Shawn Patey runs a snow rake over the Jack Rabbit Return trail at the Blow-me-Down Trails Thursday. Star photo by Geraldine Brophy
Corner Brook -
A breathtaking trek through the woods on skis or snowshoes, followed by a mug of hot chocolate or a beverage of one's choice with a bunch of your friends. And you can't go hungry because everything from jiggs dinner to toutons can be served up with a smile.
It's just part of life at Blow-Me-Down Trails, a home away from home for the 800-member strong local nordic ski club.
With a fresh blanket of snow hitting the region, it won't be long before staff at the ski facility have the trails in tip-top shape for everyone to enjoy.
With Mother Nature's co-operation, the trail system is expected to be a beehive of activity when it opens Boxing Day.
Recently, the group held a snow day at the lodge to promote the benefits of nordic skiing and snowshoeing for the purpose of increasing membership on the local level. While it rained for most of the day, it didn't dampen spirits as nordic enthusiasts from all walks of life showed up to show their support and enthusiasm for another season.
It was a great day, according to Jamie-Lee Cormier, who has taken on the role of public relations director for the group this winter.
"That was a great success. They had a big turnout even though it was raining. We had 384 members sign up on snow day so there was a lot of people through," Cormier told The Western Star.
"There was a season's pass given away, people who came up could put their name in ... so there was definitely a benefit to going up and buying your membership because you could win a free one."
Besides being a good physical activity to be involved in, Cormier is quick to point out there is a social aspect that people can really enjoy in a stress-free environment with a cozy lodge at the disposal of members.
"The people are really friendly and pretty well every Friday night there is night skiing and a snowshoeing group," she said. "It's a great thing to do on a Friday night after working all week ... going out and having a couple of drinks, going snowshoeing and then coming back in for a steak dinner."
During the summer months, workers at the ski facility were busy making improvements to the trail system and also developed a new trail for avid snowshoers.
All this week, facility manager Shawn Leamon and his staff have been working on getting the trails packed down for grooming purposes with hopes of meeting a scheduled opening date of Dec. 26.
"We didn't really have a snowshoeing trail," she said.
"Snowshoeing is becoming very popular as an activity for people to do in Corner Brook so that trail was done. It was an old trail and they did it over this summer so it's nice to actually have a snowshoeing trail."