Township Services

Elk Lake Ski Club

The Elk Lake Cross-Country Ski Club has been in existence for 42 years!  The Club was formed in 1981 and by 1985 our membership represented approximately 100 people. In a town with a population at that time of just over 600 people, this gives some idea of the value placed on the ski trails by the local community. 

Our goal is to encourage people of all ages, both residents of our community and visitors, to get outdoors and enjoy some healthy winter exercise on our lovely ski trails. In earlier years we held numerous activities including “loppets” (ski races), moonlit skis, and campfire/hot chocolate outings. Many visitors to Elk Lake have let us know how much they appreciate our beautiful trails and being invited to use them free of charge. 

The Ski Club provides free loan of skis/boots/poles.  The equipment is available at the Elk Lake Eco-Centre during their open hours. This allows people to try cross-country skiing before purchasing their own equipment. Many moms and children were skiing, while dads were out ice fishing or snowmobiling.  Now the club has a good selection of men’s ski boots and larger skis which allows those dads to borrow a set and occasionally go along for a family ski. Our original equipment was so well used by local school children and families that by 2010, most of the boots were worn out. Through the generosity of local groups and the Temiskaming Foundation, we were able to purchase new equipment and also have many children’s sizes. 

Two trails are groomed for classic skiing

  • The Montreal River Trail begins at the SW side of the Eco-Center parking lot and follows the Montreal River approximately 2 km through old poplar forest and ends with a turn-around in a spruce grove.  This is a good beginners trail, with only one challenging hill that goes down to the new bridge.
  • The Makobe River/Bear Creek Trail  entrance is 2.9 km out the Gowganda Road (Hwy 560) on the south side. Watch carefully for the sign!  This beautiful trail winds along rolling hills through upland pine forest to where Bear Creek joins the Makobe River. It is about 2 km to ski into the Makobe River from the hwy 560.  A shorter option is to take the left branch off the main trail which also goes to the river.  A loop of 5 km which follows along the river is in the process of being brushed for the 2024 season. Parking for the Makobe Trail is at the cutover road entrance just west of the trail entrance.

Ski Club Memberships are $25/person or $50/year for a family. Our membership fees go entirely towards the cost of trail grooming.  A cookie jar is available at the Eco-Centre for anyone who wishes to donate towards the club.  Memberships may be paid to either Lynda Bartlett or Judy Hartford.

If you would like someone to show you the trails, more information, or to arrange to borrow skis during a time when the Eco-Centre is closed, call Judy Hartford at 678-2177.