En­joy win­ter at Sum­mer­stown Trails

The Glengarry News - - Sports In The Glens - From

Want to cross-coun­try ski and snow­shoe but don’t have the equip­ment? No need to stress. The Friends of the Sum­mer­stown Trails (FOTST) of­fers ski and snow­shoe ren­tals at the trail­head on week­ends through­out win­ter. E-mail sum­mer­stown­[email protected] for de­tails. Rental op­er­a­tions will be closed when the trail con­di­tions are very poor or in cases of in­clement weather (ex­treme cold, freez­ing rain etc.).

Ren­tals are for a period of four hours, and equip­ment is to be used at the Sum­mer­stown Trails.

A 25 per cent dis­count ap­plies to fam­i­lies of four or more peo­ple. Spe­cial rates can be ob­tained for large groups and com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tions.

Schools pro­gram

Schools, teach­ers, school staff, or other vol­un­teers in­ter­ested in par­tic­i­pat­ing in the schools pro­gram should con­tact Liam Car­son, school li­ai­son of­fi­cer, at liam­c­car­[email protected]­mail.com or 613-330-5916.

FOTST runs a pro­gram to in­tro­duce chil­dren from lo­cal schools to snow­shoe­ing and cross-coun­try ski­ing, in the Sum­mer­stown Forest.

The pro­gram is geared pri­mar­ily to Grades 4, 5, and 6; al­though out­ings are also or­ga­nized for younger and older stu­dents.

The group can ac­com­mo­date ap­prox­i­mately 50 snow­shoers at the same time as well as ap­prox­i­mately 40 skiers in ei­ther morn­ing or af­ter­noon ses­sions through­out the season.

Be­gun four years ago, the FOTST schools pro­gram has had over 4,000 vis­its to the trails and a lot of happy and enthusiast­ic young­sters.

Many of the par­tic­i­pants in this pro­gram sel­dom have had the chance to par­tic­i­pate in any out­door win­ter­time recre­ational pur­suits. Hav­ing in­tro­duced them to the de­lights of snow­shoe­ing and ski­ing, they are en­cour­aged to come out to the trails at other times with their fam­i­lies. To fa­cil­i­tate that, FOTST gives them a free coupon al­low­ing them one free ski or snow­shoe rental on week­ends.

At each out­ing, FOTST staff greet the chil­dren at the bus and help them into their equip­ment. The staff, vol­un­teers, and teach­ers, lead the chil­dren on the marked trails through the pre­dom­i­nantly hard­wood forest.

The dis­tance cov­ered varies with the time avail­able and the age and ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the group of chil­dren. Upon their re­turn to the trail­head, stu­dents are able to ex­change sto­ries of their ex­ploits while en­joy­ing some fruit or cups of hot choco­late, be­fore re­turn­ing to their bus. Even a bus driver has been known to strap on the snow­shoes on oc­ca­sion.

A snow­shoe out­ing in­volves a guided trek of three to four kilo­me­tres.

Guides dis­cuss var­i­ous points of in­ter­est along the route, in­clud­ing an­i­mal tracks, dif­fer­ent tree species, forest ecol­ogy, and the like. Some lucky chil­dren may catch glimpses of deer, foxes, por­cu­pines, owls, and other wildlife.

The chil­dren par­tic­i­pat­ing in a cross-coun­try ski out­ings re­ceive a short ori­en­ta­tion ses­sion be­fore set­ting off on their own or in small, guided groups along the FOTST marked and groomed ski trails. The more ad­ven­tur­ous chil­dren ski be­tween six and eight kilo­me­tres, though other stu­dents will find great de­light in re­peat­edly ski­ing up and down the hills on one of the trails.

The pro­gram was ini­tially funded by an On­tario Min­istry of Sport and Health pro­mo­tion, a Healthy Com­mu­ni­ties Fund grant. Dur­ing the two years of the grant, it was known as the South Glen­garry Win­ter Fit­ness Ini­tia­tive and rep­re­sented a col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort be­tween the Friends of the Sum­mer­stown Trails and the town­ship of South Glen­garry.

For the last two years, FOTST has run the pro­gram with in­creas­ing suc­cess and with­out any gov­ern­ment as­sis­tance.

Avail­able cour­ses

FOTST also of­fers the fol­low­ing cour­ses to mem­bers of the com­mu­nity.

Adult learn to ski – clas­sic tech­nique: Satur­days, Jan. 21 through Feb. 11, from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

The fun­da­men­tal skills and tech­niques of clas­sic cross-coun­try ski­ing will be cov­ered, in­clud­ing bal­ance and weight shift, di­ag­o­nal stride with and with­out poles, dou­ble pol­ing, and as­cend­ing and de­scend­ing tech­niques, such as her­ring­bone, side­step, and snow­plow.

Reg­is­trants will be con­tacted prior to the first class and given as­sis­tance and ad­vice with re­gard to proper equip­ment and cloth­ing.

In­tro to skate ski­ing – the fun­da­men­tals: Jan. 21, from 10 a.m. to noon.

The fun­da­men­tal skills of cross-coun­try skate ski­ing will be cov­ered, in­clud­ing weight shift, glid­ing on one ski, dou­ble pol­ing, and free skate.

This course is best suited to ei­ther es­tab­lished skiers who are com­fort­able with clas­sic ski­ing and want to learn the newer skat­ing tech­niques or to well-con­di­tioned ath­letes new to the sport.

Skate skis are avail­able for rent. Clas­sic skis are not ap­pro­pri­ate for this class.

In­ter­me­di­ate skate ski­ing – tech­nique re­fine­ment: Satur­day, Feb. 4, from 10 a.m. to noon.

The var­i­ous tech­niques of skate ski­ing will be cov­ered, in­clud­ing free skate, off­set, one skate, two skate, and as­cend­ing and de­scend­ing tech­niques.

This course is suitable ei­ther for skiers com­plet­ing the In­tro to Skate Ski­ing course or for good skiers who have had some ex­pe­ri­ence on skate skis.

Clas­sic ski­ing for run­ners: Sun­day, Jan. 22, 1 to 3 p.m.

De­signed for run­ners, this course will pro­vide the par­tic­i­pant with the ba­sic skills of clas­sic ski­ing from which to build upon for cross-train­ing or rac­ing pur­poses.

Clas­sic ski­ing has proven to be one of the best full-body car­dio sports and is an ex­cel­lent crosstrain­ing ac­tiv­ity for run­ners. Par­tic­i­pants will learn the ba­sics of bal­ance, power, and as­cend­ing and de­scend­ing.

Skate ski­ing for cy­clists: Satur­day, Jan. 28, from 10 a.m. to noon.

De­signed for cy­clists, this course will pro­vide the par­tic­i­pant with the ba­sic skills of skate ski­ing from which to build upon for cross-train­ing or rac­ing pur­poses.

Skate ski­ing has proven to be one of the best full­body car­dio sports and is an ex­cel­lent cross-train­ing ac­tiv­ity for cy­clists. Par­tic­i­pants will learn the ba­sics of bal­ance, power, and V1 and V2 skate tech­niques, as well as as­cend­ing and de­scend­ing.

Pri­vate and semi-pri­vate lessons can be also be ar­ranged through in­struc­tor Tanya Deeks at tri­coach­[email protected] or 613 360-2088, or by con­tact­ing Doug Boeckh at dougth­e­[email protected] or 613-931-3264.

Vis­it­ing the Trails

The Sum­mer­stown Trails held its of­fi­cial open­ing for the season on Jan. 8.

Trails are avail­able for free ac­cess any day of the week, dur­ing day­light hours.

Am­ple park­ing is avail­able in the newly ex­panded lot at 6150 County Road 27 (Sum­mer­stown Road). The site is lo­cated north of the Hwy. 401 in­ter­change and south of the Glen Road cross­ing.

For more in­for­ma­tion, go on­line to www.sum­mer­stown­trails.com

Among up­com­ing events on the cal­en­dar is the an­nual Sum­mer­stown Forest Dion Snow­shoe Race, booked for Feb. 11.

FOTST will also be hold­ing a spe­cial slate of ac­tiv­i­ties on Fam­ily Day, Feb. 20.

SEAN BRAY PHOTO

FLY LIKE A GAEL: Terry Dog­bey of GDHS’ senior boys bas­ket­ball team soars to the bas­ket, as Char-Lan’s Nick Dana­her de­fends.

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