ST. PAUL - With the weather finally co-operating and offering a break from the extreme cold that's been experienced this winter, a gathering to celebrate the official opening of the cross country ski trails created at Westcove, located near Vincent Lake, was held on Saturday afternoon.
To kick off the event, representatives from the Lakeland Cross Country Ski Club and the County of St. Paul posed for a group photo, honouring the partnership that made the trails possible.
The St. Paul-based ski club approached the County of St. Paul in late 2021 about the possibility of creating ski trails at the Westcove campground, which isn't usually accessible in the winter months. After work was done to brush and groom trails, a system that includes about 10 km worth of ski trails and areas specifically for snowshoeing, was created.
The winter getaway is located about 15 minutes north of St. Paul.
The day included a ski workshop for those wanting to learn the skills or refine what they already knew. Joad Clement of the Bonnyville Nordic Ski Club taught the workshop.
Also, once attendees skied down toward the gazebo area, a hot dog lunch was served, ahead of a couple of fun races.
A 1 km Jackrabbit race included over a dozen youth, and a 5km race also saw a handful of participants taking part. One teenage skier - Nicholas Agnemark - decided the 5km race wasn't quite long enough, and completed an extra 3.5 km loop. Also taking part in the 5km race was Matthias Agnemark and Alain Mahe.
Participants of the first ever Lakeland Cross Country Ski Club Fun Ski received medals made especially for the event, according to one of the many volunteers and organizers on hand, Joanne Lamoureux.
A total of over 50 people took part in the celebrations at Westcove, which drew people in from across the Lakeland.