Fourteen Years and Still Going Strong
Eastman SnoPALS is a regional snowmobile club formed in 1996 by the amalgamation of several smaller, local clubs from Pinawa, Agassiz (Seddon’s Corner) and Lac du Bonnet. This is where the acronym PALS originates from. Other clubs have joined us since then. The SnoPALS is presently comprised of members from Pinawa, Lac du Bonnet, Seddon’s Corner, Seven Sister Falls, Whitemouth and Elma.
- to promote safe, high-quality recreational snowmobiling;
- to develop and maintain snowmobile trails;
- to foster good relations with the non-snowmobiling public, and;
- to take collective action on matters concerning the membership.
The SnoPALS club maintains approximately 300 km of trails, stretching from Red Deer (Great Falls area) in the north, Elma to the south, Seddon’s Corner to the west and Pinawa in the east. The trails connect with trails maintained by neighbouring clubs and are part of the provincial trail network overseen by Snoman (Snowmobilers of Manitoba), the provincial snowmobiling association.
The SnoPALS have always been safety-oriented with hundreds of kilometres of trails cleared, signed and groomed annually. The trails range from a nice flowing ride through a pine forest in the Canadian Shield to a straight line over an old rail bed through swampy and sandy pastureland. Every season, the all-volunteer crews clear debris and fallen trees off of the trails to allow for signage and movement once the snow falls. The club also has five warm up shelters along their network for use by snowmobilers. They are open anytime to allow snowmobilers to stop and rest, build a fire and enjoy a quick meal on the trail. Alternatively they can proceed to a restaurant located in every hamlet along the network of trails.
The club will always be present when the discussion of drinking and riding comes up. Eastman SnoPALS along with the Snowmobilers of Manitoba (Snoman) does NOT encourage consuming alcohol and snowmobiling.
Eastman SnoPALS is concerned about respecting the private landowners. Wherever possible, the club tries to get permission from any landowner where the trail may parallel, intersect or runs over private land. As a general rule most of our trail system is located on public lands through forests and bogs that our region is noted for. Trails over private lands are only requested when needed to connect to other similar locations in eastern Manitoba. Snoman and Eastman SnoPALS also encourage snowmobile riders to respect landowner’s rights when riding is not permitted on private land.
The club has three groomer units, which are farm tractors converted to run on tracks. The club has a groomer in Pinawa, one in Lac du Bonnet and one in Whitemouth to help out with grooming nearly 300 KM of trails in the club’s network. Everything done by Eastman SnoPALS would not be possible without the core group of dedicated volunteers that work on our trails for nothing more than the love of it and the desire to see safe, groomed trails to ride on themselves.
In all we have approximately $125,000 invested in equipment. In addition, the club has built and maintains five warm-up shelters located along the trail network. All the work of developing and maintaining the trails is carried out entirely by volunteers. This is remarkable when you consider the amount of effort involved and wouldn’t happen without the efforts of a dedicated core of people who love the sport.
As a club, we think of ourselves as a social network as well. We are online and we also have fundraisers to help promote safe riding and exposure for the club. For the past two seasons the club has held an appreciation Bar-B-Q at our Half Way Hut the first weekend in March to allow riders coming in from all over Eastern Manitoba see how nice our trails are. We have had two wrap-up/ thank you potluck dinners to thank all those who have worked on the network in the past and we try to organize a social event fundraiser in the fall to raise awareness for the club as well as money for club projects.
We hope you enjoy our trail system as you pass through our communities and make use of our services and facilities. Club membership and volunteer participation is always encouraged.