Hard work in Athabasca, AB

It's 9pm on Sunday night, and most of us have our feet up after a day of work or play. But what is our host, Rob Woito of the Athabasca Recreational Trails Association, up to? He's busy organizing his next trail project with some local equipment operators.

Rob Woito and his partner Annette Nenonen are dedicated to getting things done for trails in the Athabasca community. In the four years they've been with ARTA, they've built or reclaimed 120km total of recreational multi-use trails. This includes 60km of multi-use motorized trails and 60km of shared use non-motorized trail.

This amount of trail work didn't materialize without Rob and Annette putting in on average 40 hours a week on top of Rob working a regular job. This kind of commitment and dedication leads to results: in order to finance the large projects, a total of 1.5 million in grants and corporate donations were raised, which helped to allow for large projects like the 246 Redwater Bridge.

Our project was focused on getting the local community excited about integrating a singletrack network within the existing ski trail network at the Muskeg Creek trail network. Our build, with the help of local volunteers, was a small step towards an overall network in the area, but more importantly it was a great opportunity to discuss design and construction techniques with local trail users.

Whats next on the list for Rob and Annette to accomplish? They're thinking of a 30km singletrack network built off one of their existing projects. With their track record, I'm sure it'll be done in no time. ARTA is a great example of how rolling up your sleeves is often the best method to change the trail opportunities in your area.

Great big thanks to Cranky's Bike Shop and United Cycle for supporting the weekend and donating lots of prizes for attendees!

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