In 2017, the Trans Canada Trail will celebrate its 25th birthday. Since its initiation in 1992, the TCT has been dedicated to connecting communities all across Canada and preserving the natural beauty of the place we call our home.

I have had the opportunity to work and volunteer with the Kawartha Trans Canada Trail for the past two years. During this time, I have taken part in the maintenance of the 53.8 kilometres of trail found within the Kawartha Lakes; cutting grass, painting gates, and surveying fellow trail users concerning their experiences on the trail and ways we could improve the experience. I have also attended meetings with the Board of Directors as well as various events organized by the KTCTA. Through these experiences I have gained a vast amount of knowledge about all aspects of the Trans Canada Trail. The trail users, from the first-timer to the daily visitor, have a great sense of appreciation and fulfillment, and the organizers of the trail are motivated by this enthusiasm. My experience with the trail has shown me that with the determination of a motivated group, we can change the lives of many people.

In 24 years, the TCT has succeeded in connecting the majority of Canada together. With the help of donations and countless dedicated volunteers, soon the entirety of this great nation will be connected via a natural, accessible trail that we can all enjoy.

Tommy Vaneyk

Marc Landry is a Toronto, Ontario based action sports photographer. Honing his skills on local and World Cup cycling circuits, Marc has since expanded his subject matter to include several outdoor adventure sports. He recently wrote this blog post of his Uxbridge to Belleville 225km, two-night, three-day tour along local trails – including the Kawartha Trans Canada Trail.

Read all about it here.

The Great Trail interviewed Al MacPherson, Chair of the Trans Canada Trail Ontario (TCTO) Board of Directors

Q: A big part of what we’re doing at the TCT is working with partners at the local level to get The Great Trail connected across the country by 2017, the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation. How does that play into the work you do?

A: TCTO works with over 75 local Trail groups across the province. We work with them in getting Trail projects from ideas all the way to completion. This translates into helping Trail groups develop project plans for new or existing trails, review project costing and develop funding requests; and we assist them in ordering signs and then follow up to ensure signs are installed. We also ensure that funds are spent appropriately and reports are submitted. TCTO works with the provincial government and municipal governments for approvals and requesting funding…we do it all!

Q: How is The Great Trail most commonly used in northern Ontario? Southern Ontario?

A: Geography and population are major factors in how the Trail is used in Ontario. Northern Ontario has an amazingly beautiful and rugged natural environment: rocks, water and trees, but a small population. 85% of the northern Ontario is public land and the traditional mode of travel has been by water – canoes and kayaks. It made sense to establish 1,900 kilometres of TCT waterways for use by residents and visitors to this area. In contrast, southern Ontario has a population of approximately 12 million people, with 13% of the land in public ownership, making for a blend of natural and untouched landscapes alongside urban and cultural environments. The TCT works with many different stakeholders (municipalities, parks, conservation authorities, not-for-profit organizations, etc.) in order to knit together a continuous route for the Trail. The Trail is heavily used by residents and is a major tourist attraction, as it travels through and connects to large urban areas. The majority of use is walking/hiking, cycling and horseback riding.

Q: Tell us about the history of The Great Trail in Ontario

A: Ontario was at the planning table in 1992 when TCT was launched, in order to contribute to this vision, and has been active ever since. The Ontario Trails Council was the lead for the development of the Trail until approximately 2001. At that time, TCT hired two employees from Ontario to manage the development of the Trail in the province. In 2003, a not-for-profit organization was created – Trans Canada Trail Ontario. A Board of Directors was established and more staff were hired to administer and work with local trail partners to continue developing the Trail. There are now five part-time consultants who work to make connection happen in Ontario.

Q: What are some of the biggest challenges involved in building the Trail in Ontario?

A: Keeping the motivation/commitment going for our local trail partners – making the Trail a priority for development – for many it is just another thing that needs to be done along with all the other work they have to do; keeping focus on connection as there are many other things that need to be done or could be done to enhance the the Trail. Recognizing that the needs for the Trail in northern Ontario are different than in southern Ontario due to population and geography; trying to connect over 5,000 kilometres with limited staff.

Q: What are the challenges of maintaining the Trail?

A: The Trail in Ontario is owned and managed by the local trail partner – neither the TCT nor TCTO owns or manages any of the Trail, thus our work has been to get local trail partners to agree to have their existing trail or newly created trail become part of  the “spine” or main route. Maintenance is the responsibility of local Trail partners. In some cases, as with waterways, there is less maintenance but work is required for portages and campsites in remote locations.  Other Trail sections, such as greenway require regular routine maintenance due to heavy use. Funds will be a major challenge to assist the local managers to keep their part of The Great Trail connected, safe and operational.

Read the full article here.

Come and enjoy a great cycling experience on the Kawartha Trans Canada Trail with the Knights of Columbus. The annual Recreational Ride and BBQ includes either a 13k or 25k route, with leaders who will guide you along the trail. Rest and water stops will be provided and upon completing the ride you and your families are invited to enjoy fellowship and a delicious BBQ lunch!

Saturday, August 6th, 2016
St. Mary’s Church Parking Lot

  • Registration Opens at 9:00 am
  • 25k Start: 10:00 am
  • 13k Start: 10:30 am
  • Pre-registration – $20. or $50. in pledges
  • Same day registration – $25. or $50. in pledges
  • Sixteen and under Pre-registration/Same Day – $5. or $20. in pledges
  • Family – $40. or $50. in pledges

For more information please call 705-324-0225 or email wylie.suggitt@sympatico.ca.

New Legislation Takes Action to Protect and Enhance Trails System

https://news.ontario.ca/mtc/en/2016/06/province-passes-act-to-support-ontarios-trails.html

Today, Ontario passed legislation that will sustain and improve the province’s trails system, helping to build a healthier and more prosperous Ontario. The Supporting Ontario’s Trails Act, 2016 will strengthen ‎Ontario’s extensive trails system. It will protect and enhance thousands of kilometres of the province’s urban, suburban, rural and remote land and water trails while also encouraging its expansion by:

  • Providing the trails community with enhanced tools to effectively develop, operate and promote trails
  • Removing barriers to help connect and expand trails across the province
  • Increasing trail awareness and promoting local tourism by enabling the recognition of Ontario trails of distinction, supporting communities and jobs across Ontario
  • Enabling the development of a classification system to help users find trails that match their interest and ability.
  • The new legislation also makes amendments to existing legislation to address liability, trespassing and protection of property issues.

Protecting and improving Ontario trails is part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario has the second-largest trails network in Canada, with about 2,500 trails spanning over 80,000 kilometres that support recreation, tourism and active transportation.
  • From 2009 through 2015, the province invested approximately $130 million to support Ontario’s trails.
  • Through Ontario’s 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games Legacy, Ontario has supported the completion of 254 kilometres of the Trans Canada Trail Ontarioresulting in a continuous route of over 2,000 kilometres, connecting communities from Ottawa to Windsor and Fort Erie to Huntsville.
  • Ontario Parks protects and manages approximately 2,200 kilometres of trails and boardwalks.
  • Thousands of kilometers of trails and roads are on provincial Crown land that are open for the public to use free of charge.
  • In 2014, hiking expenditures by Ontarians added $559 million to Ontario’s GDP and created more than 18,000 jobs across the province with an annual economic benefit of nearly $1.4 billion.

Brad Bird, MinCom Plus Realty Inc. Brokerage – Lindsay

Love Your Trail Sponsor

People have said that Brad Bird may be the most recognized Realtor® in the City of Kawartha Lakes. Brad has built a favourable reputation based on his track record. His team has helped homeowners and homebuyers throughout the City of the Kawartha Lakes, Peterborough County, and Durham Region. Averaging more than (150) real estate transactions every year, for almost two decades, is an accomplishment in itself.

Here are more reasons to work with Team Brad Bird:

  • Brad is a career real estate professional – you get experience
  • Team members are full-time licensed Realtors® – you get support
  • Honesty, integrity – you can trust us to be in your corner
  • Personable, friendly service – we know how to lessens your stress
  • Extended support is available to ensure your needs are met
  • We have relationships with many “third party” suppliers that you can count on, like mortgage specialists, lawyers, insurers, contractors, plumbers, electricians and more

www.teambradbird.ca

Thank you Allison Smith for your recent post on Hey Country about the Kawartha Trans Canada Trail. We are glad you enjoyed it!

Read the blog post here.

Aaron Young, Bell World Lindsay

Love Your Trail Sponsor

Bell World Lindsay is located at 229 Kent Street close to downtown Lindsay and offers the following Bell services: Cellular phones, Satellite TV, Internet, Home phone, Mobility hardware upgrades, Fibre TV, Bell Trade-in program and Push-to-talk. Visit us to find the products and services that match your needs. Our team will be happy to help!

705-324-9000
Learn more at their website.

Heather Richardson, Staples & Swain Professional Corporation

Love Your Trail Sponsor

Founded in 1959 by Joseph Lexis Crawford Staples Q.C., the firm of Staples & Swain Professional Corporation offers legal services in a variety of areas to individuals, private businesses and public institutions within the City of Kawartha Lakes and surrounding communities.

Staples & Swain is a law firm committed to providing timely and practical advice. Lawyers Heather Richardson and Angus McNeil carry on the tradition, which commenced with Joe Staples, of demystifying the mysteries of the law for their clients, who are also their neighbours.

www.staplesswain.com

Greg Dowdall, IPC Securities Corporation

Love Your Trail Sponsor

Greg Dowdall is an Investment Advisor, with more than 15 years experience and significant qualifications. He is a Certified Financial Professional, a Chartered Investment Manager (CIM®), and a Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute (FCSI®). The latter designation is widely viewed as the gold standard for investment advisors.

He launched the Lindsay branch office for Investment Planning Counsel in 2006.

His approach is to help clients understand their financial position relative to their financial objectives. He establishes a disciplined process to help people reach goals. His efforts are focussed on helping clients preserve assets, increase income, and reduce income taxes. He explains investment options in a manner that is easy to understand. Further, he adapts an investment plan to suit each client’s personal comfort level. He is often described as being friendly, outgoing, and having a great sense of humour. Greg is accessible and is willing to make house calls when that is necessary.

www.gregdowdall.com

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