World’s longest snowmobile bridge

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About 35 people gathered for a ceremony to inaugurate the World’s Longest Snowmobile Bridge running between Arnprior and Bristol, February 12.

Maryam Amini

ARNPRIOR – The interprovincial snow-mobile bridge between Arnprior and Bristol was inaugurated with a ceremony in Arnprior, February 12. About 35 people attended including project leaders from both sides of the Ottawa River, Guinness World Records representatives, snowmobile enthusiasts and the media.

The frigid weather didn’t cool down the warm atmosphere and excitement of all present to cut the ribbon for the 1,600 foot (487 metre) long bridge, which will extend the interprovincial snowmobile season.

For years, those wishing to cross the river had to do so via the ice: a dangerous proposition during the waning weeks of winter as snow recedes and ice thins.

“Whether we call it the Outaouais or Ottawa, it’s one valley. We share a history of lumbering and forestry. We are related to each other. The Pontiac welcomes this opportunity to attract people from Ontario and allow our Québec residents [to access Ontario]. I hope this collaboration will continue between the Ottawa Valley, Outaouais, and MRC Pontiac,” said Jane Toller, MRC Pontiac warden. She thanked project leader Paul McDonald of the West Carleton Snowmobile Trails Association, Alain Goulet, former president of the Pontiac Snowmobile Drivers Association and all those who worked on realizing the project including Cyndy Phillips and Chantal Lair of the MRC Pontiac and Julie Kinnear of Tourisme Outaouais.

Phillips, MRC Pontiac director of economic development, stressed the instrumental role the two snowmobile clubs played in the project.

“Without the passion and vision of these two clubs, we wouldn’t be here today for this inaugural opening. It’s amazing to see the two sides of the river come together to make this project happen,” she said, also
recognizing the volunteers, groomers, and people who monitor the trails to ensure users are safe and having fun.

Kinnear, CEO of Tourisme Outaouais, said that in addition to supporting businesses, the longest snowmobile bridge in the world will definitely attract new visitors to the areas and strengthen their winter offers.

“Snowmobile enthusiasts will be able to sleep and eat in the area, discover attractions, and it’s a great way to entice them to maybe come back in the summer to re-discover the region. On the road to recovery [from the pandemic], competition will be fierce between destinations, so this will give us an advantage and help us stand out a little more,” she concluded.