Keeping up with the boys

Sledding, ATVing and four-wheeling—Jenna Maffret does it all

by Kirsten Armleder

Photo of a girl siting on a red snowmobile with snow and trees in the background
This photo of Jenna Maffret on her Polaris RMK 600 was taken while she was sledding in some meadows along the Kakwa River. photo courtesy Lou Maffret

Jenna Maffret can’t even remember her first snowmobile ride. That is because Maffret was only three months old the first time that her mother wrapped her in a blanket, zipped her up in a coat that was large enough to accommodate both of them and went sledding for the day. Maffret has been an avid snowmobiler ever since. 

Maffret, now 23 years old, grew up on a farm in Grovedale, Alberta. Her family has a snowmobile camp set up in the Kakwa area, which is about two hours from the town of Grande Prairie, and that is where Maffret would spend her weekends as a child.

“I remember as kids going out to Kakwa and we would bring Crazy Carpets and the dads would hillclimb us to the top of a huge hill," said Maffret, "and basically, when you wanted off you jumped and you had your Crazy Carpet tucked underneath you and you would go Crazy Carpeting down the hill. That was really fun.”

Maffret still visits Kakwa Provincial Park, but she traded in her Crazy Carpet for a Ski-Doo Summit Rev 800, and she sleds with her dad, Lou, and her younger brother, Calvin. Snowmobiling has brought the siblings closer together.

“My brother and I, of course, used to hate each other when we were younger, but now that we’ve grown up we are best of friends,” said Maffret. “We can sit there and talk and he’s got a lot of patience with me to show me stuff (on our sleds).

Maffret likes sledding in the Kakwa area because of the scenery and the people she meets out there.

“On the trail on a Saturday you can have up to three or four hundred people on sleds, but you might only ever see 50 of them at a time because the area is so big,” said Maffret.

A true country girl

When you live on a farm, you need an ATV to get chores done, according to Maffret. That’s how she got into ATVing—and when her farm duties were done, she loved to ride her ATV to the Wapiti River. There is a trail accessible just five minutes from her family’s farm that leads to the river.

“It got to the point over the summers that I could probably drive that trail blindfolded,” said Maffret.

Maffret’s father and brother have dirt bikes, and her other family members are also into four-wheeling.

“I have a big, jacked-up pink Chevy truck and then my parents have a Jeep, so we do lots of that in the summer,” said Maffret. “We find a cutline and go get muddy.”

Family comes first

Maffret said her family is very close, and when she thinks about snowmobiling and ATVing, her family comes to mind. Maffret said she also enjoys being outdoors.

“Especially with the life that’s going on today—there’s nothing better (than) to be able to shut off your phone, shut off the TV, get outside, get some fresh air and have some genuine fun,” said Maffret. “And to forget about all your troubles in life.”

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