The planned Feb. 13 snowshoe races in Summerstown Forest are a no-go this year.
Here's the word from the organizers of the event, the Friends of the Summerstown Trails:
"Unfortunately, we have had to cancel our annual Summerstown Forest Dion Snowshoe Race. While the snowshoe trails are OK for walking, running on them at full speed presents risks of injuries and the real possibility of equipment breakage. Not wanting to offer a less than ideal experience on our trails for the participants, we have decided to cancel this year’s edition."
Trails still open
Despite the cancellation of Saturday's competitive snowshoeing, the trails in the Summerstown Forest remain open to the public for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Jean-Pierre Tibi of FOTST says, Despite the dismal winter weather, the base on the trails was not wiped out, and we still have close to 100% cover on all trails. Conditions are hard and icy, but recent snow has softened things a bit. He notes there is plenty of snow on the ground for families to enjoy their outing.
For the fifth year in a row, FOTST will be hosting families and area residents for various free activities of Family Day. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., participants will be able to borrow ski and snowshoe equipment free of charge. A fun snowshoe race for kids, guided tours, and free food will also be offered, including hot chocolate and marshmallows around a bonfire.
Participation was down last year due to the intense cold days that were experienced in February, but still more than 175 participants came out to the trails, many of them trying out cross-country skiing or snowshoeing for the first time.
New this year will be the skate skiing equipment that FOTST obtained thanks to a grant from Mountain Equipment Co-op; young and old alike will be able to try this fast and exciting version of XC skiing.
The trails at the Summertown Forest are situated on Summerstown Road, 1.6 km north of exit 804 of the 401.