Welcome to the Saskatchewan Trails Association Website
IN THE NEWS:
Federal Government Announces New NTC Funding
The Saskatchewan Trails Association (STA) is delighted by the federal government’s recent decision to provide an additional $10 million over two years to the National Trails Coalition (NTC). This funding will help maintain and develop both motorized and non-motorized trails across the country, ensuring high quality and low cost recreational opportunities for all Canadians while furthering Canada’s economic growth and prosperity.
To read the full media release, click here.
Supporting Trail Development in Saskatchewan
The Saskatchewan Trails Association (STA) is now accepting individual and corporate donations for its recently developed Saskatchewan Trails Fund. Once core funding is achieved, this new trail fund will provide annual grants to local trail organizations and communities to help support trail development and maintenance projects in Saskatchewan.
If you would like to make a donation to support Saskatchewan's trails (via PayPal), please click on the above "Donate" icon.
Thank you for your support!
Saskatchewan Trails Association Discretionary Funding Grant Now Available
The Saskatchewan Trails Association (STA) today announced that funding for the maintenance of existing trails is now available through the STA Discretionary Funding Grant program. The grant will cover up to 60 per cent, to a maximum of $500, of the total costs required to maintain and upgrade existing trails in the province.
The remaining 40 per cent of the funds must be raised by the grant applicant. The grant can be used to cover expenses such as producing maps, signage, benches, and maintenance equipment. However, the grant cannot be used to pay for food expenses, subsidising full-time employees’ wages, or property taxes. The grant is open to all members of the STA, with application deadline – December 31.
“The Saskatchewan Trails Association is very excited about the impact that this grant program will have on the upkeep of trails in the province,” says Cathy Watts, President of the STA. “Many trails are in need of some attention, and this funding will help to ensure that trails are properly maintained and enjoyable for all users.”
Trails are an important part of healthy and active living. They offer affordable recreational opportunities for people of all ages to enjoy activities such as hiking, bike riding, walking and snowmobiling. Trails also have numerous economic, ecological and educational benefits.
The STA is a non-profit organization that was established in July 2004 to maintain and increase the number of recreational trails that exist in Saskatchewan. The STA is also responsible for promoting Saskatchewan’s trails and increasing the number of individuals that utilize our trails every year.
Click here to download grant application.
For more information, contact Pat Rediger at (306) 522-9326 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Letter to the editor recently sent by the Saskatchewan Trails Association to the Regina Leader Post and Saskatoon Star Phoenix
On behalf of the Saskatchewan Trails Association (STA), I would like to express my disappointment that the province has chosen to reject a call from the Saskatchewan All Terrain Vehicle Association (SATVA) for the registration of ATVs. In addition to registration, SATVA requested mandatory training for all riders on public property and to partner with government to repair and maintain trails on crown property.
The All Terrain Vehicles Act covers ATV usage on public and crown land. It is not enforceable on private land and it is therefore the responsibility of riders and adults supervising children under 16 years of age to comply with the legislation and undertake all necessary safety precautions.
Unfortunately, there are still many devastating injuries and deaths resulting from ATV use due, in part, to a lack of managed trails, and rider inexperience and negligence. According to SGI, there have been 179 injuries and 23 deaths over the past 5 years. If similar injury and death statistics were attributed to an industry, I suspect that the position of the government would be more proactive in seeking solutions to improve the situation.
Snowmobile registration resulted in a decline in the number of crashes and the registration fees are used by the Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association to groom trails which is much safer for riders. Registration not only improves behaviour and accountability but also assists with theft and damage to vehicles.
Registration is required for off highway vehicles, which includes ATVs, in all provinces and territories in Canada except Saskatchewan. If the government is not prepared to take this step, at the very least it should provide increased safety for ATV users by developing and maintaining dedicated ATV trails.
As an organization concerned with all trails in Saskatchewan, the STA hopes that the government will take another look at this issue in light of current trends across the country and widespread support from responsible ATV owners, trail users and associations.
President, Saskatchewan Trails Association
The Great Saskatchewan GPS Challenge
Saskatchewan Trails Association recently completed an inventory of all trails in the province. The information has been submitted to Tourism Saskatchewan and is now on their website, which can be found at http://www.sasktourism.com/things-to-do/trails.
This is a significant step toward promoting our trails, and we are asking for your help to maintain the information. If there are any enhancements, closures, etc., please let us know so that we are able to update the website.
Tourism Saskatchewan has also asked for additional info of your trails for the website. We would appreciate any photos of the trails that you are able to provide. Good quality photographs are very important for the website, especially if the trailhead is difficult to find. Any comments on driving to or finding the trailhead that will assist trail users would also be appreciated.
Tourism Saskatchewan would also like to have GPS data on your trail heads, but would prefer to have data on the entire trail if possible. Providing GPS data will allow trail users to find your trail with their GPS unit. GPS data can be obtained by using a GPS unit, which can be borrowed from Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association. Booking information is online at spra.sk.ca.
How to Gather Trailhead Information
Gathering accurate GPS coordinates is essential for populating the Saskatchewan Tourism trail web data base. The information below will assist with this task.
When using a GPS to mark a coordinate, begin by turning the unit on prior to arriving at the trailhead so that it properly connects with satellites. It is best to mark a waypoint by approaching the trailhead from multiple directions and watching your accuracy or EPE readings on the GPS. Do this 5-7 times and select the waypoint with the lowest EPE average; meaning ‘Give greater weight to a waypoint taken with three metres EPE than the one at 10 metres EPE.’ Some GPS units have the ability to take an average of a set of coordinates, others do not. Be aware that during bad weather or in an area with lots of tall trees, the accuracy of the GPS unit may be poor.
Google Earth Coordinates
“If you don’t know what Google Earth is or have never used it, you may want to skip this section.” Coordinates for a specific location can also be gathered using Google Earth by first finding the trailhead on Google Earth and putting the cursor on the trailhead. You’ll notice that wherever the cursor is on the map, the latitude and longitude coordinates for that point will appear at the bottom of the page. You can also place a marker at the location and the coordinates will appear in the summary sheet. The coordinates may not appear in the same format as on your GPS, but don’t be alarmed.
If you need to convert the coordinates from Google Earth or your GPS to another format, go to http://boulter.com/gps. Please note that when using this site, the N and W need to be in front of the coordinates, otherwise the conversion will not work.
Coordinates and photos can be emailed to Pat Rediger at email@example.com. Phone 306-522-9326.
Thank you for your consideration. This is an opportunity to support our trails and show what Saskatchewan has to offer.
Charitable giving program to Saskatoon ski club
The STA is pleased to announce that it has provided more than $1,100 for the Saskatoon Nordic Ski Club (SNSC) through its Charitable Status Program.
Through this program, the STA receives donations on behalf of the SNSC and provides charitable receipts to the donors. The STA then provides these donations to the SNSC for trail construction and rehabilitation.
The SNSC maintains 52 kilometres of trail in the Nisbet Forest between Macdowall and Duck Lake. The trails are multi-use during spring, summer, and autumn, and specific to Nordic cross country skiing during the snow season. The trails are maintained by club volunteers, and new equipment was needed to groom and maintain the trails. The SNSC managed to raise $21,000 through membership fees and member donations.
Thanks to these donations and funds raised, the SNSC was able to purchase a tracked utility all-terrain vehicle (UTV), a Tidd Tech G2 Groomer, a compression drag, a brush mower, and a secure storage facility. A local landowner has also lent the ski club a piece of ground one kilometre from the trails where they have placed a secure storage unit to store the equipment.
The tracked UTV will pull the grooming equipment on ice and in deep snow. It will also carry two people comfortably, which is necessary for safety when working on a wilderness system. The UTV will also pull the brush mower, making maintaining the trails easier for volunteers. The G2 groomer will create a high-quality track in a variety of conditions.
“The STA is pleased to support our member clubs through this initiative. We encourage the public to consider making donations to the STA so we can continue to upgrade and enhance our trail network throughout the province,” said Cathy Watts, STA President.
“The SNSC thanks the STA for their support for our trails. Their program provided a key element in raising enough funds so our trails can continue to be used and enjoyed,” said Randy Chapman of the SNSC.
The STA is the provincial recreation organization responsible for trail development, advocacy and marketing in Saskatchewan. Its operates the Saskatchewan Trail Building Fund, which contains three programs: The Discretionary Fund, which provides small grants to member organizations; The Partnership Initiative Program, which allocates third party funding to dedicated trail projects; and the Charitable Status Program, which allows members to issue charitable receipts for their initiatives.
The SNSC is a volunteer-run organization and a member club in Cross Country Saskatchewan and Cross Country Canada. It hosts provincial cross country ski events including the Saskatoon Skate and Classic Loppet and several SaskCup races. They are also dedicated to offering programs for youth, ski lessons, cross country ski competition training, ski tours, wilderness hiking, among many other programs.
Send us your photos and stories
Have you had a great experience on the trails this summer? Please send us your pictures and stories. We recently received this photo from a member while walking on the trails near St. Victor Petroglyphs near Willow Bunch.