The Morice Mountain Challenge returns July 21 with three runs for runners of all abilities. (file photo)

Nordic club plans on improvements

Aimed at increasing activities for locals and people from out of town

With membership increasing each year, the Morice Mountain Nordic Ski Club is applying for a series of grants to make improvements to its facilities and trails.

And in doing so, it hopes to solidify itself as a year-round provider of events and recreational opportunities not just for locals but also for people from out of town.

“We are working on completing and starting some works on new trails and continued improvements on existing trails. These are part of a bigger picture to expand our services to the community and draw people from outside the community,” explains club president Greg Yeomans.

”It seems to be working as membership has increased five years in a row and we have seen similar increases to users from out of town.”

All told, the club has set a target of $95,000 and is applying to a number of agencies, including a Northern Development Initiative Trust community halls and recreation facilities program, a Northern Health Authority program and a program offered by Farm Credit Canada, a federal crown corporation.

The club has a small cabin which has already been improved and it now wants more storage inside and through a deck cover, hopes to create more usable space outside.

“We have a building we want move that was an old groomer shed near the lake. We are in desperate need for more equipment storage room,” Yeomans added.

In addition to Nordic skiers and snowshoers during the winter time, hikers, campers, anglers, mountain bikers, horseback riders and others are showing increased interest in the area.

“The proximity of the recreation site in combination with the increased capability for different users will aid in Houston’s resident retention and tourist attraction,” Yeoman wrote in a letter to the District of Houston council in asking for its support in applying for grants.

This July the club will be staging the third annual Morice Mountain Challenge, intended as a showpiece for summer recreation for local and out of town runners.

There were 71 registered runners last year and the club is reaching out to running clubs around the region to increase that number this year.

The July 21 event features a 3km family friendly run, a 10km run (an increase from 5.5km last year) for intermediate runners and the centrepiece, a 22.5km ‘cabin to cabin’ run.

That latter starts at the main lodge on Buck Flats Road to the alpine cabin and back again. It’s described as having sustained grdes and pitches of more than 20 per cent with the trail having roots, ruts and mud.

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