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Ski trail destruction reported at Muriel Lake MD Park

Cross-country ski trails at Muriel Lake M.D. Park has been destroyed by snowmobiles less than 24-hours after they were groomed and set.
MD sign
MD of Bonnyville staff received reports of the ski trails at Muriel Lake Park being destroyed by snowmobiles driving through them. File photo.

BONNYVILLE – Cross-country ski trails at Muriel Lake M.D. Park have been destroyed by snowmobiles less than 24-hours after they were groomed and set.  

In a Jan. 22 press release, the MD of Bonnyville parks, recreation, and culture staff were ‘disheartened’ to find off-highway vehicle (OHV) tracks across the trails, which aren’t permitted in the park.   

The minimum fine is $200 but could increase to $600 based on the number of violations observed. The municipality’s peace officers also can impound OHV if it's found the operator has violated the bylaw.   

This is the second time this season the MD has received a complaint about the destruction of the trails.  

“It’s frustrating, for sure,” said Rodney Guilbault, manager of parks, recreation, and culture in a press release. “It’s also creating dangerous conditions for the skiers that use the trails. We want to make sure the park is an enjoyable and safe place for skiers, hikers, and bikers.”  

Peace officers will be increasing patrols around the park in an attempt to deter OHV users and to hand out fines. Parks staff will be installing more signs letting users know OHVs aren’t permitted in the park and will also be setting up some barricades around the perimeter.  

To report an OHV, please call the public safety department at 780-812-3332 while reports of unsafe trail conditions can be made through the parks, recreation, and culture department at 780-826-3171.   

Robynne Henry, Bonnyville Nouvelle