City warning residents some trails will not be cleared this winter

By Charles Lefebvre
January 3, 2019 - 4:46pm Updated: January 3, 2019 - 9:35pm

 

MEDICINE HAT, AB — If part of your regular activities include trail walking, the city is warning residents that some trails may not be the safest.

The Parks and Recreation Department has posted signs on several trails in Medicine Hat, warning users that, while they will remain open, they will not be clearing certain trails when it snows outside.

The decision impacts primarily trails with steep inclines, including the Saratoga Trail near Scholten Hill, Ross Glen trails and trails on the southwest hill.

Randy Taves, manager of parks with the department, says safety of staff and preserving infrastructure are the main reasons for the decision.

“It’s unsafe for our staff, but we also have some infrastructure that was designed in the 1980s that weren’t really built to accommodate the heavier equipment that we use,” he said. “If we were to go them continually, we’d just wreck our infrastructure, and then we’d have problems in the summer when people really use the surfaces, and they’d be damaged or broken. We don’t want to risk that either.”

The department has worked to replace some of the aging bridges on trails, with the most recent work taking place in Ross Glen Coulee this fall.

Taves says the department is also looking at safer options for snow clearing, but nothing has been finalized.

The affected trails only make up approximately 10 kilometres of the city’s 65 kilometre trail system.

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