Club Profile: Battlefords Trail Breakers

Battlefords Trail Breakers and North Battleford’s caretakers

by Kyle Born

The Barley Bin Shelter on Trail 101G.
The Barley Bin Shelter on Trail 101G. Photo courtesy Battlefords Trail Breakers

Given that it has the second largest snowmobile trail system in Saskatchewan, North Battleford is an exciting place to bring your sled and enjoy more than 450 kilometres of terrain. You can explore aspen parkland, boreal forest and rolling plains as you ride in this breathtaking area. The Battlefords Trail Breakers’ snowmobile trail system has some of the best warm-up shelters in Saskatchewan (there are 10 in the North Battleford area), and they were recognized as such by the Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association. Each cabin has a wood-burning stove, solar panels and battery-powered lights. If you need to fuel up, you can do so at North Battleford, Meota, Cochin, Glaslyn, Moose Country, Moose Range and Rabbit Lake.

Meadow surrounded by spruce trees.
Meadow surrounded by spruce trees. Photo courtesy Brian Silvester.

How many kilometres of trails do you have?

More than 450 kilometres of terrain.

View of North Saskatchewan River at River View Chalet on Route 101B.
View of North Saskatchewan River at River View Chalet on Route 101B. Photo courtesy Battlefords Trail Breakers

What are your top trails/riding areas?

The well-marked trails in North Battleford join up with those maintained by Thickwood Trails Snowmobile Club Inc., based in Meeting Lake, and the Northern Lights Snowmobile Association, based in Meadow Lake.

Denholm Loop

Denholm Loop is a 70-kilometre route that begins just east of North Battleford. This flat, easy-to-ride trail meanders down to Denholm and then north into the Whitewood Lakes territory. Along the way you can stop and warm up at the Barley Bin, a shelter that was once an old granary. A popular gathering place for local sledders on the weekends, the Barley Bin offers seating with a stove in the middle that guests can gather around to swap stories of their latest ride.

For more information, check out this article.

Turtle Lake

The trail to Turtle Lake offers a longer ride for those looking to test their endurance and take in some beautiful views.

Whitkow

This area is located approximately 30 kilometres northeast of North Battleford. Take your sled here to enjoy some of the area's rolling hills, as well as some rougher terrain.
For more information, check out this article.

Winding, hilly Trail 101J is located north of Edam.
Winding, hilly Trail 101J is located north of Edam. Photo courtesy Battlefords Trail Breakers

How do you get to the staging area?

We have three staging areas. We use our groomer to keep these areas clean and easy to use. One is at Norsask Farm Equipment, located east of the city on Highway No. 16. This is the highway going to Saskatoon. This staging area is approximately five kilometres out of town. The second is at White Rock Gas Bar located 1.5 kilometres north on Highway No. 4. This is the highway going north to Glaslyn. The third is at Jackfish Lake in the Resort Village of Cochin at the Big Way Gas Bar. This staging area is located approximately 32 kilometres north on Highway No. 4. If snow conditions are a little light this is the best starting location. There is a connection to every trail that the club grooms from this location.

Is there enough room at the staging area for trucks with big trailers?

So far there have been no issues at any of these locations as far as rig and trailer size or running out of parking space.

The club's newest warm-up shelter, Gordie's General Store, is ready to welcome riders.
The club's newest warm-up shelter, Gordie's General Store, is ready to welcome riders. Photo courtesy Dale Charabin

Is it plowed regularly?

Trails are groomed and maintained as needed. Depending on snow, the groomers go out once a week or once every two weeks. If there is a lot of the white stuff, sometimes the groomers go out, come back and then head right back out again.

Do trail fees apply to all your trails/riding areas? If so, how much are the trail fees?

There are no trail passes needed. All sleds must be registered and have licence plates from the province you live in. These trails are monitored by the RCMP and they have handed out fines to people  without plates. The fine is $550 for driving an unregistered vehicle in the province of Saskatchewan.

How much is it for an annual membership?

Our club membership fee is $20 per family. These memberships can be purchased on our Facebook page.

Where can I get a trail pass?

North Battleford’s trails are free with the annual purchase of a provincial licence plate.

What kind of groomer does your club have?

Our club has two Piston Bully groomers.

This photo is of the Barley Bin, one of the most popular shelters.
This photo is of the Barley Bin, one of the most popular shelters. Photo courtesy Dale Charabin

Are there any cabins or warm-up shelters in the area. What are they like?

The Battlefords Trail Breakers’ snowmobile trail system has some of the best warm-up shelters in Saskatchewan (there are 10 in the North Battleford area), and they were recognized as such by the Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association. Each cabin has a wood-burning stove, solar panels and battery-powered lights. If you need to fuel up, you can do so at North Battleford, Meota, Cochin, Glaslyn, Moose Country, Moose Range and Rabbit Lake.

The Round Hill Ranch shelter is nestled in the Thickwood Hills. A neighbouring scenic lookout offers breathtaking views from the peak of Round Hill. Riders can find this shelter just northeast of North Battleford.
The Round Hill Ranch shelter is nestled in the Thickwood Hills. A neighbouring scenic lookout offers breathtaking views from the peak of Round Hill. Riders can find this shelter just northeast of North Battleford. Photo courtesy Dale Woytuik

When and where do you have your club meetings?

Our meetings are held at the Battlefords Wildlife Federation building on the first Monday of the month; usually October to April.

Is there someone who usually co-ordinates the events? Can I have their contact info?

Events and information can be found on the Facebook page.

What year was the club started?

1998

This warm-up shelter is located on the old rail bed in the Hatherleigh pasture; it's called Hatherleigh Station Place.
This warm-up shelter is located on the old rail bed in the Hatherleigh pasture; it's called Hatherleigh Station Place. Photo courtesy Dale Charabin

On average, how many members are in your club?

70-plus members

Who is the club president?

Dale Woytiuk is president of the Battlefords Trail Breakers.

The Battlefords Trail Breakers are a friendly bunch. Vice-president Brian Silvester is second from the left with the red cap on.
The Battlefords Trail Breakers are a friendly bunch. Vice-president Brian Silvester is second from the left with the red cap on. Photo courtesy Brian Silvester

If people want more information about the club or the area, who can they contact?

Dale Woytiuk, president of the Battlefords Trail Breakers - [email protected]
Brian Silvester, vice-president of the Battlefords Trail Breakers - [email protected]

Here’s a detailed map of the area, and here’s another one. 

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