Cross country skiers are looking forward to an expanded trail network this winter, but also facing a couple of detours along North Street.
The Onion River Nordic Club held an initial session of trail work on some additional trails on Saturday, Nov. 7. At least one additional session is anticipated before the snow flies.
Last winter, now retired Parks Director Geoff Beyer and the Onion River Nordic Club (ORNC) collaborated to establish a trail from the North Branch Park off Elm Street that climbed past the Sparrow Farm and crossed North Street to connect with the a couple trails on Sherwood Morse’s property. Supported by donations, ORNC volunteers provided trail grooming, and skiers made good use of the access.
Unfortunately, permission to use the wide hayfield on the west side of North Street may be in jeopardy, Beyer explained. Permission to cross the field was specifically and only for winter. “This is a hayfield, and several times this summer people were crossing the field and damaging the crop,” he said. A fence has been installed along North Street and the property is posted against trespassing.
Beyer is hopeful permission for a winter trail across the field will be granted but notes that public education and respect will need to be improved to be effective. Signing is planned.
An earlier trail access on the east side of North Street has also been closed because the property is for sale. “If we do have permission to groom across the west side hayfield, skiers will have to walk about a hundred yards south to the former West Wind loop for access to the Sherwood Forest trails,” Beyer said.
A new section of trail connecting with North Branch will cross the Sparrow Farm Road and emerge on North Street, half a mile north of the open view along the hayfield. It will incorporate a section of an existing snowmobile trail that runs parallel to North Street before looping back to the trails in Sherwood Forest.
For updated information about the trail work, and to join the Onion River Nordic Club, visit the club’s Facebook page, or the website onionrivernordic.org.