Looking forward to a winter of content
|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | June 23, 2016
The early winter has brought challenges – but also great promise – for those who rely heavily on the season in Haliburton County. We’ve had some snow and extreme cold so far this winter, although milder temperatures this week have given those who like to play in the out-of-doors – snowmobilers, skiers and ice fishermen – a reprieve.
Dave Lloyd is the new president of the Haliburton County Snowmobile Association (HCSA). Earlier this week, he told The Highlander that about 75 per cent of the HCSA trail system is open with limited status and there’s a push to have all trails up and running by week’s end or this weekend. But he cautionned they won’t be marked green until we get about another foot of snow.
He credited the association’s 12 paid groomers and an army of volunteers for getting them to where they are so far.
“We were out very early this year. About half of our lakes are already staked. That’s unheard of for the first week of January,” Lloyd said in a telephone interview Jan. 8.
He said they’d be working this week to get some of the northern lakes, such as Redstone and Kennisis, staked. The club always tries to get trails open as soon as possible for tourism and businesses but sometimes it comes at the expense of damaging equipment, which has happened due to the extreme cold snap we’ve had. Lloyd added they’ve been assisted by the hardy sledders who have already been out packing down the trails and added that “the ponds have frozen up quite nice.”
This week’s mild temperatures and denser snow will also help, he said. The big thing now is “we need more snow … another foot of the good stuff and we’ll be set for a good season.”
Chris Bishop of Sir Sam’s Ski & Ride said despite the fact the slopes are in the best condition they’ve been in years, business is actually down. He blames it on the cold weather up to this week and out-of-town media and weather reporters “dramatizing the weather.”
“If you dress properly and take more breaks, you would be fine,” he said. The ice fishing huts have also popped up all across the county and Outdoors Plus in Haliburton is rubbing its hands at the prospect of a good and long season. Karen Perrott said, “we are excited for the early ice this year. Last year, it was not safe to even go on the ice ‘til Jan. 18, but this year, in late December, there was enough ice to fish small lakes, and many people took advantage of the early ice.”
LISA GERVAIS is the editor for The Highlander.