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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Ontario Trail News - Trailhead Ontario and more, activiteis, news and events on Ontario Trails

Trail Openings and EventsHealthy Hikes - May 1-31, 2013

conservation ontario healthy hikes

Evergreen - Ride the Ravinesride the ravinesPedal your way to a greener city! Celebrate Bike Month on Sunday, June 16 on our ride through Toronto’s ravines in partnership with Cycle Toronto and support Evergreen’s work to green our city and promote active living! Get started now. Online registration is quick and easy. Space is limited so register now to ensure you get to Ride the Ravines and support Evergreen’s work. Sign up as an individual or a team and collect pledges for a chance to win amazing prizes!

Registration fee is $25 per rider, and all riders are encouraged to fundraise a minimum of $75 to ride. Be sure to stick around after the ride for refreshments and celebration, and to pick up any incentive prizes you may have won! Our lead community partner, Cycle Toronto, is offering its members a reduced registration rate of $20. Not a member of Cycle Toronto? Join today and register to ride for $40! Questions? Please contact Lauren North at or 416-596-1495 X 338.

Chatham Kent Trail Opening May 18th
chatham kent trail

Lang-Hastings Trail May 2, 2013

langs hastings trail opening

100's of trail stories posted each week!
Thousand Islands Trail ImprovementsGananoque, Ontario, Friday, April 26, 2013 – Representatives gathered in Gananoque today to announce funding for improvements to one of the region's most popular outdoor attractions, the Thousand Islands Recreational Trail.
"Tourism in this region is a driving force for economic growth and job creation, and this initiative will ensure that the Thousand Islands remain a place people want to visit year after year," said Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville, on behalf of the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. "The Government of Canada is proud to invest in these improvements that will enhance the visitor experience while preserving this key outdoor attraction and tourist destination."

st lawrence park commission
"The new Ontario government is proud to provide access to safe spaces to our visitors and citizens that allow them to enjoy the natural beauty that is synonymous with Ontario," said Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. "Our investment in the Thousand Islands Recreational Trail supports active, healthy living and provides one more great reason to visit eastern Ontario. I encourage cyclists and pedestrians alike to visit the Thousand Islands Recreational Trail this summer to explore and experience the beautiful St. Lawrence River."

Ontario Trails News - Spring MessageWATER - CHECK BEFORE YOU GO! At this time of Year - Please restrain Motorized and Equestrian use on Soft Soils. Thanks
Trail Questions1) Question: Hunting along rail trails. In the Game and Fish Act...Section18 (10) and no such patentee, owner or tenant shall prohibit any person from hunting or fishing on the railway lands. Definition (11) “railway lands” includes all lands set apart under any Act as a land subsidy or otherwise in aid of any railway or of any works in connection therewith or of any works to be established, maintained or carried on by any railway. R.S.O. 1990, c. G.1, s. 18 (10, 11). So if its a trail and not a railway this "free hunting access"doesn't apply? Please e-mail me with your interpretation or how you manage this on your rail trail. Thanks

turkey hunting season opens

2) Question: Road Trail Intersection Improvements. OTC was contacted by Saugeen Rail Trail. They have been invited to present at more Ministry of Transportation meetings. They want to know - when two lane highways are re-developed, have any of you been able to secure trailhead improvements at the crossings, by way of the re-development? If so, what did you get? Please e-mail Jeff Hemming at

saugeen rail trail
3) Deadline Extended! to May 31st, 2013 - Support a Great Lakes Guardian Fund Grant. Great Lakes Guardian Fund applications due tomorrow. Last year OTC supported a Town of Deseronto CIAF Grant Application and the town got an $80,000 grant to re-develop their waterfront park and the Waterfront trail. As an OTC Member, Regional partner, or trail stakeholder would you consider writing a letter in support. E-mail me for our letter template you can use! Also please consider putting our OTC logo or OTC website as a link on your website!

grat lakes guardian fund

4) Capital Funding for Trails - Please take a minute to complete the capital funding section of our survey. A s many communities head into the budget cycle other communities want to get an idea of the relative and comparative amounts communities of similar size are investing in their trails. Please go to:

capital data survey

Trailhead Ontario - Updates
trailhead ontario

June 9-12, 2013 - Peterborough

kawarthas northumberland trails
Discounts for members!

Program Snapshotclick image for all

trailhead ontario

Time Limited?Select 1, 2, 3 or 4 Day Participation options

Conference and Education Package - Paypal CA$315.88* CA$9.12
Conference and Education Session Package - Pay by cheque CA$357.50* CA$9.95
Conference Registration - Paypal CA$169.63* CA$5.37
Training - Risk Management CA$203.76* CA$6.24
One Day Registration - Conference Only CA$96.51* CA$3.49
Early Bird - Conference and Training CA$276.88* CA$8.12
Early Bird - Conference CA$150.01* CA$4.86
Early Bird - Trails Training and Education CA$174.51* CA$5.49
Display Booth CA$257.86* CA$7.63
Display Booth - discount CA$171.58* CA$5.42
Display Booth - Non-Profit - Provincial CA$171.58* CA$5.42
Display Booth - Provincial Non-profit - discount CA$128.20* CA$4.30
Display Booth - Local, small non-profit CA$42.15* CA$2.10
Display table - literature only CA$20.59* CA$1.54
Ordered Ticket at door - Conference CA$169.63* CA$5.37
Ordered Ticket at Door - Education CA$194.01* CA$5.99
Ordered Ticket at Door - Conference and Education CA$365.55* CA$9.95
Ordered Ticket at Door - One Day Only - Conference Only CA$100.00 CA$3.49
Coffee Break Support CA$194.01* CA$5.99

"Kawartha Northumberland"-Trail Stories

warsaw caves

Spelunking here we come! The conservation area takes its name from a series of seven caves found in the park. The caves were formed thousands of years ago at the end of the last ice age by the rushing melt waters of a glacier that covered Ontario. All you need is a flashlight or a headlamp to enjoy this natural underground jungle gym.

kawartha's northumberland

More information? Go to - Trailhead Ontario  Call Patrick at 1-877-668-7245 or Vanessa Twiddy at

Trails Education - Select a Program!We have updated the program and our 14 module program is here for the using. If you have staff to train, trails to manage or want a session in your area on a particular topic let us know. We'll coordinate a session or series on your behalf.
Volunteer Management View PDF
Business Planning and Budgetting View PDF
Regulation and Legislation View PDF
Ecosystem and Natural Heritage View PDF
Wilderness First Aid View PDF
Food and Nutrition View PDF
Marketing and Promotion View PDF
Health and Safety View PDF
Technology for Trails - Level 1 View PDF
Trail Design (2 days) View PDF
Trail Risk Management View PDF
Trail Committee Development Manual
Trail Steward- On Line Learning Program
Trail Planning - On Line Program

Trails Insurance Program AvailableOnce again, members of the trails community find themselves seeking alternative trails insurance. The volatility and unpredictability of your insurance plan keeping you hopping? Wondering what you are getting, curious if your agent or the underwriter understands trails?
If you want:
  • cost stability
  • product assurance
  • insurance perseverance
  • a broker that understands trails
At OTC our mission is "trail preservation." See the note from Intercity Insurance, Mike King, below.

intercity insurance
Further to our recent discussions, I wanted to let you know that we have investigated various markets to get a sense of the appetite that insurers have for coverage associated with trails. Our findings suggest that coverage is available - but from a very limited number of carriers and that the cost of insurance in this class is not heading down anytime soon. The reality is that there have been losses associated with trails in general and that the frequency and severity of claims is on the rise.

On the positive side of the issue, we have had several specific discussions of late with our current carriers at Lloyd's of London and we are (collectively) very interested in ramping up our work with OTC to connect with your associates who manage trails. We and the insurers we represent are firm in our commitment to work collaboratively with the OTC trail community to develop a comprehensive risk management strategy that makes sense - and insurance is just one part of that strategy.

As for what trail insurance products we have "in the box” right now:

a)       Commercial General Liability coverage —premium costs start at $1,000.00 for $2,000,000 coverage.
b)      Directors and Officers liability coverage — premium costs start at $200.00 for $I,000,000 coverage. We find that even the smallest community group is seeing the importance of acquiring D and O coverage.
c)       Accidental Death and Dismemberment coverage - premiums start at $250. 00 to cover the Officers, Directors, employees, members. The limit of coverage is $100,000.

In the near future OTC will be bundling these products as a part of membership services and products.

Performance Measures - Trail Counts!

ontario trails counts
Low maintenance - Using weatherproof decals our methods allow users to quickly and easily provide you with information you need to assess, improve, direct, re-direct, or provide information to the user - while on the trail. Our proprietary method has been developed by over 140 trail users and with the input of The City of Thunder Bay and Norfolk County Trail Managers.

Packages - OTC Member? - Take $25.00 off each package!
  • Blue - 4-10 trails:  $300.00 plus HST and registration fees
    • Maximum 20 sheets of decals
  • Green - 10-20 trails: $500.00 plus HST and registration fees
    • Maximum 40 sheets of decals
  • Gold - 20 or more trails: Starting at $1,000 plus HST and registration fees
    • TBD
Go to Trail Counts! to purchase. Thanks

Ontario Trails - Your Data Wanted

land information ontario
Since 2007 the Ontario Trails Council has collected trails data, and turned that data into our award winning website, as mandated by the desires of the trails community reflected in the Ontario Trails Strategy. Nearly 1,000,000 people a year turn to this information in order to find you and your trails.

At this time we are working on the feasibility of collecting more trail data for the MNR. This project money sustains the OTC, but the money is only derived if there is data collected. This is where we need your help. We need you and your trail to opt in before we start collecting because the MNR wants to know which trails we are going to collect data from. Is your trail one we can collect? The characteristics we are looking for are:

1.       Measurements
  1. Trailhead Longitude
  2. Trailhead Latitude
  3. Completion Time (hours)
  4. Elevation Change (m)
  5. Trailhead Elevation (m)
  6. Maximum Elevation (m)
  7. Cross Slope Average (%)
  8. Cross Slope Maximum (%)
  9. Minimum Trail Width (m)
  10. Average Trail Width (m)
  11. Maximum Grade (%)
  12. Average Grade (%)
  13. Trail Surface
  14. Trail Classification (Trail Group/Local Classification/Difficulty/ Rating eg: OFSC Trail Classes)
4.    Prohibited Trail Uses
5.    Trail Hazards (Poison Ivy, Steep Slopes)
6.    Trail Fees (Day Pass, Donation, Parking etc.)
7.    Seasons/Dates of Operation
8.    Trail Amenities (Visitor Centre, Beach, Boat Launch etc.)
9.    Trail Enforcement
10.  Trail Permits
11.  Trail Speed Limit
12.  Trail Signage
13.  Trail Environmental Concerns
14.  Trail Permitted Use (Dogs on Leash)
  1. Date of Collection
  2. Data Collector
  3. Trail sensitivity (high /low) 
So let us know if you are willing to support us by sharing data you already have. Thanks

Ontario Trails MembershipOn behalf of OTC we thank you for your support. If there is a group you know that is not a member contact us and we'll send them a note on membership benefits. This past week we received a renewal from the Park to Park Trail Association. Thank you very much for your support!

THANKS! MERCI! join otc

Local Trails News
Algonquin College:
algonquin college trails education



park to park trail association

Trail Heroes

Know somebody that works hard on trails? If so nominate them to be an Ontario Trails "Trail Hero!" We'd be happy to review your recommendations and acknowledge in a small way their contribution to trails in your community.

trail heroes

Trail Blog

Every day trails are news! Every day we blog about trails. In communities all over Ontario trails are big news, for cyclists, runners, canoe or horses, every day we capture in one spot all the trail news - local, provincial or national! Join today!

ontario trails blog

Trail Leaders!

Become a trail development leader. Join Ontario's first ever series of 14 trail education courses in the development and management of trails. Designed for both volunteers and professionals.  Register today - registration is open 24/7 until the morning of each training event. 

ontario trails courses

Join OTC

The Ontario Trails Council is a non-profit charitable organization, established in 1988, that promotes the development, preservation, management and use of recreational trails. With over 130 organizational members and 15 individual supporters the OTC has influence! Support trails in Ontario - Join the OTC

join the otc

Learn an Activity

Our website contains information on over 2,600 trails, and a description for nearly 2,000. Learn about the places where you can bike, cross country ski, climb or any of another 15 activities. We are linked to over 130 organizations and a variety of provincial groups that can help you learn an activity or become better at one you already love!

ontario water trails

Add Your Event

We post trail or outdoor events on trail specific facebook pages, the main OTC facebook page, and the event section of the OTC website. You can send us your event and we'll post it to these extensive networks. Each week we reach over 20,000 people, so if you want your event known, a bit better, send us the information.

add your event

Member Requests

1) Capital Budgets - link to google doc shared - please share your trail budget we'd like to know who is getting what around the province. Thanks!

2) OTC is meeting Mayor Rob Ford to discuss his support for the Toronto Trails Committee. Please like us on facebook.

3) OTC/Cycle Toronto pursue Ignite endorsement! Secured!

4) OTC going back to Norfolk County in May on horse trails!

5) Met with core leaders Niagara Trails Committee. Thanks to Niagara Circle Trek Trail for your support!

6) OTC welcomes new members! Thanks South Western Tourism Corporation!

7) OTC declared "partner" of Cycle Toronto - thanks

cycle toronto

8) Algonquin College program on-line

algonquin college

9) Do you have a winter trail maintenance policy? Please forward to Ontario Trails

10) Thanks to Caledon for extending use of trails to horses!

11) Please renew your OTC Membership - TODAY
"New trails are still to be developed in Ontario. Existing trails need to be maintained and expanded. Trail organizations in Ontario need one common voice to advocate for them. We need a central source to promote funding opportunities and act as a communications link between trail groups." Ray Gilbert Bruce Trails Network

12) Next OTC Board Meeting May 13th, 2013. Using JoinMe internet meeting service.

13) Liability Survey Arising from our meeting with the ADM and staffs October 1, 2012
Short Form
Long Form
Please complete ASAP

14) Hamilton Conservation discount passes - Additional rewards :-)

15) Anybody aware of any sanctioned "free run" dog trails? Came up at Toronto Beltline Trail Meeting. Please call OTC Office with information

16) Credit Valley Conservation looking for support from Shell Fuelling Change Project

17) OTC Mobile App - for iProducts and Windows

otc mobile app

18) peace garden trails
Check out the latest trail opening here.

19) Thanks to The Great Waterway for their support. Contact Graham Burke if your RTO wants to do the same!

20) Millennium Trail PEC Blog - often looking for volunteers

21) Each week 100 folks talk about us and we reach over 12,000 on facebook alone. Check us out

22) Membership section of OTC website updated - get your login and password today!

23) Director section of the OTC website updated - get your login and password today! New content added - Guideline for Interpreting Financial statements and Past Meeting Minutes.

24) CPRA Looking for Infrastructure and Parks Volunteer e-mail John Lohuis at Niagara Parks

 niagara parks

25) Add your trail

26) Add your event

27) Prescott-Russell look for links on website for Masterplan

28) The Toronto Bruce Trail public bus hikes

29) Follow the Education Program on Facebook

facebook ontario trails education

30) Follow the Education Program Updates on Twitter

twitter ontario trails education

31) Post Photos to Pinterest

ontario trails on pinterest

32) OTC on Foursquare

ontario trails on foursquare

33) Safe Trails Manual

34) Winter Hikes with Rainbow Routes
rainbow routes hike club

35) OTC Education Partner

Ontario Parks Association

36) Snowshoe program at Wye Marsh

wye marsh

37) Park and Recreation Ontario.
park and recreation ontario

38) OTC Youtube Channel
ontario trails youtube channel

39) Trail Priorities Survey

40)Trail Reform Now Survey

41) Trail Projects 2012

42) Ontario Trails Maps

ontario trails maps

43) Enabling Change Program

44) Canadian Canoe Museum
Canadian canoe museum

Canadian canoe museum

45) Sustainable Trails Program

sustainable trails program

46) OTC Board 2012-13

Ontario Equestrian Federation

Ron Purchase - Treasurer
Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs

Dan Andrews - Secretary
TrailADE Consulting

Paul Ronan
Ontario Parks Association

Frieda Baldwin
Huronia Trails and Greenways

Wayne Daub
Oxford Trails Committee

Igor Hoogendoorn
International Mountain Biking Association
855-255-4094 ext.108

Patrick Connor
Ex-officio - Executive Director

Bill Goulding
Professional Trail Builders Association
905-213-0466 Jeff Muzzi
Manager, Forestry Services, Renfrew County

Bonnie Simpson
Recording Secretary


We currently have vacancies on the OTC Board. If you are interested please e-mail Jack De Wit to discuss. We are also headed into an AGM. Get your nomination forms to Ron Purchase -

ontario trillium foundation
Ontario Trails Council appreciates Ontario Trillium Foundation Financial Support

The ideas, opinions, re-posting of news, editorials and content contained in this newsletter are not necessarily the ideas or opinions of the OTC Board or staff. This news is intended for informational purposes only.

winner american trails
ontario trails twitter

ontario trails facebook

OTC Event Planning Guide
Call 877-668-7245

OTC Trail Committee Manual
Call 877-668-7245
ontario regional trail committee planner

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