Bill Nielsen Trail Society marks International Trail Day

Runners pound the pavement as the begin their trek around Cranna Lake and Lacombe's trails as part of the annual Bill’s Trail Run. The Bill Nielsen Trail Society, which puts the event on, will host a free barbecue on Sunday, June 2 to celebrate International Trail Day. Ashli Barrett / Lacombe Globe

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Get out, explore the trails and grab a bite to eat with the Bill Nielsen Trail Society (BNTS) as they celebrate International Trail Day.

For a third year, the society will mark the occasion with a free barbecue and puzzle scavenger hunt on the trail on the north side of Elizabeth Lake from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 3.

Diane Hayduk, BNTS vice-president, says it’s all about getting people outside and onto the trails.

“That’s our mandate – to inform people about the rails in Lacombe, the BNTS and to get everybody out,” she said.

“I know we’re really known for our race, but there’s so many other people that use them – walkers, bikers, hikers, the volkssport people….We’re inviting everybody to come see them. They’re just terrific trails and we are so very lucky in Lacombe to have them.”

The City of Lacombe has about 16 kilometres of natural trail, plus a number of connector trails through Lacombe County and additional paved trails like the one circling Cranna Lake.

Thanks to a ParticipACTION grant secured by Sonya Beauclair, recreation and culture administrative assistant for the city, they’re having a scavenger hunt game to get people to explore those trails a bit more.

“We wanted to do a little bit more, so we are having our puzzle hunt to get people active and into the trails. There are nine different points they have to find and it’ll make them familiar with the trail,” said Hayduk.

They are working on setting up permanent interpretive signs in the future, possibly with maps and QR  codes to help trail users navigate the network of them in the area.

“A lot of people go into the trails and they don’t know where they’re at. It’s an incentive to go ‘OK, let’s go see the next point,” she said, adding it would also be useful for people who might experience an emergency while on the trails and need to let people know where they are.

In the meantime, trail users will just have to tough it out with the signs there currently are – as well as those put up for the hunt, which will begin at 11 a.m.

Lawn games will also be provided along the lake shore.

International Trail Day is technically celebrated on the first Saturday in June each year, however, the society chose to move the date as there are a number of other events in the city that day, such as the public unveiling of the World’s Largest Lure at the annual Kids can Catch event, and the grand re-opening of the Lacombe Regional Airport.

The Bill Nielsen Trail Society, of course, is known for Bill’s Trail Run, which will be held this year on Oct. 5. Registration is open and early bird pricing is still in effect.

For more information on the society or International Trail Day, visit billstrailrun.com or email btrlacombe@gmail.com.

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