It was a perfect day and a record turnout for the Family Day festivities on Monday at the Summerstown Trails, as more than 500 people attended the event organized by the Friends of the Summerstown Trails (FOTST).
There was not a cloud to be seen the whole day, the forest providing protection from the wind and the minus 6-7 temperatures, as the trails stayed hard enough for all to enjoy.
Though the event was scheduled to start at 10 a.m., families started arriving at 9:30 to take advantage of the free cross-country ski and snowshoe equipment on loan. The free fat bike rentals were also very popular, with many trying out this exciting new winter activity for the first time.
By 11 a.m., more than 200 people had arrived on site, and many cars were parked on the road, as the parking lot was already overflowing.
The more than 40 volunteers were kept busy throughout the day, handing out the free equipment and free food, as well as offering directions to those who were visiting the trails for the first time.
A few statistics: 25 dozen hot dogs were consumed, along with 400 homemade cookies, plus uncounted roasted marshmallows, hot chocolate, maple taffy sticks, etc.
FOTST president Vic Leroux was amazed at the number of first-time visitors at the trails, even though this was the ninth annual Family Day event at the Summerstown Trails.
It was great to see so many young children cross-country skiing or snowshoeing for the first time. We even had a 3-year-old on skis, and he did great. They’re our future.Vic Leroux, FOTST president
At the end of the day, 300 free equipment rentals were made to visitors .
The trails are located on Summerstown Road (SD&G County Road 27), 1.6 km north of exit 804 of the 401 at Summerstown Station, and are open seven days a week. There is no charge to access the trails. Donations are accepted to offset the cost of maintaining the trails. Rental of equipment is available on weekends only. For more information, visit www.summerstowntrails.com or on the Facebook page.
– files from Jean-Pierre Tibi