On Saturday, June 9th, in celebration of International Trails Day, a group of cyclists rode the Lindsay to Omemee section of the newly-designated Kawartha Trans Canada Trail. Although the Trail was officially "non-operational," this was a chance to view the terrain and learn about Trail plans from Al MacPherson, KTCTA President. A few days later, the Lindsay Post published this write-up.
Please note that the Kawartha Trans Canada Trail is not fully operational. Sections of the trail will be under construction late summer/early fall to improve conditions and offer the user a more enjoyable trail experience. Thank you for your patience.
On Tuesday, October 7th, with the Lindsay to Omemee section completed, we celebrated the official opening. In the afternoon, under blue skies, Valerie Pringle, TCT Chair, cut the ribbon in Omemee as the 500 schoolchildren thronging the trail cheered. At 7:00, in Fleming College's Crombie Theatre, a crowd heard from KTCT President Al MacPherson and Valerie Pringle, enjoyed a slide show presented by Dan Andrews, head of the Ontario Trans Canada Association, and heard singer David Archibald singing a song composed for the event.
Here's how Jeanne Pengelly, Communications Officer for the Trillium Lakeland Board of Education, described the Omemee event:
"The only thing bigger than their smiles, were their hurrahs. As students from Lady Eaton Elementary School and Scott Young Public School in Omemee formed an audience to the east and west, national television personality Valerie Pringle cut the red ribbon to officially open the newest section of the TransCanada Trail. The section, from Omemee to Lindsay, was completed this summer. The trail runs behind both Omemee schools.
To celebrate the event, entertainers, dignitaries, neighbours, teachers, principals, cyclists, walkers, and even a horseback rider joined the students in the yard of Lady Eaton Elementary School. "This is spectacular, wonderful country," said Pringle, who is also chairperson of the Trans Canada Trail. "You and this trail right here connect you like a thread to all of Canada. It is a magnificent dream, and it's yours."
The longest trail in the world is being completed section by section, by local volunteers and donations. Karen Cook, co-ordinator of Community Relations for the Kawartha Trans Canada Trail Association, told students they would be the "guardians of the Earth in the future."
"I almost get teary," Cook said as she prepared for the event. "To me it's about preserving the environment and giving future generations a place where they can enjoy it. What better place to hold this event than here at the schools, where we can open a window for those future generations."
Lady Eaton Elementary School Principal B.J. Mailloux-Brown urged students to look to their own backyards. "Leave the computers, the cell phone, the electronic games," she said. "Put on your sneakers or your skis or your snow shoes. It's all about connecting with nature and connecting with each other. It's very exciting that this is right here in our back yard."
Scott Young Public School Principal David Sornberger said the event is exciting for students, who already use the path for science classes, Terry Fox Runs, bike trips, and phys ed classes."
Pictures of both events will be posted in a gallery shortly. We will also be posting David Archibald's song as an audio file.
The Kawartha Trans Canada Trail will be a 44 kms linear trail that travels east to west between Peterborough County and Region of Durham. This unique four season route of historic and cultural heritage links communities, parkland, farmland and the natural environment by providing opportunities for nature appreciation and interpretation, hiking, walking, cycling, horseback riding and snowmobiling, and preserves the corridor for present and future generations.
The upgrade of the tread surface of our Trail from Lindsay to Omemee was made possible by a grant from The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), an agency of the Government of Ontario and one of Canada's leading grantmaking foundations. In awarding this $75,000 Community Program Grant to the Kawartha Trans Canada Trail c/o Kawartha Lakes Green Trails Alliance, the OTF noted that the Trail-work "will improve its use and create opportunities for recreational activities for residents and visitors."
The Trail upgrade is now underway and will be completed by September.