- November 23, 2017 at 8:29 pm #818218
From the DMBA
“Since the fall of 2015, Mountain Bikers enjoying the Durham Region have been able to access the Dagmar North Trails off of Chalk Lake Road. Effective December 1st, 2017, access to the trails along this connection will be closed until further notice.
This connector was made possible with a lease agreement between the TRCA and the landowner and without it the Dagmar North Trails may not have been built. In 2015 it was suggested that the TRCA, Green Durham Association (GDA) and the DMBA split the lease costs. The DMBA board turned this down as they believed that paying for access trails could set a precedent. Instead, the board negotiated that the DMBA build the trails system and not participate in the lease costs. The trail system that was built would have cost $130,000 if it was constructed by a contractor. Since the trails opened the DMBA has maintained these trails exclusively with the exception of taking down hazard trees.
This year the TRCA approached the DMBA to pay half the lease costs. The board decided on a one-time basis, midway through this riding season, to split the cost 50/50 with GDA for 5 months to bring the lease to the end of this riding season (November 30, 2017). The hope was to allow time for the TRCA to find another solution. It was made clear to the TRCA that the DMBA would not be making further payments as they still feel that paying for access trails could set a precedent. The other parties to the lease felt that the monetary rate proposed to maintain access to this connector was not cost-effective and sustainable, therefore the access will close unless some other solution is arranged.
The TRCA has tried to negotiate with a local property owner to open a southern access trail from the 3 Rocks parking. To date, the negotiation process has been unsuccessful.
As a club, we’re committed to helping develop a second access trail into Dagmar.
The Dagmar North Trail system will be closed for the winter on December 1, 2017. Please respect the closure, spread the word to non-members, and respect the property owner by not trespassing.
DMBA Board of Directors”November 26, 2017 at 8:51 pm #818243
While I totally agree with DMBA re:paying for trail access I can’t help but wonder how much the landlord is asking? I believe snowmobile clubs in the area pretty much get one or a couple of free trail passes for the season. Pretty nominal amount.
On the flip side, with summer season access we limit the crop potential of the land, and the outside perimeter constitutes a lot of acreage.
The unfortunate part of this announcement is that the access in question allows riders to tie Durham into Dagmar.November 27, 2017 at 8:30 pm #818248
This is indeed an unfortunate development although it was not unforeseen. We knew the lease would expire and with cost cutting within the TRCA it was almost inevitable that they would not want to continue to pay for this access. The good news is that we do have the 7th Concession access and as that is wholly on TRCA land it is not in jeopardy of closure due to lease considerations.
It does make linking Dagmar to DF a bit more non linear unless you want to ride more road but it is what it is. Now you would need to ride DF, cross the 7th at the Bell Tower, ride south through Walker Woods, pop out at 7th and Chalk Lake Road and then south to Dagmar. An ok route too but more involved and longer which are not necesarrily bad things.
As far as the DMBA is concerned, the actual $ amount isn’t so much the issue as is the setting of a precedent for access like this. As Whynot alluded to, the land owners that allow snowmobile access get very little if any compensation and there are miles and miles of those trails. Granted it is in the winter and not during crop growing season but I don’t think that the landowner in this situation is losing very much acreage if any with the existing trail. I recall when we were accessing Dagmar to scout out trail corridors prior to building it that we followed the same path as we do now and there were no crops that close to the tree line.
It will be a shame if we do lose the Chalk Lake Road access but maybe a solution will be found before next spring. Meanwhile tomorrow looks like a great day to head into Dagmar and get in one last awesome ride before it closes on Dec 1.
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