ATV committee moving forward, says chairman
By Chris Lewis | Vol. 32 No. 12 (June 5 2019)
The Conception Bay South ATV Committee is making some progress towards eventually establishing a route through the community, says its chairman, Paul Connors.
The committee’s first meeting was in September of 2018 in response to lobbying by ATV enthusiasts, who were pushing to work with town council on getting their own trail.
“That’s what we’re set up to do – to find a route from the Seal Cove staging area, down to Fowler’s Road area, so that there’s an ATV route for everyone in Conception Bay South to use,” Connors said.
Having a route such could be a huge economic benefit, he added, as it could attract ATV riders from across the province.
“There are groups that go along trails, that are not in Conception Bay South, that go into St. John’s,” Connors explained. “They go to restaurants,
spending money, buying everything that they need for their ATVs, including gas, and they’re making a full day of it. That’s a lot of money being spent in a town from a tourism perspective that we’re not seeing here in CBS. It’s a huge economic driver now, the whole ATV movement is. Plus, it’s a recreational activity. There are a lot of young families that have ATVs that want to get out and use them, and it’d be ideal if they could leave right from Conception Bay South and access all these different areas.”
Some years ago, there was a route identified that would go from Fowler’s Road in CBS to Seal Cove, but it never came to fruition.
“It is very challenging,” said Connors. “There are a lot of land issues that we’re working around with some people. The utility lines and pole lines are there too, so we’re working with NALCOR to get those issues straightened away. But we’re making progress. It’s a slow process, but we’re getting there.”
The committee’s vice chairman, Mitch Somers, has been working with a GPS system to map out possible trails. Connors said there are now five or six trails that have been mapped this way, which will help with their dealings with Crown Lands and the Town of CBS, especially when it comes to identifying the land that these trails would be crossing, and how much private land they’d need to work around.
From Seal Cove to Legion Road is currently the first priority for the project, and although things have been moving, Connors said it is difficult to lay out any sort of timeline.
“The trail has to be user-friendly for your new beginner rider, the person who just went out and bought their first ATV, while also being a good option for the seasoned riders who have been into it for years and years,” he said. “We’re trying to make it for everybody, which is a challenge, but it will be worth it once it all pans out.”