A St. Isidore family was recognized recently as the Alberta Snowmobile Family-of-the-Year by the Alberta Snowmobile Association (ASA).
The Allard family was given the award at the annual ASA Awards of Excellence banquet Oct. 15 in Edmonton. Brothers Francois and Pierre, as well as Francois’s son, Hayden, have been active members of the Peace Valley Snow Riders, contributing their time in many ways.
Francois says it’s a team effort and his brother and son often go out of their way to take on extra responsibilities so he can spend his time on the trails.
“Pierre and Hayden hold down the farm while I’m working on the snowmobile trails,” he says.
“It was great to have my wife, Hayden and his wife and daughter, and Pierre and his girlfriend, all at the banquet to receive the award.”
The Allard family was one of the first families to sign a licensed agreement in 2013 with the local club to allow the Baytex Wesley Creek Trail to cross their private land. The family’s company, Allard Logging Ltd., also completed logging work to clear the east end Zavisha Smith Mills Trail staging area starting in 2016.
“We spend a lot of time in the bush exploring,” says Francois. “We build fires, have lunch of wiener roasts or sandwiches, and just enjoy time with family and friends. We do a lot of off trail riding in the back country to find new trails for the club.”
The family provides assistance annually, removing deadfall and other vegetation from the club’s trails. They are also active in major projects and grooming the club’s trails, as the family purchased a drag and equipped side by sides with tracks to pull it.
As a result of Francois’s dedication to the immaculate grooming of the trails, he was recognized as the ASA Groomer-of-the-Year in 2018.
“Our club nominated us for the award,” says Francois.
“I’d like to send a big thank you to the members of our club and for recognizing what we do.”
The Allard family’s volunteer work has helped contribute to the success of the local club. The club has also had significant membership growth with 246 annual trail pass/memberships and 33 day passes sold in 2021, many coming from the sales by the Allard family.
Francois is currently the Peace Valley Snow Riders’ director and trail development committee chair. Both Francois and Hayden are trail coordinators for the Baytex Wesley Creek Trail, and Pierre is often there working alongside of them.
Francois urges people to get outside and join their local club this winter.
“Get some fresh air and a little exercise,” he says.
“It’s a big social thing and you can enjoy winter instead of being cooped up inside,” he adds.
The Peace Valley Snow Riders’ snowmobile trails are on both the east and west side of the Peace River. The four trails total 205 kilometers, and include staging areas with ample space to park and unload snowmobiles.