A new international snowmobile trail linking Saskatchewan and North Dakota is opening this winter. The first-of-its-kind trail will connect the two systems at the Port of Carievale and allow snowmobilers from either side of the border access to thousands of kilometers of new trails. An international ride to commemorate this trail opening will take place on Jan. 31.
“The clubs are very happy about this new trail,” says Chris Brewer, executive director of the Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association (SSA). “This is a great opportunity for traffic to go back and forth. It’s an expansion of our trail system and, of course, an expansion of their trail system.”
In celebration of this cross-border trail, the popular snowmobiling photo contest Sled’N Snap has turned international as well. Snowmobile North Dakota (SND) has joined the contest, opening up entries from anyone with a registered sled in that state. “We are really excited about joining Sled’N Snap,” says Keri Wanner, executive director for SND.
In 2011, she attended the Saskatchewan snowmobile show where an enclosed trailer with “Win Me!” on the side caught her attention. It was the grand prize given to the winner of Sled’N Snap to use for a year, which prompted Wanner to find out more about the contest.
Sled’N Snap, which recently launched its third year, is an online photo contest and community forum that celebrates snowmobiling. Visitors to www.slednsnap.com can upload their photos in a variety of categories and in April the public will vote for the grand prize winner. Along with the SSA and SND, it is put on by the Alberta Snowmobile Association, Snowmobilers of Manitoba and Flaman Group of Companies. The website promotes safe riding and registered sleds and has valuable information like trail maps and safety articles.
“As a manager of snowmobile trails, there is no other opportunity that can outshine promoting snowmobile registration,” adds Wanner. “That’s how you can maintain trails and do the work behind the scenes to make sure you can ride.”
“Having North Dakota join Sled’N Snap is something I pushed for,” says Brewer. “I don’t believe in borders as a snowmobiler. We all have a common cause: we love to enjoy winter. To open up internationally, with the trail and the contest, is absolutely fantastic for snowmobilers.”
Snowmobilers with a legal sled in North Dakota may cross into Saskatchewan free of charge. Snowmobilers with a legal sled in Saskatchewan coming into North Dakota must purchase an out-of-state permit for $15. This fee will be waived for the International Ride on Jan. 31. Snowmobilers must still cross at the normal border security crossing and have a valid passport.
“We wanted to get the public to understand that it’s not as hard to cross border as people think it is with the new passport,” explains Wanner. She adds the snowmobile associations have been working together for a few years to get the extra lengths of trail complete to connect the two systems.
For more information on the photo contest, visit www.slednsnap.com.