I ski often at the trails at Laurentian University. It seems that almost every time we are out on the trails, we encounter someone walking with their dog as it runs loose on the ski trails, despite the many signs that are posted stating the trails are closed to walkers.
There are also many others who have the same experience on a regular basis. This also happens at nearly all of the other ski venues.
The walkers must understand this this is really inconsiderate and very dangerous. It is very time-consuming and labour-intensive to maintain and groom the ski trails, and when a person and dog walk along the trails, the trail surface becomes uneven.
The classic “track,” when walked on, is ruined, and this creates a very uneven surface. The foot holes that are created can cause a skier to quickly lose their balance and fall.
If this happens on a downhill section or a fast section where there is a curve, you may end up falling very badly or in the trees.
Further, if a skier encounters a person and their dog walking on a fast section of trail or on a hill, they are not going to be able to stop, so the skier either has to crash or run the walker over.
It is also very frustrating to see piles of dog poop in the middle of the trail. The skiers pay either a day fee or a yearly membership fee, and they are paying for trails that are kept safe and in good condition.
When you walk on the trails, they have to be groomed again, which costs money and time.
When you walk on the trail when it is warm like today, you create big holes in the trail. When it gets cold they freeze and then can’t be groomed out.
This is very dangerous for the skiers.
It is very selfish of the dog owners to make a mess of the trails. Someone is going to get badly injured because of it. There are many beginner level skiers who ski there.
There are many other places where you can take your dog for a walk nearby without making a mess of the ski trails.
You have had the chance to enjoy the trails with your pet without hindrance throughout the spring, summer and fall, and I think that is great.
It is now time to allow the skiers to use the “ski trails” without having to worry about running into walkers and dogs. We all love the trails for good reason — they are awesome.
However, the luxury of using them also comes with a little bit of a responsibility to respect other users of the trails and their intended seasonal use.
Rob St. Marseille