By Laura Keil

A new dog-friendly walking trail at Jackman Flats is already creating friction with skiers, after dog owners have been taking their dogs on the groomed cross-country ski trails instead.

“I’m disappointed that so many people are walking their dogs on the set tracks,” said Ainslie Jackman, an avid skier and recreationist. “They’re set by volunteers and people are walking all over them with their dogs.”

She said it could be that they’re misinformed about where dogs are permitted and hopes that speaking out will prevent this from happening in the future. 

“Especially where the snow is thin, it takes away the structure that holds your skis in the track,” she said. “With footprints and dog tracks that break through it diminishes the skiing experience.”

She said it’s especially hard for beginners, like kids, to keep their skis in the tracks when the track is damaged. 

She understands people want to walk their dogs on a packed trail, but she wishes people would be more careful about following signage – and not just follow in someone else’s footsteps.

“For so many years it’s been good,” she said. “People don’t seem to abuse the trail. But once one person does it, then other people think it’s ok.”