The debate over parking near dozens of trailheads scattered around the town of the Blue Mountains is heating up in the dead of winter.

Council passed a bylaw last week prohibiting locals and visitors from parking along dozens of streets where people would typically access walking trails.

Mayor Alar Soever likens it to restrictions at the beachfront last summer.

"With the lockdowns, we were hoping there wouldn't be as big a problem, but the problem was a lot bigger than we thought it would be."

The change has frustrated local resident George Morin.

"There are fewer and fewer things to do during COVID-19. We are frequent snowshoers and hikers, and we believe our privileges have been removed".

Soever says he's received hundreds of e-mails about the restrictions. He explains the town had to consider access to things other than trails.

"If you had vehicles parked on both sides and very close to people's driveways, they might not be able to get out of their driveway, and if there was a fire or something, a fire truck would not be able to get through."

The mayor says the town knows there are spots where parking has been pushed especially far from trails. It's a problem he says will be addressed.

Enforcement of the no parking zones doesn't appear to have started, with only a few signs erected by Sunday night.

Town council will discuss the bylaw again when it meets Monday night.