Trailwise – Ontario Trail Newsletter June 22, 2017

photo from Ontario parks blog
• Trailhead Events • Books, Maps, Mugs and Tees
  • Donate to Trails Today! • Member News • Activity Updates

Ontario Place Trail Opening – 
Ontario Trails Council received an invite from the Office of the Premier to attend the opening of the William Davis Trail at Ontario Place June 19, 2017.

Jack de Wit, President, Dan Andrews Secretary Treasurer, Joey Schwartz of the Toronto Bicycling Network and a proponent of the Toronto Trails Committee development and Patrick Connor attended on behalf of the Ontario Trails Council.

It’s important to attend these developments as it represents a local chance for many of the public to learn about trails. ALready signed as part of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, OTC Member GLWT Marlaine Keohelr and David Crombie also attended. The Premier and the Minister spoke from the podium. As did Mississauga’s of the Credit.

One of the most important interactions for the OTC took place on the way out where we had a chance to talk with Chief Reg Niganobe and with Elise King who is working with Terri Hamilton at Credit Valley Conservation on the Credit Valley Heritage Water Trail. Our discussion centred around funding and mutual support.

Ontario Trails Council looks forward to assisting this first nation on any way we can.

OTC reinforced to the Minister, the value it places on the expert staff of MTCS and the processes we have put into place. OTC also reinforced with Minister’s office staff our desire to meet with the Minister and as an organization working throughout Ontario – the OTC will go to any announcement or any trail opening in support of the OTS, Bill 100 and the Trails Action Plan.

A Quick Guide to Trail Risk Management from Cowan Insurance

On June 19th representatives from OTC met with Cowan Insurance, one of Canada’s largest municipal underwriters and insurance brokers to discuss ties to the education and risk management programs OTC provides. OTC programs and recommendations mirror or duplicate the very recommendations tha Cowan makes to it’s policy holders.

So we discussed partnership and synergies. The content is correct, we are both educating and we want more principle in practice. We reached an agreement in principle to work together better for trail safety, and an understanding of why trail safety and product integrity is so important – especially when encouraging use.

OTC staff will be meeting with Cowan trail auditors, and with the OGRA and roads product assessors to determine next steps to enact an Ontario Good Trails Program. We look forward to this industry and trail sector collaboration. It should also be noted that there will be parallel supportive practices arising from the ongoing Ontario Trail Strategy – Ontario Trail Action Plan trails classification program currently in development with the classification expert panel.

For more information on trails standards and practices see:

Support Trails – Order your ball caps, mugs or OTC Shirt now! Quantities are limited.

otc books, maps, hats and tees

City of Toronto Public Meeting

nature in the cityPlease share this notice through your networks to people who may be interested in this project.

The City of Toronto and Councillor Neethan Shan, Ward 42, will host a meeting to discuss the progress of the Beare Hill Park Detailed Design Project. Please join us:

Date:                        Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Time:                        6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Location:                 Malvern Community Recreation Centre, Community Room, 30 Sewells Road

Where is the Beare Hill Park site?
The Beare Hill Park site is located in Scarborough (see map attached), south of Beare Road.  This site is bounded by Finch Avenue East to the north, the Toronto/Pickering town line to the east, a CN Rail corridor to the west and a hydro corridor to the south. The proposed Beare Hill Park site is adjacent to the Rouge National Urban Park and the Toronto Zoo.

What’s this meeting about?
You are invited to attend the meeting to:

  • Review the changes proposed,
  • Provide comments and input, and
  • Discuss next steps.

The community was previously engaged to participate in three public meetings that led to the development of the Beare Road (now Hill) Park Master Plan in 2013.  This detailed design project involves the preparation of detailed studies and designs that will be used to tender the construction of the park.  The park design reflects the Master Plan, however, there have been some minor changes that the City is looking for input on.

For more information about Beare Hill Park please visit:

Karen Sun
Natural Environment Specialist (Acting)

Parks, Forestry & Recreation
Natural Environment & Community Programs
City of Toronto
550 Bayview Ave. Bldg 12, Suite 406, Toronto, ON M4W3X8
416.392.1033 | F 416.338.1069 |

Ontario Trails All Year Long! 

Add an Ontario Trail Logo to your website!

Ontario Trails WeekOntario Trail DayOntario Trail Count
Watch for it on our social media, our facebook page and in our twitter feed.

Tell us all about your trail event and join us as we celebrate Ontario’s Trails!

1. Log in Your Event  – Event spreadsheet.

2. Add your event to our event calendar –  add it here.

3. Post your personalized decal on your Trail – we have one for every group on our list. (see #5 below)

elliot lake trails survey

4. Add your trail user survey to any of your trail pages – we’ve made one for our members and regions. Get your decal here –

We’ve checked the links, if something isn’t working simply give us a call – 613-484-1140. We’ll be adding these links to the various relevant trail pages in your regions and RTO’s/DMO’s over the upcoming year!

5. Send us your Trails video – we’ll be posting content on-line at and we’d be happy to add to our trails tube – You may want to talk to us about OTC Membership. 613-484-1140 We’d be happy to connect with you.

News And Events 
Trailhead North 2018 – Sault Ste. Marie


In Spring of 2018 trail enthusiasts and supporters are headed to Sault Ste Marie for two days of meetings and lively discussion about all types of trails.

Our hosts invite you to join us to hear stories from wood and river, hill and valley. We will be talking about the great adventures we share and how to get more folks to love the outdoors the way we do.

April 26, 27th (at least) 2018


Protect the Grand Trunk Trail – please sign the petitionprotect the st mary's trail

We need your input!In 2015 we secured 101 respondents to our “The Value of Trails – Measuring the Economic Impact of Trails Survey.”  We’ve added 18 more to the 2017 updates. We have a ways to go. Click through the screen capture below to access the survey.

value of trail survey 2017

There are many metrics to measure in determining the economic impact of trails, and tourism in just one factor. In order to accurately represent a closer economic impact of trails we are requesting your speedy response to our Call to Action for Your Input to our Value of Trails 2017 survey.

With your help we will make an even stronger case for trails and the supports you require to provide a top notch experience at each of your trail destinations. We are also accepting new responses! Many Thanks!

Trailhead Canada – Date Change and Program Outlinetrailhead canada program outline

Membership Renewals – Thank-you for your Support!We wish to thank the organizations that have already renewed for 2017. We couldn’t do our work without your support. Many thanks!



Ontario Trail News – resort partners with trail, find your favorite place to snowshoe in Ontario!

Ontario Trails News – Resort partners with trails, find your favorite place to snowshoe in Ontario

Find your favorite place to snowshoe in Ontario!

Port Cunnington Lodge & Resort Partners with Echo Valley Nature & Bike Trails

December 29
Port Cunnington Lodge & Resort Partners with Echo Valley Nature & Bike Trails

Muskoka, Ontario
Port Cunnington Lodge & Resort (, a popular lakefront Ontario resort on scenic Lake of Bays in Muskoka, announces that they are partnering with Echo Valley Nature & Bike Trails, a new Lake of Bays park and bike trail system and year-round tourist attraction located near the town of Dwight. Beginning in the spring of 2015, Port Cunnington Lodge will be offering new special resort accommodations packages that will include hiking and biking activities at Echo Valley Nature & Bike Trails.
Muskoka’s latest tourist attraction, Echo Valley Nature & Bike Trails celebrated its grand opening on October 6, 2014. The new park and trail system is open to visitors year-round and offers 3.5 kilometres of marked trails for snowshoeing, hiking and cycling. The Echo Valley trail system comprises 15 trails that are rated from easy to difficult, includes a main trail line which takes hikers approximately 30 to 40 minutes to complete, and 14 smaller trails. The trail park encompasses approximately 24 hectares (60 acres) of scenic Muskoka wilderness, with trails ideally suited for leisurely nature walks, brisk mountain bike rides, invigorating hikes and bracing winter snowshoeing jaunts. The Echo Valley Nature & Bike Trails Park has three different onsite kiosks and a viewing guide that provides information to enrich the learning experience of a park visit. There is also a viewing platform that overlooks the protected land nearby for visitors to observe area wildlife. A trail map of the park is available online.
“We are very pleased to welcome Echo Valley Nature & Bike Trails and congratulate them on the grand-opening of their wonderful Muskoka trail park. It is a great addition to our Lake of Bays neighbourhood,” remarks Kim Loader, Innkeeper at Port Cunnington Lodge & Resort. “We are currently working on special accommodation and activity packages for next season that will combine luxurious cottage accommodations at Port Cunnington Lodge with an Echo Valley park activity or trail excursion. We believe that the Echo Valley Nature & Bike Trails is an area attraction that guests at Port Cunnington will surely want to take advantage of during their stay with us,” say Loader.
About Port Cunnington Lodge & Resort: A favorite Ontario cottage country destination for generations, Port Cunnington Lodge & Resort on scenic Lake of Bays, is a traditional Muskoka lodge ideal for family resort vacations, romantic couple’s getaways, Algonquin Park holidays, destination weddings, resort conferences and group events. This historic Muskoka resort offers superior lakefront suites and lakefront cottages that range from one to five bedrooms. All accommodations are tastefully furnished, with full kitchens and fireplaces in most. Port Cunnington Lodge is famous for its friendly service, fine dining, exceptional onsite amenities and activities, with first-class golf nearby, including access to the exclusive Bigwin Island Golf Club. For more information visit: or call 1.800.894.1105.
Contact Information:
Kim Loader Innkeeper
Port Cunnington Lodge & Resort
1679 Port Cunnington Rd
Dwight ON P0A 1H0

Ontario Trails News – Essex Conservation applies outdoor smoking bans, learn where to Cross Country Ski

Learn more about where to Cross Country Ski in Ontario

An assessment of the Essex Region Conservation Authority’s smoke-free outdoor spaces initiative at three of its most popular sites says it’s been effective but there are some compliance issues that need dealing with, according to ERCA officials.
Kevin Money, ERCA’s director of conservation services, said the study conducted by the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit and Windsor-Essex County Health Unit suggests “the implementation of ERCA’s smoke free outdoor spaces policy has been effective at limiting smoking and protecting the public from second-hand smoke exposure.”
Money said both smokers and non-smokers were surveyed, staff was interviewed and a cigarette butt litter analysis was conducted. Of the 23 smokers and 86 non-smokers who participated, the report said 61 per cent indicated they would not be affected by the policy and 36 per cent said they would be more likely to visit a conservation area. Three per cent said they would be less likely to visit.
A small area at Holiday Beach near ongoing building construction was the only one found to have butt litter issues.
“The cigarette butt count that we did within that evaluation tells us that we don’t have full compliance,” Money said. “What (the lack of complaints) tells us is that we don’t have a chronic problem and that we’re well on our way to having smoke free spaces within our conservation areas.”
Money said ERCA was in April the first conservation authority in Ontario to launch a smoke-free outdoor spaces initiative. Phase 1 included the John R. Park Homestead, Hillman Marsh and Holiday Beach Conservation Area — the authority’s largest properties.
Phase 2 will be implemented this spring and will include the remainder of ERCA’s 19 conservation areas.
Smoking is restricted to designated areas – mainly parking lots.
“One of the biggest things that we heard from the health unit was that we don’t want our youth to be seeing people smoking because that de-normalizes the act of smoking,” Money said. “So by not letting kids see that, it’s a method of letting kids know it’s not an activity that’s good for you.”

Ontario Trails News – explore the Halton ECO-Park, it’s got trails

Learn more about accessible trails, and how to promote them to all Ontarians

Dec 25, 2014 | 

EcoPark’s natural beauty only a hike away

Burlington Post

Smokey Hollow is one of my favourite hiking spots.

I came across it years ago in a book of maps of hiking trails in southern Ontario. It was a dot on a piece of paper on Mill Street just north of the Burlington border.

It turned out to be much more than just a dot.

The waterfall is arguably the premier attraction; Grindstone Creek cascades down a dramatic drop.

Once you descend several flights of natural and man-made stairs, the noise of traffic disappears and tranquility dominates.

It was here that I saw my first and only wild trillium to date.

Coincidentally, Smokey Hollow was one of the first spots the Burlington Post team consisting of photographer Eric Riehl and myself recently visited on a walking tour for our feature on the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System.

The walking tour idea was mine — any chance to trade in high heels for Sorel boots is welcome.

David Galbraith, longtime head of science at the Royal Botanical Garden, and John Hall, co-ordinator with the Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan, served as our guides, taking us to stunning sites like the Grindstone Estuary marshlands, Kerncliff Park, Clappison Woods and Smokey Hollow.

As a nature lover, I had been to all these sites before, but the historical background and ecological significance shared by David and John elevated my understanding of why protecting these lands through the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System initiative is so important.

Smokey Hollow is an example of how an area can recover after human impact.

In the 19th century, Grindstone Creek was the site of industrial mills, which are now gone. The site has potential for further naturalization, as well as trail enhancements. The trail is particularly rich with wildflower species.

The Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System, formally established in 2013, is a partnership between nine partner agencies. It encompasses approximately 9,000 acres of natural lands at the western end of Lake Ontario. Of that number, 4,700 acres are permanently protected while 4,300 acres are privately owned. Included in the 1,500 documented species of flora and fauna is more than 60 species at risk, including the endangered Jefferson salamander.

I encourage everyone to read my feature on the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System at experience these precious lands.

Ontario Trails News – there are nearly 300 Ontario trails in Ontario Parks

Do you like camping and backpacking? Search your trail here.

News Release

Ontario Parks Offer Winter Camping Fun

Get Outside and Embrace Winter

December 16, 2014 1:00 P.M.

Ontario‘s provincial parks offer something for everyone this winter.

From cross-country skiing to skating, from winter camping to snowshoeing, Ontario’s provincial parks have such a wide variety of fun family activities, you’ll never get bored this winter.

Here are some examples:

  • Experience night skating on a lit 400-metre trail through the woods at MacGregor Point Provincial Park or check out the skating trail at Arrowhead Provincial Park that winds through the park campground or the Olympic-sized skating rink at Bronte Creek Provincial Park.
  • Learn to dogsled in Algonquin Provincial Park.
  • Participate in a snowshoe workshop in Frontenac Provincial Park which includes a guided hike on one of the park’s 100 kilometres of trails.
  • Take part in the cross-country skiing loppet at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. The eight-kilometre mini loppet is perfect for families, children and rookies.

Quick Facts

  • In 2013, Ontario’s provincial parks received more than 8.5-million visits from people around the world.
  • Some parks offer roofed accommodations in the winter.
  • Let Frontenac Provincial Park give you some tips on winter camping.
  • Skating is available in several Ontario parks.


Bill Mauro

“Whether you like to cross-country ski under the stars or take the family skating, Ontario’s provincial parks have so much to offer. Visit a park with family or friends and have some fun this winter.”

Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry

Ontario Trails News – of course they are – 2015 PanAM ParaPan Cycling to take place on Lake Ontario Waterfront – includes trails!

Find PanAm ParaPan Trails on the Ontario Trails Council website

Toronto 2015 road events to be held on Lake Ontario waterfront

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

By Nick Butler

Road races at the Pan American Games will take place on the Lake Ontario waterfront in Toronto ©Getty ImagesCycling and road running events at the Pan American and Parapan American Games in Toronto next year will take place along the waterfront of Lake Ontario, it has been confirmed. 

This will maximise views showcasing the Toronto’s beauty, it is hoped, with finish lines set to particularly include “incredible views of the cities skyline”.

All road races, including race-walking and marathon events as well as cycling road races at both versions of the Games, will start and finish on Lake Shore Boulevard, with each sport consisting of laps of different length and levels of difficulty.

This will include a blend of the “challenging” hills in High Park or the long, straightaways such as Lake Shore Boulevard, favoured by race walkers.

All the race routes were designed under the direction of international experts to meet the critical technical requirements that govern Olympic, Paralympic and World Championship courses, it was claimed, with temporary road closes expected to ensure a “world-class” field of play.

More information on this is, as well as the exact routes to be used, is available via the Toronto 2015 website, here, with further details to be provided in the New Year.

Sauggen Shores Rail Trail Association wins Heritage award

Congratulations to Saugeen Shores Rail Trail Association as it is Honoured with the 2013 Saugeen Shores Heritage Conservation Award, for their efforts in actively promoting the heritage and history of the Saugeen Shores community through trails. From your friends at Ontario Trails Council.

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Pin to win our summer photo contest!

Each week we’re drawing for a
1 year family Discovery Pass to Parks Canada.

On August 30, we will draw for our grand prize:
a $500 gift certificate to Roots!

Here’s how to enter our photo contest:
1. Pin your favourite summer photos and activities on our map. You have until 12am. ET on Friday each week to submit photos that will be considered for that week’s reward.
2. Live Right Now panel will choose the most inspiring pinned photo.

3. On Friday afternoons through July and August, we’ll announce the winner who will receive a 1 year Parks Canada Family Discovery Pass ($136.40 value).
4. Each photo pinned will count as an entry into a draw for our grand prize of a $500 Roots gift card.
5. A Live Right Now panel will choose the most inspiring photo each week and the grand prize winner will be announced August 30, 2013.
Pin where you Get Outside and Explore Canada
… and you could win!

Accident sparks call for changes to cycling laws, bylaws
Waterloo Record
That bill was introduced in the legislature, received second reading, but died when the last Ontario election was called. “We are hoping to bring that legislation back to legislature in the fall,” McMahon said. An Ontario coroner’s report on cycling 
See all stories on this topic »


Ontario Cyclists Announced For MTB-XC Nationals Project | Ontario 
ONTARIO CYCLISTS ANNOUNCED FOR OCA MTB-XC NATIONALS PROJECT. Project will runJuly 16-21, 2013. (June 30, 2013) The Ontario Cycling…

Go fishing without a licence
Welland Tribune
… and develop a teach children about the environment and conservation while having fun fishing. At all other times, residents between the ages of 18 and 64 must have a valid fishing licence to legally fish in Ontario. A 2013 conservation licence ..


South River canoe maker dips into training fund
Northern Ontario Business
The funding will allow the company to implement a new training program to allow steady year-round production and avoid seasonal layoffs. The money came through a new federal training program called Achieving Innovation and Manufacturing Excellence 
See all stories on this topic »


Hey look there’s Paul’s photo in the link!

Reopening the Gateway to James Bay
DIY canoe route forms a link across the Ontario wilds
By: Dave Shively / Posted on July 5, 2013

Laurent Robichaud lining the canoes down West Montreal River before portages were cleared in Sept., 2012. Photo Paul Bisson


Not so long ago, lakes and rivers were northern Ontario’s highways. This vast network of water trails was first created by native Canadians and later adopted by European explorers, fur traders, surveyors and, most recently, recreational canoe trippers. In the quintessential Canadian canoe country of Quetico, Algonquin and Temagami, many of the age-old portages circumventing whitewater rapids connecting lakes and crossing the divides between watersheds are still in use today, yet countless more have been lost to urban and industrial development.


Six Destinations You Must Visit This Summer
Huffington Post Canada
Subscribe. Summer is the perfect opportunity to take a day off and explore what Ontario, Canada has to offer. Whether you’re into wine tours or canoe trips, here are some romantic getaways that are sure to bring you and your partner closer together 
See all stories on this topic »


Meet Toronto’s five fittest city councillors
Toronto Star
This month marks the fourth consecutive year in which Wong-Tam will go on a six-day, 600-kmcycling expedition from Toronto to Montreal. She’ll cycle 100 km per day and camp out each night. The trip is organized by the Toronto People with Aids 
See all stories on this topic »

Outlive yourself cross-country organ donation campaign rolls into Toronto
Toronto Star
To get the message across about the importance of organ and tissue donation, he’s cycling across Canada and has teamed up with Ottawa double lung recipient Hélène Campbell, who joins him through video at stops and will cycle with him through Ottawa 
See all stories on this topic »


Event date: 

  9 July, 2013 – 17:00 – 20:00

Once again, our Street Smarts on-street outreach is focused on teaching people about basic bicycle maintenance!
Join us to get a free safety check or basic tune up, chat with our volunteers about cycling issues in the city, sign up as a member, or just enjoy the evening with us.  
On July 9th, Street Smarts runs from 5:00pm to 8:00pm at the Art Gallery of Ontario, on the southeast corner of Beverley & Dundas (map).
Click here for more information about our Street Smarts program.
Get your trail counted today!

Thanks to our Volunteers!

Our thanks to Grand River Conservation Authority, Nottawasaga Conservation Authority, City of Elliott Lake and Hamilton Region Conservation Authority for taking out 2013 Memberships in the OTC. We appreciate your support, and we’d like to thank the team of Board Volunteers calling groups looking for support from communities for the provincial trail association. Thanks to Jack De Wit, Bonnie Simpson, Dan Andrews, Laura Peddie, Freida Baldwin and Ron Purchase for their time and effort.

Grand River Conservation Authority
Grand River Conservation Authority (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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