People seeking winter fun in the Sandilands have been damaging ski trails.

Founder and Board Member of Sandilands Ski Club Laurie Silversides says hikers and ATV operators have already destroyed parts of their ski trails.

“People are paying for good trails, and we’ve been known to have good trails.”

Trails that Silversides says they have been managing for 29 years and take two volunteers six hours to groom. “In 1992 we took over the maintenance of the trails that were built in 1971 because the government was no longer going to groom them,” she informs.

Silversides suggestion to winter fun-seekers that have stumbled onto their trails is to check in with Manitoba Trails website to see all of the provinces hiking options. She also encourages skiers to have patience and if they see hikers on their trails, to use the situation as an opportunity to educate.

Despite the bad news regarding parts of the trail, the ski club is seeing a considerable surge in interest.

“Last year we had eight individuals and 28 families pay for memberships,” shares Silversides. “This year, after just over a week of skiing, we have 56 families and 17 individuals who paid their membership.”

Silversides chalks up the increase to people looking for something to do outside while most things indoors are closed. Her suggestion to interested beginners is to begin on their easier course at Quarry Oaks as opposed to the much more hilly Sandilands landscapes.

“I’m waiting until we get a lot more snow before I get on the hills,” shares Silversides.

“Anybody should make sure they know their ability and if a hill looks intimidating, take your skis off.”