Battlefords Trailbreakers Article, Jan 2020

Come Sledding in Saskatchewan’s Northwest

The Battlefords Trailbreakers is the local snowmobile club based out of North Battleford Saskatchewan. The club was founded in 1998 and still has many founding members active today! A nice change of scenery has come our way early this winter as we have been able to snowmobile in the area for around a month now, a very different start to the Trailbreakers season in years past as snow conditions haven’t been favorable for early season riding. The weather this fall also handed us another gift in that conditions this fall allowed farmers in the are to get their crops off and not have to worry leaving crop in the field till the spring time, a major plus in some locations on our trail system which meant almost no trail rerouting for our signers.

The clubs trail system has 450 km of groomed trails, the second largest system of trails in Saskatchewan, consisting of cropland and trail riding in the forest to the north. Experience scenic views along the North Saskatchewan River and many valleys and ridges. Along with fabulous scenery on our trails our club has 12 warm up shelters spaced out along the trail system in convenient locations with most having their own theme. Our club has had wide praise as the standard bearer for warm up shelters in Saskatchewan and the pride of our club members.

There have been two exciting projects that occurred over the summer and fall. The first being the need to replace the Hatherleigh Station shelter at the Hatherleigh location on the north east arm of the trail which connects to the Thickwood Hills Snowmobile Club.  The theme of this shelter is modeled after an old style railway station as it is situated on a decommissioned rail line. This project was started at the end of last season and began with club members pursuing donations from local businesses and then commencing building of the shelter in the summer time to have it ready for the winter season. The club received donations to help cover close to 75% of projected costs to build the shelter. A big thank you goes out to all businesses in the area that contributed to the realization of this project.

The second project that came about wasn’t originally planned, and had tied into asking local businesses to help donate funds. One company then explained their intentions to donate and build an entire warm up shelter along with help from two other businesses in the area. As a result of this the Scherger Shack warmup shelter was built and donated completely by E&L Building Contractors who are family owned business people in the Battlefords run by Scott and Eric Scherger hence the name of the shelter. Motion Tire and Castle Lumber went in a three way split as platinum donors of the warmup shack and other gold and silver sponsors contributing. The shelter was built this fall and placed on the 101F section of the trail just south of Jackfish Lake as there was a need to eventually place a shelter in this general area due to the heavy sled traffic in the area.  This is our largest warmup shelter and was built with covid pandemic protocol in mind with indoor and outdoor fire pits to safely accommodate multiple groups of riders at once.

Grooming has just commenced for this season with both of our piston bully groomers and tow behind drags heading out on December 10th for the first pass of the season.

In light of the pandemic that we are all currently involved in we are trying to keep the trails and shelters open safely for everyone to use and enjoy. Groomer operators will do a quick clean and sanitization of each shack as they pass by shelters and it is encouraged for riders to sterilize the shelter when they are done. Everyone needs to do their part and we are grateful for the riders that practice safe riding in our area. We will abide by all SSA and SHA guidelines and protocols.

It’s shaping up to be a very promising season for snowmobiling in our area so we encourage everyone to give the Battlefords location a stop in their winter plans to snowmobile. The north-west has endless trails and second to none scenery to offer sledders riding in the area.

Hatherleigh Station:

Scherger Shack: