Established nearly 52 years ago, the Bluewater Snowmobile Club has been a staple organization in southwestern Ontario, particularly along Lake Huron and Georgian Bay.
The club is part of the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs and has become a popular hub of snowmobiling in the region.
“Our Bluewater Snowmobile Club establishes landowner agreements with owners, puts up trail stakes, and maintains and grooms more than 250 kilometers of trails winding through forests, along picturesque streams, and across farmlands,” explains Joel Mitchell who is a Trail Boss for a section of trail and is also the Lead Trail Inspector.
Welcome to the Clubhouse
Along with maintaining the many trails that snowmobilers can enjoy, the club also has a clubhouse.
“The clubhouse is nestled in the middle of our trail network. At trail intersection 322 lies our Bervie Clubhouse, a fully outfitted restaurant with some old school charm. This is the home of our famous Wednesday Wing Night, where you can get the best wings and enjoy some of the greatest atmosphere in Bruce County,” explains Joel.
Wing Nights are open to all members of the community, and Joel says it’s not uncommon to see dozens of sleds and vehicles in the parking lot on a busy Wednesday night.
“As a nonprofit organization, the money we raise on our Wing Nights and through sponsorships helps to support our clubhouse maintenance, trail programs, and community events,” he says.
They also open their doors to the youth charity Big Brothers Big Sisters every season.
“We enjoy having them visit us. It gives them a chance to come out for a great day at our clubhouse and they may even get to go on a snowmobile ride with some of our members and volunteers,” Joel says.
A Busy Season Ahead
With winter quickly approaching, Joel says the club, which is run mostly by volunteers, is responsible for a number of activities.
“Our club has an executive team along with some volunteer roles to support the various functions to ensure the club is successful in its coordination of activities. We also have a total of twelve trail bosses who are responsible for establishing landowner permission for the section of trail that they are responsible for,” he explains.
Once trails are established and snow starts to fall, club members are also responsible for inspections to make sure the trails are safe and ready to use.
The trails are used by members of the Bluewater Town and Country Snowmobile Club which has over 300 active members.
“These members purchase trail passes through the OFSC website and many of these members are also volunteers. They help us with the many activities it takes to establish and maintain trails, complete projects such as bridge maintenance and tree trimming,” says Joel.
Thanks to the help of sponsors and landowners, the club is looking forward to some exciting projects in the new year.
“We have two bridge projects that we are in the middle of completing on our trail. One of our bridges needs all new deck boards and railings, and the other needs concrete repairs and some work on the support trusses,” Joel explains.
Looking back on his time as an OFSC member for the past 25 years, Joel’s pride in all the club has accomplished shines through.
“I’ve met a lot of great people being a part of the OFSC and the Bluewater Town and Country Snowmobile Club. It’s a very proud sport. We’re very active. Many hands make light work, and bringing people together and going out and accomplishing these projects and establishing these trails together are some of my proudest moments,” he says.To learn more about the club and its work in the community, visit their website by clicking here.