Snomads group works to improve trail access, promote family-friendly activities
It’s been a busy season for the Snomads snowmachine club in Homer. Many members are putting on a varied list of club-sponsored events, while others are working for public access.
A source of pride for Snomads is the 120s races, led by Corbin Arno. Snomads owns six of these 120cc snowmachines, which we bring out for the 5- to 8-year-old youngsters to ride. Events are held in Anchor Point and Homer. Safety briefings and free helmet vouchers are given to the kids, giving them a healthy start to their snowmachining future.
Another big event, led by Steven Rainwater, is the Fun Run, scheduled for March 9. It’s our biggest fundraiser, membership, and sponsorship drive of the year. The run ends at our clubhouse, appropriately called the Palace. Burgers and hotdogs are served, and then the raffles begin.
Caribou Lake is the location for the Snomads Ice Fishing Tournament, another not-to-miss event set for March 30. Dave Mastolier heads this family event, which is open to the public. Bring your favorite fishing gear (auger not required) and a license, and plan to enjoy a fun day outdoors.
Lost? It happens, and if it does, we can help. Snomads has an on-call Search and Rescue Team headed by Phil Needham. He and our associate members’ club, the Caribou Hills Cabin Hoppers, train together with Alaska State Troopers and other emergency providers.
Public access is sought on a multitude of levels. We work with landowners, both private and public, and through the legal system when necessary.
Snomad volunteers have taken a cow path and built mile of Kenia Peninsula Borough-maintained Willard Road. This road ends at the public Caribou Lake trailhead, also known as Blue Shed 2.
Trail and trailhead acquisition are foremost on our agenda. We currently are working on four trails and three parking lots, one in which the public posting is complete. We lease and/or maintain three trailhead parking lots, one for members only and two for the general public. If Snomads didn’t do this, there wouldn’t be any public parking areas on the lower Kenai Peninsula. We also groom 60 miles of Caribou Hills trails, which are used by both motorized and nonmotorized groups. Scott Connelly does a great job as our trails chairman.
Recently, we completed a court case, Price v. Eastham, regarding trail acquisition using prescriptive easements. I would urge any groups seeking access to look at this case. As a side note, we are finding that aerial photography and affidavits are valuable resources.
For any more information on our Snowmads group, check out our website at www.homersnomads.org, We really are more than just a snowmachine club.
Steve Parizek is president of Snowmads snowmachine club, based in Homer.