This past summer marked an incredible season for the Moose ATV Club of Fort St. John, B.C. The club, which has about 100 members and is continuing to grow, does a lot for the community. Members also enjoy getting out and riding for the pure fun of it.
Stephen Cameron, president of the Moose ATV Club, said this summer the club stepped back into the public eye to show the community they're still around.
"In April we got involved in a local trade show," said Cameron. "It's a big one. We gained half our membership in three days. It was great—we got lots of feedback from the community from us being there. It has been a couple years since we had been to one and it was good to let everyone know we're still around."
The club started in 2003 with 10 members and they've always prided themselves on taking on many community projects every year.
"We put on projects for designated drivers, speed, barbecues and a ride for the Fort St. John Petroleum Association," said Cameron. "They have a lot of members and families involved. We put on a ride and barbecue for them every year."
The Moose ATV Club has a lot of other projects on the go. They have put in an application to Shell Canada for funding for trail upgrades, brushing and rerouting a 20 to 40 kilometre section of trail to detour away from industry in the area, which has become quite heavy in recent years.
"Our relationship with industry started off kind of bumpy," said Cameron. "But once they realized we are not after their money and we just want to keep our trails open and accessible, we have worked quite well together over the last couple years."
The club has applied for funding from Shell Canada's programs for recreational opportunities.
"In 2009 and 2010, we received $230,000 in grants and did 300 kilometres of registered trail and did a ton of trail upgrades, put in bridges and put up a $30,000 warm-up shelter," said Cameron. "The work was done by forestry workers, which is how part of the grant money works.
"We put three to four guys to work for us for a couple months. It was fantastic."
The club is working toward other projects as well, to begin in 2014. Cameron said they want to focus more on family and kids riding and have a place close to town that is easily accessible for kids to learn with their parents and families.
Favourite rides in the area
For Cameron, being part of the club is about getting out and enjoying the great riding northern B.C. has to offer. This summer he did a couple of rides that he said were his favourites.
Onion Lake Trail
"One of the best rides we did this summer was the Onion Lake Trail southeast of Tumbler Ridge, which is only a few hours' drive from Fort St. John," said Cameron. "We went out there for the weekend, camped out and on the Saturday, it was a 10-and-a-half-hour drive in and out from the lake. It is some of the most technical trail you've ever seen. It's technical, steep, rocky and you get right up to the alpine and you're riding along ridge after ridge on the trail. It's so beautiful up there."
Cameron said eight riders went in there and had an absolute blast.
"It's called Onion Lake and the trail is truly an onion in a sense," he said. "It has so many layers to it and has such an incredible variety of terrain."
Prince George to Wells
Another one of Cameron's favourite rides was travelling with a couple of club members from Prince George to Wells in September. The trail is about 140 kilometres one way.
"It's a lot of easy trail but a long distance," said Cameron. "We pulled into Wells, had lunch, chilled out for a couple hours, then rode all the way back again. You don't get to do that stuff very often in B.C. There aren't too many trails that will link communities like that."