Accessibility And Adventure Keys To Green Trails Alliance Recent Direction

Catherine Whitnall / Lindsay Post Reporter
cwhitnall@thepost.ca
Local News - Tuesday, July 10, 2007 @ 09:00

Members of the Kawartha Green Trails Alliance are now almost two kilometres closer to seeing even more people enjoy what the local trails have to offer.

Recently, the group was joined by the Kawartha Cycling Club in marking the completion of 1.6 kilometres of paved trail spanning from William Street North in Lindsay north to Thunderbridge Road. The Green Trails Alliance was successful in securing funding for the project which will be enhanced by work anticipated to be done by the City of Kawartha Lakes. This work will link the trail from William Street to Victoria Avenue.

"All that's needed now is a painted walking and cycling designation," said Marian Sweetnam, communications director with the Green Trail Alliance. The designation will assist in linking the section of trail at King Street that runs along the Scugog River to Logie Street which was competed last fall by the Rotary Club of Lindsay.

"It's going to give the people of Lindsay a good, walking and cycling trail," said Sweetnam.

Before long, the Green Trail Alliance would like to see the trail paved to the Ken Reid Conservation Authority so that individuals with mobility issues can also access the site.

This section of trail has been regraded, but much more work is needed to make it accessible to all.

The cycling club has been incredibly supportive in the endeavour said Sweetnam adding the whole project - the recent work having been documented by local nature photographer George Smallwood - is very exciting.

"We have so many great trails in our community. It's an excellent opportunity for people to be able to get out and enjoy the outdoors while also seeing what Mother Nature has to offer," said Sweetnam, citing the area is rich with many different plant species and a bounty of wildlife.

The alliance has worked hard to get the ball rolling and everyone is thrilled to see results from their labour. Ultimately, the group looks forward to linking the local trails with those established in Orillia as well as the trail completed by the Rotary Club of Peterborough about five years ago in Omemee.

Sweetnam said the group is currently working with local Rotarians to design a parkette and trail head at William Street. Members also have many great ideas for future projects, such as developing a series of interpretive nature stations and heritage markers explaining the impact the railway and lumber industries had on the area's development along the trail.

"The sky's the limit as to what you can do to make the trail fun," said Sweetnam, adding the group is always looking for new partnerships as "there's lots of work to be done, yet."

Most recently, the group added geocaching to its list of trail activities.

Geocaching is an entertaining adventure game for GPS (Global Positioning Systems) users which takes the tradition of orienteering to a whole new level. The basic idea is to have individuals and organizations set up caches all over the world and share the locations of these caches on the Internet. GPS users can then use the location coordinates to find the caches. Once found, a cache may provide the visitor with a wide variety of rewards. All that is asked is that they try to leave something for the cache.

Caches are currently located in a variety of areas including Rivera Park, the Old Mill, Wilson Fields and the Ken Reid Conservation Authority. The alliance also hopes to have one in honour of Lindsay's 150th anniversary.

Although most caches are static and only see the 'treasure' replaced on occasion, alliance member and geocacher, Al McPherson, said the activity even sees some caches do a bit of traveling. Recently, he discovered a piece in Peterborough that had originated in Japan. When McPherson went to visit his daughter in London (Ontario), he decided to take the item with him.

"There are ways of tracking caches and it can be fun to see where the items have been," said Sweetnam.

The Green Trails Alliance recently hosted their first geocaching workshop and look forward to future events.

Anyone wishing more information on upcoming workshops, and to get their name on the list, is asked to call 324-6914 or e-mail jeckstef@yahoo.com. Further details on geocaching are available online at www.geocaching.com.

For more information on trails and the alliance, please visit www.trailsforhealth.ca.

Taken from http://www.thepost.ca/webapp/sitepages/content.asp?contentid=604779&catname=Local%20News&classif=

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