winter, and we’d love to have people come out to participate and join our club.”
ASA has awarded the club several honours including the Mighty Peace Region Club-of-the-Year award in 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2020. Club member Francois Allard received the Groomer-of-the-Year award in 2018, Buchholz was given the 2019 Outstanding Snowmobiler Award and Mighty Peace Powersports & RV received Dealer-of-the-Year in 2018.
If you would like additional information about the Peace Valley Snow Riders club, please visit its website at www.peacevalleysnowriders.com.
If you are able to help prepare trails or would like to be part of the Peace Valley Snow Riders volunteers, please phone Francois at (780) 618-7773.