DIGBY, NS – More trails in Digby have a clear forecast thanks to the Digby County ATV Club.
Club president Keith Comeau and club trail coordinators Jimmy Gates and David Handspiker were joined by several other club members October 28 at the old rail bed trail, starting at the 101 in Marshalltown.
With grant funding from the ATV Association of Nova Scotia, the club hired a bush hogger to trim alders and other growth on the trail from its starting point up to Henry Maillet Road, also known as Old Gilberts’ Cove Road.
“The trail was starting to close in,” said Comeau.
“The clearing was primarily for safety reasons, since visibility was a concern. People need to be able to see when they’re turning a corner.”
The club followed behind the bush hogger – an instrument notorious for the jagged path it leaves – to handle any hazardous branches left sticking out.
The maintenance was also done in anticipation of the municipality managing the multi-use trail full time, which will go forward if its letter of authority request is accepted by the Department of Natural Resources.
Once the letter comes through, the club intends to help manage the trail with grating and surface upkeep.
“The grant requires 500 hours of maintenance, so this managing will help with that,” said Comeau.
The club has also been striving to shed an unwelcome image some people have of all ATV-users, namely that they’re a collectively reckless group.
This has not been easy, said Comeau.
“It’s hard to get rid of that stigma when there are a few bad apples. That’s what people focus on, not the 65-year-old man on his ATV going hunting or fishing,” he said.
The club is working closely with DNR and the RCMP for tougher enforcement of unsafe driving.
“There are rules people don’t follow, and people who drive without a license, registration, and insurance. That needs to stop,” he said.