The winter trails start to open, the machines are ready, our clothes are clean and we are ready to go out. After the first few kilometers, I already noticed that some trails no longer pass through the same places and that new signs have taken up residence. Most of the time, they are the famous signs ‘fragile right of way’. Like every year, I ask myself the question, but why?
It’s easy to answer, you might say. But the problem is recurrent season after season. Often the marked paths and/or the signs are not respected. And even so, the landowners don’t ask for much, just a little respect and civic-mindedness. Like for example, the stops. Often they are there to reduce speed and of course, to delimit an intersection. I have a good example of a situation that should not happen. My colleague owns a beautiful sugar shack where I sometimes go to help him when it’s time to collect the maple water. The tour is accomplished with a tracked ATV and the trail to collect the water passes through a federated trail only once. When the time comes for him to take the federated trail, he is honked at and insulted that he has no business there. Later that day, he finds cans and leftover lunch next to a tree where some quad riders have set up camp for lunch. This is the kind of behavior that results in the loss of rights of way.
The same kind of behavior is found on the edges of farm fields. Clubs spend a lot of time with landowners to determine where the trail should go to accommodate everyone. As you may have noticed, trails almost always run along the side of fields. This is to avoid damaging the harvest due to the numerous passage of the quads. Once again, waste does not mix well with the crop. Imagine a can that has been thrown into a corn plantation. Once the machinery has passed, the cob ends up in a grinder with the can and this feed is given to the animals. I am not an expert, but pieces of aluminum in the stomach, it must not be good for the health of the cattle… You will understand the reluctance of these owners to accept the passage of quads on their lands.
All this is to make each of you aware of the need to show the greatest respect on the trail. Whether it is towards the landowners or simply between motorized sport ” enthusiasts “. So at the beginning of this year, we could all make a resolution: to be a better user of the federated trails. The sustainability of our trails depends on it.