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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Ontario Trail News - Trailwise - January 19, 2017

north of toronto travel
• Trail Management • Trailhead Events • Membership Drive 
  • Donate to Trails Today • Member News • Activity Updates 

Ontario Trails Adds More Trails!
The Ontario Trails Council is pleased to be continually updating its website with more trails, this week we are adding  Thanks to all the great folks that continue to add trails to our inventory for everybody to access!

Thames Grove Conservation Area TrailThames Grove offers a leisurely 1km walk along the river.
With plenty of shade, picnic tables and a shelter this trail offers plenty for a relaxing afternoon.
chatham kent trails map
Click here to download the Chatham-Kent Trail Map, featuring maps of  44 unique trails located across Chatham-Kent.
Pick up a paper copy at your nearest library or municipal centre.
Pick up a paper copy at your nearest library or municipal centre.
Click on the map below to view an interactive map of some of Chatham-Kent's most popular trails.
CK Trails
Additional trail information

MacGregor Point Skate Trail
friends of macgregor park

Photo credit - Friends of MacGregor Park

Our best-kept winter secret: the MacGregor Point ice trail
If you haven’t explored a snow-covered MacGregor Point Provincial Park, you don’t know what you’re missing! Good roads and a scenic drive gets you to the park, nestled against the shores of Lake Huron in Port Elgin.
The ice skating trail is the premier winter attraction (and best-kept secret!), but MacGregor Point also offers skiing, snowshoeing, camping and other winter fun!
From Ontario Parks -

Family Day Trail Events and More!
Go Snowmobiling
go snowmobiling this family day

That’s right, winter’s finally earned it’s due and just when snow conditions in Ontario are at their best. February 18th to 20th is Ontario’s Family Day Long Weekend, with the Monday being the statutory holiday that makes it looooong.
Time to make plans to get outdoors and enjoy a real Ontario winter!
Photo credit -

Winterfest at Sandbanks P.P.sandbanks winterfest

Family Day WinterFest South Huron
Volunteers from the Friends of the South Huron Trail community group have hosted free family snowshoeing as part of Family Day WinterFest South Huron each year on the Family Day Holiday Monday.
For more information and the most current schedule visit 
The popular Lions Club Family Day Breakfast was first held in 2010 and the breakfast attracts hundreds of people every year.
Family Day WinterFest South Huron started in 2011 as other community groups added other events in addition to the breakfast and the Friends of the South Huron Trail snowshoe event.
Family Day WinterFest South Huron is a cooperative effort of many community groups, businesses, sponsors, places of worship, and volunteers.
Family Day WinterFest 2017
family winterfest south huron
Family Day WinterFest South Huron Organizing Committee
Family Day WinterFest South Huron schedule posted online

Algonquin College Trail Education Program - Trail Planning Module Begins !

algonquin on-line education

trail planning program

Trailhead Hastings!

Join us at Trailhead Hastings to ask and get answers to questions such as:
  • What’s the capitalization on value of Hastings Trails?
  • Is Hastings generating its portion of the trails economy relative to the rest of the province?
  • Are we keeping pace with other places?
  • Are we ahead or behind?, are we generating our fair share of investment?
  • Where is the trail travel dollar going? – Belleville, Centre Hastings, North Hastings, Bancroft -or out of the county?
  • How are we, and who is, measuring and supporting this economy?
Ontario Trails Council leads the way in Ontario and Nationally in making communities work though trails. We’ve led the way in communities learning and understanding the benefit of building complete trail systems.
In Ontario there are roughly 108 projects each year, worth $21M of capital investment, improvement and trail revitalization. What amount of this economy happens in Hastings?

Get Outside and Embrace Winter in Ontario
January 19, 2017
Many Ontario Parks Offer Family Fun All Year RoundWinter has arrived, but that doesn't mean staying indoors until spring. Ontario's provincial parks continue to offer many activities this time of year, with more than 25 parks open all winter long. So bundle up, get outside and enjoy the crisp air and quiet forests.

Here are five ways to take part in winter fun in Ontario's provincial parks:

Learn something new
Ever heard of winter camping? Try it! Frontenac offers winter camping workshops to teach you all the basics - from trip planning to equipment details and safety.

Eat what you catch
Try your hand at ice fishing at Sibbald Point, Windy Lake or Silent Lake Provincial Parks.  No equipment? Windy Lake has an ice fishing kit you can borrow. Just be sure you have a valid fishing licence and outdoors card, and ensure you follow the rules of ice fishing in Ontario's parks.

Skate through the woods
Glide through the woods at MacGregor Point and Arrowhead Provincial Parks where summer campground loops become skate trails. Visit MacGregor Point at night when the outdoor lights come on, making an evening skate truly magical.

Stay active
There are lots of ways to stay active this winter in Ontario's provincial parks. Grab a friend or the family and go for a hike through Presqu'ile Provincial Park.  Once the snow accumulates, many parks also offer snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or tobogganing.

Book a cozy cabin
Stay warm and toasty in a cabin at Quetico or Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, or enjoy a trailside yurt at Pinery or Algonquin Provincial Park.

Reserve mid-week for the best availability!

Remember, winter outdoor activities always depend on the weather, so check park conditions before you leave home and dress appropriately.

QUICK FACTSMore than 450 kilometers of cross-country ski trails are offered this winter in 19 Ontario Parks.
Ontario has more than 330 provincial parks, which cover more than 8 million hectares — an area larger than the entire province of New Brunswick.

In 2016, Ontario’s provincial parks received more than 10 million visits from people around the world and brought in over $82 million in revenue, which supports jobs and businesses across the province.

MTCS Community Recreation Grant FundingOntario is now accepting applications for the Ontario Sport and Recreation Communities Fund (OSRCF) 2017–18. OSRCF is a grant program that supports the government’s vision to enable people in communities across Ontario to lead healthy, active lives. The fund increases opportunities for participation in sport and recreation, supports implementation of physical literacy as a foundation for lifelong physical activity and strengthens the community sport and recreation sector.

The deadline to apply for the Ontario Sport and Recreation Communities Fund 2017–18 is February 1, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. EST. Full details, including who’s eligible and how to apply, are available through Grants Ontario, the providers in your area.

Federal Student Experience Grant FundingThe 2017 Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) application period for employers is now open.
Apply before January 20, 2017!
Canada Summer Jobs is a Government of Canada initiative. It provides funding for not-for-profit organizations, public sector employers and small businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees to create summer jobs for students between the ages of 15 and 30.

The application form as well as the applicant guide is currently available at You can submit your application online, by mail or in person at any Service Canada Centre. For a better understanding of the Canada Summer Jobs program including key tips to apply, please watch this YouTube video: https://youtube/SfMoLhkgjU8

We encourage you to submit your 2017 application online. By doing so, you will benefit from a fast, easy-to-use, and secure way of applying as you will:
  • have access to the Canada Summer Jobs application 24/7, from any location, allowing you to complete it at your convenience;
  • ensure your application is received immediately by Service Canada;
  • receive an instant acknowledgement confirming that your application has been received; and,
  • avoid postal delays. 
There are two systems available to enable you to apply online:
  1. Grants and Contributions Online Services (GCOS): If you already have a GCOS account, please use this online platform to submit an online application; or
  2. CSJ online application form.
For more information:
Call: 1-800-935-5555 (ATS: 1-800-926-9105)
Visit: a Service Canada Centre
CSJ presentation: https://youtube/SfMoLhkgjU8

Use the OFSC Trail Guide this season!
Use the trail guide for the best accuracy in open and closed trails this season.

Trailhead Canada - Save the date!

Trails Tourism Integration Underway

Based on your feedback we are making improvments, areas include such things as:
  • having an event map
  • self directed trail or event edits
  • mapping and maps
  • guided services listings
  • improved weather reporting
  • improved trip planning with printout
  • adding trails for folks with pets to cater to the traveler with pets
  • add trekking and other unique experiences
  • re-brand off-road cycling as mountain biking, add fat-biking as a specialty
  • space for local content
  • improved site search functionality
  • more links across RTO's
  • improved forms with additional categories
  • more support route content like Wine or Arts Routes
  • event to trail linkages on trail content pages
  • cms capability to red flag broken links
  • more! trails!
We appreciate the feedback from all the marketing and branding staffs we have worked with and all the suggestions for improvement. Thank- you

Thunder Bay, local mountain biking club, plan for Trowbridge Falls trail development

Existing trails used by mountain bikers in a large green space in the north end of Thunder Bay, Ont. could see some significant upgrades in the coming years, as city officials say a plan will be developed to guide the process.
The city and the Blacksheep Mountain Bike Club have secured provincial funding for consultants to produce a plan to develop trails around the Shuniah Mines area in Trowbridge Falls park.
"That would be looking at the existing trails, what's there, and developing that as part of a greater system in our park," said Werner Schwar, Thunder Bay's supervisor of parks and open spaces planning.
thunder bay mountain bike trailsWerner Schwar is Thunder Bay's supervisor of parks and open spaces planning. (Matt Prokopchuk / CBC)
"With the ultimate goal of making it a destination for both tourism and [so] the locals have a great place to ride."

Bringing trails up to modern standards

The trails have been created and maintained by volunteers over a good number of years, Schwar said, but the plan would be designed to bring the trails up to modern, internationally recognized standards. It would also designate specific routes as suitable for beginner, intermediate and expert riders, in much the same way ski areas do.

Membership Renewals - Thank-you for your Support!We wish to thank the following organizations that have already completed their membership for 2017. We couldn't do our work without your continued support. Many thanks! Renew Today!

Orillia Parks and TrailsThe City of Orillia Parks and Recreation Department maintains more than 29 kilometres of trails that complement our groorillia parks and trailswing system of parks and open space. These trails are used by walkers, joggers, cyclists, and others who enjoy a cost-effective way of keeping physically active while enjoying the great outdoors.

Winter Trail Users

For the enjoyment of walkers and joggers, the entire trail from J.B. Tudhope Memorial Park to Wilson's Point Road will be plowed on a regular basis this winter. The boardwalk will be lit at night as well.

Other Information

Walk or jog the loop by the lake for some fresh air and exercise. Wander through the park this winter and choose your favourite bench to rest while you dream of summer!

Voyageur Trails Association

voyageur trail association

The Voyageur Trail Association (VTA) vision is to work with volunteers and partner organizations to build a continuous wilderness-style hiking trail from Sudbury through Sault Ste. Marie to Thunder Bay, a distance of some 1,100 km paralleling the rugged Northern Ontario shores of Lake Huron and Lake Superior.Check out our current newsletter.

Discovery Routes Trails Association

discovery routes trails association

Discovery Routes Trails Organization was established in 1992.  As a not-for-profit organization as well as a registered charity, Discovery Routes’ main responsibilities are to create, maintain, and promote multi-seasonal trails in northeastern Ontario.

Cross-Country Ski Trails

All trailhead coordinates are listed metrically, and projected as UTM NAD’83 Zone 17.
Detailed trail information is available in the Trail Guide to Healthy Living.  To purchase a copy, visit our office or click here.

Groomed Trails

Almaguin Community Trails
Length: 8 km / 4.97 mi   Location: Almaguin Almaguin Secondary School, South River
Education Centre Trails
Length: 3.5 km / 2.2 mi   Location: Nipissing University/Canadore College in North Bay
Nature’s Harmony Ecolodge Trails
Length: 12 km / 7.5 mi   Location: Mattawa
North Bay Nordic Ski Club
Length: 50 km / 31 mi   Location: North Bay
Sturgeon Falls Rod & Gun Club Nordic Ski & Snowshoe Trails
Location: 9.1 km / 5.7 mi   Location: Sturgeon Falls
Wasi Cross-Country Ski Trails
Length: 46 km / 28.6 mi   Location: Wasi Cross-Country Ski Club in East Ferris

Membership Benefits
  • OTC Trails and Event page representation
  • Representation on OTC trails maps
  • Social Media represents you to 60,000+ people
  • Fund Development through grant writing, grant support
  • Connectivity to the Ministry of Tourism Culture and Sport
  • Leadership at the Ontario Trails Coordinating Committee
  • Office services and networking support
  • Partnership Support and Knowledge exchange
  • Access to Professional Development sessions
  • Tourism Practices, Trails Tort Reform, Trail Workshops
  • Access to Trail Insurance Broker
  • Option on registration in Trillium Trail Network
  • Local, regional or provincial User conflict resolution


Become a "Friend of Trails"
  • Savings on conference/seminar registration
  • Monthly e-bulletins
  • Access to OTC trails database
  • Great gift price!
  • Savings on trail literature/maps
$26.52 + $3.45 = $29.97 (includes 13% HST)
Benefits to Student
  • Editions of the OTC newsletter Trailwise
  • Access to OTC trails information
  • Conference and selected literature savings
  • * must provide student verification
$21.21 + $2.75 = $23.96 (includes 13% HST)

Our members include municipalities, conservation authorities, parks,
trail management groups, trail clubs, trail user groups, health units
and other trail-related supporting organizations.
Small Non-profit,
Small Organizations
Conservation Authorities,
Medium Municipalities,
Counties, Regional
Tourism Organizations
Provincial Level
>5000 users