Fitness buffs and leisure lovers who take advantage of Weyburn's Tatagwa Trails system may also be enjoying the newer paths created by the Weyburn Mountain Bikers club.
Runners, hikers, bikers, and even unicyclists use the trails daily, and Trevor Tessier, who is with the Weyburn Run Club and the Mountain Bikers club, said seeing our trails system is part of what influenced his decision to move to our community.
"In 2014, they held a race here in Weyburn and I was part of it. It was a 10-kilometre race, called the Weyburn Roadrunner Race, and from there I saw these beautiful trails and they really helped change my perspective of Weyburn and like some of the beauties of it, being from Arcola," he shared.
He said the mountain bike trails were only in their beginning stages when he moved here in 2020.
"I would go there, I would tell my friends and family from outside of town, and what's occurred since then is they've continued to expand them. So nowadays we have over 10 kilometers of continuous trails, in the Heritage Village and River Park area, which are made by Weyburn Mountain Bike Club," he noted.
"I bring family from all over the place to come biking, running, hiking here. These trails are one of my first stops. It's a very nice way to see the city and also be in nature and go for those walks."
While the City of Weyburn has paved more than eight kilometres of trails throughout the Tatagwa Trails System, some prefer a more rugged terrain.
"It gave this option to all of these different sports and people who use trails in Weyburn, and for sure from a runner's perspective and from a mountain bikers' perspective, it's a hill in Weyburn that someone can use. It's added a lot of value that way, and from a hikers' perspective, it gives the ability to go out into nature in Weyburn," he commented. "The trail system really helps a number of different athletes, and whether your fitness goals are, running, hiking, or biking, the trails are meant for everyone."
"I think it's extremely important as a city and also from the fitness side of things that we have more and more of these things available, so people can enjoy the city, because it's there."
In terms of trail etiquette, to avoid collisions, Tessier said most using the paths understand that the mountain bike trails are single-track trails.
"Keep your head up when you're biking or you're running or hiking," he said. "Be mindful of everyone else using it and take your time when you're on it. If you see other people using it, maybe don't race down, take your time, and plan a safe route so that you're not going to affect anyone, because everyone who uses it and wants to see more people on it, and everyone's really accepting of that."
"People just seem to use it at different times of the day so I haven't gotten into any issue with the etiquette for someone saying go faster or anything. I, generally speaking, run on the trails, so I think there's just an acceptance that this is a single-track trail."
Tessier said more than 75 volunteer hours each year are put toward developing and maintaining the rugged trails, from weeding, mowing and digging.
"The Weyburn Mountain Bike Club wants to expand their trails, and they want to make it better. They want to have more ability for anyone, whether it be a walk or a hike or run or a biker or unicyclist, a skier, or a fat bike rider. This year, the funding was getting a little low and they created a GoFundMe to create more funds for the club."
"Mike Manko-Bauche and Dave Hodgkin, they have an amazing talent of designing trails and knowing how to put them and that's why we've been able to see such great trails," he said. "They designed these. They're experts in the field. I think there's a real call to support those individuals to continue to expand our trail system. So no matter the sport you're doing, you can come to Weyburn and try our trails and see how great they are because we have an extremely dedicated group of people and specifically with Dave and Mike."
"The Weyburn Mountain Bike Club has 78 members on Facebook live and the running club has 213 members," Tessier added. "People want to see these things expand. They want to see more of this stuff in our community. The hope for that is to expand the mountain bike trails to get more kilometers where we can see unique scenery."
"These trails could be used for tours and field trips," he said. "Even agrologists, when they've been on our trails, we have unique flowering species there that we could really turn into something."
He said the Penner family informally helps maintain the trails by the Community Health Services building (at the west end of Saskatchewan Drive). Some people help out by mowing the overgrown trails, and others pick up garbage or help out in other ways.
"It adds a lot of value to Weyburn."
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