Club profile: Swan Valley Snowmobile Club

All the info you need to sled through the Swan Valley

by Kyle Born

A row of vintage snowmobiles is parked beside a building
The Swan Valley Snowmobile Club hosts a Vintage Ride on the first Saturday of March. Event goers are encouraged to bring out a sled that’s 25 years or older. Photo courtesy Les Rolsky

The Swan Valley Snowmobile Club came into existence in the early ‘90s in an effort to open up trails by cutting away excess bush. They’ve cleared a path alright—400 kilometres of trails are available for use in Swan River. There are over 200 riders that take advantage of this trail system every year. If you want to take part in the fun, you’ll find everything you need to know below.  

How many kilometres of trails do you have? 

400 kilometres

What are your top trails/riding areas? 

The South Mountain Loop. The trail goes through Duck Mountain from Wellman Lake/Beaver Lake road to Cowan and back to Swan River.

One of the most open field riding trails/loops is Bonito Loop, going southwest to Thunder Hill. It’s very scenic with lots of rolling hills. The Thunder Hill shack is located there as well.

How do you get to the staging area? 

Most of the trails are accessible throughout the valley. If you’re staying at a hotel in Swan River, you can just jump on your machine and go right from your room. Gas and restaurants are close by.

Are the trails plowed regularly?

Most of our trails are groomed every week.

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

Your Manitoba snow pass covers all trails in Manitoba. It costs $150 per year.

Where can I get a trail pass?

Your Snopass is bought with your insurance on your sled. Buy insurance and a Snopass at a Manitoba Provincial Insurance office. If you’re from out of town, you can pick yours up at a Manitoba Provincial Insurance office as well.

What kind of groomer does the club have?

We have a BR275 Bombardier groomer with a 10-foot drag and a BR350 Bombardier groomer with a 12-foot drag.

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

There are three warm-up shelters. The main meeting place is Wellman Lake Trail Shelter on the W trail going to Wellman Lake, Trail One in the system. Another warm-up shelter is the Cowan Trail Shelter. Those shelters are along the two main bush trails that are maintained. They’re well-lit, insulated warm-up shelters with solar panels. The third warm-up shelter is at Thunder Hill.

When and where do you have your club meetings?

The first Monday of every month at Swan River Sports Lounge from October to April at 7:30 p.m.

What are your annual events and when do they usually take place?

The Vintage Ride takes place on the first Saturday in March. Everyone is encouraged to bring out a sled that’s 25 years or older. About 40 vintage sleds show up per year with 100 to 150 people in attendance. Riders bring their own sleds to see the vintage sleds and ride the trails.

Who usually co-ordinates events?

Vice president: Les Rolsky
Phone: 204-734-7045
Email: [email protected]

How does a person join the club?

Buy a membership at a club meeting or from a member. Memberships cost $5. 

What year was the club started?

The early 1990s

On average, how many members are in your club?


Who is the current club president?

Raymond McLeary
Phone: 204-525-2409
Email: [email protected]

For more information about the club or the area, go to:

Website and Facebook

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