Stewardship and safety in the Crowsnest Pass

The Crowsnest Pass Quad Squad Association has worked hard to maintain and develop new trails for the enjoyment of ATVers

by Lisa Crane

ATVs high in the mountains

There's some spectacular riding to be had in the Crowsnest Pass. — Photo courtesy Crowsnest Pass Quad Squad Association

ATVing in Alberta's Crowsnest Pass is all about enjoyment, safety and stewardship. The Crowsnest Pass Quad Squad Association encourages its members—who are mostly families—to ride responsibly and look after the trails. Members are looking forward to a fun season, particularly as they have an enhanced system of trails after some hard work.

Dedicated efforts pay off

Wade Aebli, the president of the Quad Squad, said he has been involved with the club for a few years. He actually started out consulting for the club—Aebli owns Adaptive Environmental Solutions—working on trail development, maintenance and enhancement.

“At the end of that project I continued volunteering,” said Aebli.

The Quad Squad gained a substantial grant through the Community Development Trust, which meant it was able to complete a number of projects to enhance the trails in the Castle Special Management Area. The Quad Squad is really pleased with the result.

“We fixed a lot of  trails damaged by erosion and general use, and we stabilized some eroded by the river,” said Aebli. “We did a sediment control and revegetation project in a major area."

He said they were able to develop some trails to replace older ones that were unsustainable in a few different locations.

Fun and safe riding

All in all, the Castle Special Management Area makes for great riding, Aebli said, with some fun experiences waiting to happen north of the highway.

“Riding in the area is excellent; there is great variety for all levels of riders—anywhere from family loops to more challenging terrain," said Aebli. "We always promote sustainable use and we don't want people riding in the water and the wetlands."

He said members are very good regarding these matters.

Aebli said his favourite place to ride is back near the Carbondale River, which meanders through the forests and meadows of the Castle Special Management Area.

“This is a very scenic route, and we rerouted it so it is a really fun trail,” said Aebli, adding that they see abundant wildlife out there.

Aebli extended an invitation to anyone who wants to come out this spring and summer to enjoy the trails, and to enjoy the work the club has put into them. 

"I encourage everyone to use bridges if they are available, respect wildlife and join a club," he said.

The Crowsnest Quad Squad Association will be attending two shows in April:

  • Lethbridge Outdoor Adventure Show and Sale: April 4 to 6, 2013
  • Coleman Show: April 12 and 13, 2013

The Quad Squad's AGM will be held on April 20, 2013, at 2 p.m. at the Cosmopolitan Restaurant in Blairmore, Alberta; members are urged to attend.

The club will be having a season opener May 24 to 26; the location is yet to be determined, so check on the website.

Check out the website for other upcoming events.

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