The Renfrew County ATV Club (RCATV) and the Township of Madawaska Valley have formalized their relationship.

The two have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which will put signage on trails, give the Township a partner for insurance, will help expand the trail system, and allows RCATV to keep an eye on the trails, and help the Township identify issues and hazards. CEO of RCATV Teresa Hebb says the club looks forward to officially formalizing its relationship with Madawaska Valley.

The change most riders will see will be the new trail signage. Because riders rely for the most part on snowmobile trail signs, sometimes they will follow trails through terrain that is great for snowmobiles but hazardous for ATVers, like marshes. Riders will begin to see wayfinding signs that will help identify the trails that are ATV friendly. With a different numbering system to help tell the different trails apart, Hebb says this will tell riders what is a snowmobile trail, an ATV trail, or a shared trail.

Part of the Memorandum includes a Land Use Agreement with the Township. This will help both groups maintain the trails and identify trail hazards. Hebb says that the two already work closely together between providing volunteers and equipment, to the Township helping with accessibility. While the memorandum doesn’t mark a significant change in this regard, RCATV will be able to put more money towards the maintenance of trails that they gather from their rider fees. It also gives the Township an additional partner in liability insurance, which provides extra support for landowners and riders should the need arise.

Hebb says that part of the Land Use Agreement is a list of trails that will be open to expansion. These new trails will develop ties that will allow riders to get down to the Bancroft and Griffith areas. With this expansion, Hebb says it will be a great addition to the trail system and will help with tourism in the area.