ALBERTON -- If you are not already physically active this winter, then February might be the time to get moving.
Go!pei is promoting the Get Go!-ing Winter Challenge, aimed at getting individuals off the couch and into sneakers, snowshoes and other winter-active gear.
The Western Region Sport and Recreation Council, which already has several well-attended programs running this winter, is joining the February challenge and encouraging area residents to give snowshoeing and other activities a try.
There are three snowshoe programs active in the region this winter said coordinator Alison Griffin. Club de Raquette Evangeline goes every Saturday at 10 a.m. in Cap-Egmont. Snowshoes are welcome to use Ralph and Phyllis Clark’s trail in Alma on Sundays at 2 p.m. and the trail at the Trout River Natural Area, Coleman Corner is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday.
Snowshoes are available free of charge at Trout River. The Sports and Recreation Council was able to purchase snowshoes last year through Go!pei funding. They’ve also borrowed snowshoes from Lennox Island so that they can keep up with the demand.
“We’re trying to do an event every weekend at Trout River to go along with the Challenge,” Griffin reported.
Throughout the month snowshoes and walkers who use the Trout River Trail can track their kilometers trekked, and the one with the most kilometers will win a pair of snowshoes donated by Kent Building Supplies. All participants will also have their names entered into a random draw for a chance to win a prize.
They did exactly what we want everybody to do: they took ownership of it and now they just go and they just run, which is the point of our programs; we introduce people to things. - Alison Griffin, coordinator, Western Region Sport and Recreation Council
On February 9 a “Becoming an Outdoor Woman” event will be held at Trout River. Activities during the day program include snowshoeing, wildlife identification, fire-starting, camping survival and archery. Space is limited so pre-registration through the Sport Council or at the Trout River Natural Area is required.
Moonlight snowshoeing under the full moon near the end of February is also planned.
The Trout River Natural Area is a good fit for the Sport and Recreation Council, Griffin acknowledged. “It gives us a venue to do some free programming,” she said.
The use of the trail was offered last year by Trout Unlimited, but it didn’t materialize because of a lack of snow. The offer was extended again this year and response has been good. “It’s just another avenue for people to get out and explore nature and, hopefully, come spring and summer, people will continue to use the trail as a hiking trail” said Griffin. She noted the Western Region Sport and Recreation Council programs and the Go!pei activities, like running programs are intended to help get people started. A running group in Tignish has remained active. “They did exactly what we want everybody to do: they took ownership of it and now they just go and they just run, which is the point of our programs; we introduce people to things.”