The David Thompson Snowriders have been forced to close their trail, east of Eckville, for the first time in over 20 years.
The closure is intended to maintain good relationships with the farmers who have allowed the riders onto their land.
“We have to close our trail because there are still crops left in the field and a lot of our trail goes over farmland,” Snowriders President Clint Bromling said. “We have to respect the farmers and not drive the sleds on their land when the crops aren’t all off.”
While club members are disappointed with the closure, Bromling said everyone understands the circumstances involved.
“Of course, there is disappointment because that rally is part of why we do it,” Bromling said. “It is one of those things where if we want to have ongoing communication with the farmers that is positive, we have to do what we have to do.”
Many of the riders aren’t left completely empty handed, as many other trails throughout Alberta are not facing the same issue as David Thompson.
“They will go to other clubs that don’t go over as much, or any farmland at all,” Bromling said. “They will use those trails.”
While a trail closure is unprecedented since the club started in 1994, Bromling is encouraging his club not to fret.
“Take a positive approach and we will keep having our club meetings and we might try something else. There is always next year,” he said, adding that “you can’t control mother nature, you can’t control the snow and you can’t control the crops in harvest season.
“We have been fortunate to have this be the only year that crops haven’t been taken off the trail.”
If you would like more information on where you can find other snowmobile trails, you can log on to atlasmobile.ab.ca/trailsclubs.