Public Service Announcement: Ski Trails Aren’t Walking Trails

To be clear, everything that follows is NOT about either an inflated feeling of entitlement or a misperception of my rights. Public parks are public places for everyone to enjoy.


But imagine a huge suburban field covered in snow.

After a long winter, that field will almost always be crisscrossed with trails of various sorts. People of all ages trudge through the snow and make walking paths. Animals run into the crisp snowfall and tramp down courses. A maintenance vehicle might drive through to clear a path or empty trash. And skiers lay tracks that are groomed by repeated use into great recreational loops.

Yet, even after a months-long winter these paths need rarely cross.

Walking paths can pack and trace to useful places like benches, sledding hills, ice rinks.

Ski trails can loop and whorl away from the walking trails.

Even with almost no planning or coordination, the two uses of this space need never interfere with each other and still but a mere fraction of the field of snow be disturbed.

So, it was a little upsetting that after a week of work to cut, groom, regroom, use, groom yet again, and eventually make into a useful ski trail…. that someone decided to use that trail as a walking path and crush the effort that myself and other local cross-country skiers had put into building our trails.

Again, we’re not entitled to respect of those trails, but it has long been an unspoken courtesy that unless it is unavoidable or has cut through a high traffic area, you DON’T walk on ski trails.

Walk on the walking paths.

Ski on the skiing paths.

And we all get along.

There’s no sign. There’s no law. There’s no one to yell and say ‘no’ when someone does this. There’s no tit-for-tat revenge plot. There’s nothing at all whatsoever stopping someone from doing this.

It’s just kinda rude and frustrating. Unneighbourly.

Thanks for understanding.