History of the trails
Local residents have been cross-country skiing in the Summerstown Forest and adjacent Crown Land for nearly half a century. In the early 1970s, the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) cut and groomed cross-country ski trails in the Forest. With government cutbacks, in the late 1970’s, the jobs of maintaining the trails fell to a group of people who volunteered their time to do all the work. These volunteers supplied or made the equipment, provided the gas, groomed the trails, and asked skiers and other partners such as the Townships of Lancaster and Charlottenburgh (later South Glengarry) to support their work. They formed the Jack Rabbit Ski Club that later became the Friends of the Summerstown Ski Area. Over the years, many of these early volunteers became discouraged and gradually the group dwindled until there were only three or four stalwarts who continued to maintain the trails.
By 2008, the ski trails were being maintained only sporadically and conditions were deteriorating. Following an appeal in The Glengarry News by a longtime skier in the Forest, a number of people came forward to work to keep the ski area open throughout the season and the Friends of the Summerstown Trails(FOTST) was organized. In November 2008, FOTST became a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to green recreational use in the Summerstown Forest and adjacent crown land.
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