New members, especially novice riders, invited to join any time
© Ashley Thompson
Snowmobilers Travis Swinamer, Jeremy Cromwell and Jessie Swinamer stand in front of the Hants Sno-Dusters’ trail groomer. A handful of volunteers with the snowmobile club maintain about 240 kilometres of trails stretching from Windsor to Hwy 12 in New Ross.
Members of the Hants Sno-Dusters have just cause to sing Let It Snow long after Christmas.
Executive member Dougie Ross likens snowmobiling to a healthy addiction that gives people something to look forward to in the dead of winter.
“It’s a good family activity,” he said during a meeting at the Hants Sno-Dusters’ clubhouse in Falmouth.
“It’s good, enjoyable recreation in the winter.”
In a decent season, Ross says his sled starts barrelling through the snow in at least December and the white fluffy stuff keeps falling — and sticking around long enough for him to make tracks — until April.
And, while they may be off to a late start this year, things are looking up for the 60-odd Hants Sno-Dusters members.
Ross says the peak of the season is just beginning and it’s a perfect time for new members to join the Hants Sno-Dusters and learn a little more about the sport.
A handful of volunteers with the snowmobile club maintain about 240 kilometres of trails stretching from Windsor to Hwy 12 in New Ross. Ross says snowmobile tracks disappear when the snow melts, but tending to remote trails that are at the mercy of Mother Nature is a year-round commitment.
The goal of the continual maintenance is to ensure the ever-expanding trail system, which is marked with signage, can offer snowmobilers throughout the province safe and enjoyable courses in Hants County.
“Don’t drive past your experience level. That’s when the most accidents happen.” John Aylward
The non-profit organization keeps the trails groomed with money raised through membership fees, the sale of trail passes, fundraisers and leased advertizing space.
“We’re a small club and it’s really hard to find ways to generate funding,” Ross said.
Joining a snowmobile club can be a wise decision for someone who is new to the sport, he said.
While the Hants Sno-Dusters strive to keep the trails safe for travel, it is important to use your head when you’re on a sled.
The Hants Sno-Duster’s cardinal rule is, “Don’t go alone.”
Sno-Duster John Aylward says “Act smart” is another good motto for all snowmobilers.
“Don’t drive past your experience level,” he advised. “That’s when the most accidents happen.”
The club will be hosting a vintage snowmobile show at the Hants County Exhibition Grounds April 15.
To learn more about the Hants Sno-Dusters, drop in on an open meeting at the clubhouse — 156 Eldridge Road — the first Monday of every month from September to May at 7:30 p.m., or visit www.snodusters.ca.