Effort to promote northeast Sask. snowmobiling enters 10th year

Herald file photo. Snowmobilers drive down a trail north of Prince Albert in this Daily Herald file photo.

Nicole Goldsworthy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, SASKTODAY.ca

The 1000 Miles of Snow initiative is in its 10th year and has been promoting economic development in the northeast by Community Futures Newsask in Tisdale.

Taylor Watt, chief executive officer for Community Futures Newsask, said it’s the10th anniversary of this initiative and has been driven by community leaders in the northeast.

“We want to increase the awareness of our world class snowmobile trails, to attract people to come ride in our diverse and scenic region. This in turn will help the economic development of our region as a whole.”

Northeast Saskatchewan is well known to have a diverse landscape between rolling hills, open prairies, provincial forest, bush, and many lakes. The northeast has an extensive groomed trail network, with warm up shacks all along the way. Watt said we have a network of services that cater to snowmobilers, such as restaurants, bed and breakfast, gas stations, etc. to make the ride experience more enjoyable.

Watt explained that currently 13 communities (Hudson Bay, Weekes, Porcupine Plain, Bjorkdale, Tisdale, St. Brieux, Melfort, Star City, Zenon Park, Arborfield, Carrot River, Nipawin and Choiceland) jointly work together and commit funds to promote the trail system in the Northeast. Newsask also participates financially to help facilitate this initiative with the municipalities. If other municipalities in the region are interested in joining this initiative, Watt said to contact Newsask .

The initiative promotes and helps increase the tourism industry in the northeast region and plans are underway to promote the Northeast Winter Destination Initiative, Watt said.

“It is still in developmental stages but our goal is to promote the tourism industry by helping some of the operators become market ready by working together to form pre-planned travel packages. Some packages may include snowmobiling while other packages won’t have snowmobiling involved at all. The focus of this initiative is during the fall and winter months (usually a slower time for tourism) which will in turn bring tourism to the region. Local northeast community economic development leaders are currently working on this initiative.”

The Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association has an interactive map online and within Zone 2 – Northeast, Saskatchewan there are 24 local snowmobile associations.