Tag Archives: fat bike

Two fat bikes added to Summerstown Trails inventory

The Friends of the Summerstown Trails (FOTST) is pleased to announce the addition of two fat bikes at the Summerstown Trails, thanks to a donation by brothers Shawn and Kyle Maloney, co-owners of The Brick in Cornwall.

fat bikes donation
Friends of the Summerstown Trails president Vic Leroux rides one of the two new fat bikes donated by The Brick co-owners Shawn and Kyle Maloney. (FOTST photo)

One of these new fat bikes has a large frame, while the other one has a junior frame. The two new fat bikes will thus complement the two bikes currently owned by FOTST, both of which have a medium frame. This addition will enable the Trails to accommodate people shorter than 5 ft. 6 in. and taller than 5 ft. 10 in.

“The Brick has supported the trails in past years, and it’s great to see them step up to the plate again with this major contribution,” said FOTST president Vic Leroux. “This donation shows how committed The Brick is towards the community and towards a healthy lifestyle.”

Fat biking is a recent and fast-growing sport for those looking for a way to participate in winter activity in a great environment. Fat bike riders are able to access 9 km of snowshoe trails, with signage posted to aid in navigation. These trails are groomed specifically for fat biking thanks to a partnership between FOTST and the Raisin Region Conservation Authority (RRCA). The Summerstown Trails offer a mix of difficulty where both beginner and experienced fat bikers can enjoy this new sport.

The fat bikes are available for rental at the trailhead on weekends only, during our regular rental period (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Bikes are rented for one-hour periods at a cost of $15. FOTST recommends that everyone wear a helmet, even if Ontario law stipulates that it is only mandatory for those under the age of 18. A regular bicycle helmet will do (some are available for loan), but many bikers wear their ski helmets.

files from Jean-Pierre Tibi

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Record attendance for Family Day activities at Summerstown Trails

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.

Summerstown Trail
FOTST volunteer Lorraine Clarke, helps one of the youngsters trying cross-country skiing for the first time, on Family Day at the Summerstown Trails. (Jean-Pierre Tibi photo)

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.

Summerstown Trails
Trails neighbour Allistair MacDonell (Summer-Glen Maple Products) and Trish Tibi serve up maple taffy, at the Family Day festivities at the Summerstown Trails. (Jean-Pierre Tibi photo)

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

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Summerstown Trails celebrates 50th winter season

On January 5, the Summerstown Trails officially opened the 2020 winter season, their 50th year of operations.

Dignitaries were on hand, along with close to 150 people who came out to the trails, enjoying the mild temperature and a walk on the forest trails as their was little snow cover.

Summerstown Trails
The Summerstown Trails officially launched the 50th season, with a banner unveiling on January 5. Seen here, from left, are South Glengarry councillor Stephanie Jaworski, South Glengarry mayor and SD&G warden Frank Prevost, MPP Jim McDonell, SD&G Tourism director Nick Seguin, Raisin Region Conservation Authority general manager Richard Pilon, current FOTST president Vic Leroux, and first FOTST president Martin Bowman. (FOTST photo)

Martin Bowman, the first president of the Friends of the Summerstown Trails (FOTST), recalled the work and community spirit of the many volunteers, mostly neighbours of the Summerstown Forest, who kept the trails going for the better part of 35 years. With few resources and often using their own personal snowmobiles, these people groomed and maintained the trails, facing much adversity.

Current FOTST president Vic Leroux thanked the many partners and sponsors of the Summertown Trails, noting recent initiatives, including the addition of skate skiing and fat biking activities, new trails, new grooming equipment to better deal with the changing weather conditions, and the construction of a new parking lot adjacent to County Road 27.

The creation of FOTST 10 years ago changed the destiny of the facility, with 1000s of users now visiting the trails every year, both for winter activities and off-season visits.

In addition to making the trails accessible to the population for year-round use, FOTST offers many community programs, including hosting schoolchildren, weekend rental of equipment, and free events, such as Family Day.

The Summerstown Trails offer 18 km of groomed cross-country ski trails, for both classic and skate skiing, and a separate network of 11 km of snowshoe and groomed fat bike trails.

The trails are located on Summerstown Road (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. Equipment rentals are available on weekends and holidays.

For up-to-date trail conditions, visit the FOTST Facebook page.

Summerstown Trails map

Special Events

Among the special events planned for the season, the Summerstown Trails will host their annual snowshoe race on February 8 and activities on Family Day (February 17).

with files from Jean-Pierre Tibi

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Conditions at Summerstown Trails improved with recent snow

The snowfall this week has improved conditions at the Summerstown Trails, with the facility open for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and fat bike riding.

The official report for January 16

  • skiing: main A trail groomed for skate skiing, classic skiing only on main A trail to the gravel pit and power lines in good condition
  • snowshoeing: new snow over a crusty base
  • fat bike: groomed and in good condition
trails status

It’s worth pointing out that trails are established for two types of cross-country skiing. Classic skiing follows parallel tracks where you move your skis in a back-and-forth motion. Skate skiing is done on a flat surface where you push in a side-to-side motion.

On weekends, the facility offers rental equipment, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Rental fees must be paid in cash. Discounts are available for families of four or more, or for groups.

For rent are snowshoes, classic waxless skis with boots/poles, skate skis with boots/poles, and fat bikes with helmet.

To expedite your rental, you may want to download and complete the Rental Agreement Form ahead of time.

Learn to Ski Program

The Summerstown Trails also offers learn to ski programs, one for kids and one for adults. For details, check out the information on their website.

You can access the Summerstown Trails at 6150 County Road 27 (Summerstown Road), north of the 401 and Summerstown Station.

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