By Sam Donnelly
After discussions with the town, the Ponoka Golf Club opened its own cross-country skiing trails around the club grounds on Jan. 10.
“The hills and trees of the course make it perfect for cross-country skiing,” said Ryan Moore, head professional at Ponoka Golf Club.
Randy Gallant, manager and superintendent at Ponoka Golf Club, said that the decision to build both the cross-country and the snowshoeing trails came out of a desire to help the community.
“The trails give people the opportunity to get some exercise and try out cross-country skiing,” said Gallant.
According to Gallant, the golf club has 14 kilometres of machine-made trails spread out around the club. There are two cross-country skiing trails weaving their way through the natural crest and hills of the club’s land.
The snowshoeing trails run around the whole club starting and ending around the club’s entrance.
To maintain the trails, the club needs between 14 and 16 inches of snow, according to Gallant.
Despite the slow start to the year regarding snow, Gallant has said that the trails have enough snow and are well maintained.
It is important to remember that Ponoka Golf Club does not rent cross country-skiing or snowshoes. However, the use of the trails and the golfing simulator that the club runs in the winter months are open to the public, without the need for a membership.
Those interested are asked to call Ponoka Golf Club and book time with the simulator if you want to use it. Moore also mentioned that patrons should park below and walk to the gates to enter the club.
Currently, there are no COVID-19 restrictions while outside on the trails. Once inside the club, however, staff and patrons follow the AHS guidelines.
Those looking to learn more about the trails and services available at the Ponoka Golf Club can go to their website for more information.
Weather permitting, the Ponoka Golf Club will open its course for the golf season in mid-April.