New trail for cross-country skiers

Nordics put a lot of planning, hard work into community project

100 Mile Nordic Ski Society member Neil Manhard stood on a new trail being built on April 23 at the top of 99 Mile Hill that will be ready for cross country skiers this winter.

100 Mile Nordic Ski Society member Neil Manhard stood on a new trail being built on April 23 at the top of 99 Mile Hill that will be ready for cross country skiers this winter.

Neil Manhard is standing in the middle of a freshly logged strip of dense woodland near the top of 99 Mile Hill overlooking 100 Mile House.

It’s rocky, rolling terrain. An excavator was brought in to clear debris from the wide open swath of forest. A lot of planning went into this, and the job is almost done.

“It’s all to do with getting more people skiing,” says Manhard.

When snow and winter do arrive, cross-country skiers will be passing through here, the latest extension of the pristine and extensive trail system used by the 100 Mile Nordic Ski Society.

“I’ve skied all over the world,” says Manhard, an avid traveller and longtime South Cariboo resident.

“I think this is really going to be one of a kind. These six kilometres of trails we’re putting in, they’re quite nice.”

The new user-friendly track is located higher up on the hill from the Nordics Day Lodge where the trail system begins. The higher elevation means about an extra eight inches of snow on the ground throughout the winter season, explains Manhard, a Nordics volunteer in charge of trail maintenance.

He adds there’s more sunshine up here, too.

“That’s a big plus.”

Most of the 99 Mile Hill area is under constant development by different user groups looking to provide better recreational spaces for local residents and visitors. Mountain biking, snowshoeing, archery, snowmobiling and hiking are some of the other popular pursuits here.

While several months of planning and weeks of hard work went into this new Nordics trail project, Manhard thought it a worthwhile endeavour and hopes people like using it. The local demographic is aging and cross-country skiing appeals to a wide segment of the population.

It’s a good sport to get into for young and old, and it’s a fun way to embrace winter and stay active.

“It’s a good community project,” Manhard says. “It’s a good project to get done.”