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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Ontario Trails News - Trailwise - April 20, 2017

altona trail from holly bunt
• Celebration of Trails Week • Trailhead Events • Membership Drive 
  • Donate to Trails Today • Member News • Activity Updates 
C2E Trails Meeting - professional trails practices shared.On April 19th, Cootes to Escarpment Park Project held a management practices forum for trail development. All presentations will be posted on line at:

Ontario Trails Council's Patrick Connor spoke to  “Achieving Trail Harmony; How Do We Reach a Balance Between Community Need, Recreational Use and Environmental Protection?”

In a competitive environment where leisure time is at a premium, environments and species are at risk from development pressures, people and organizations own and often have contrary management plans, governance systems, or even ethics of use; this session will detail the why and how to reduce conflict in order to have a harmonious trail - trail use - environment enrichment process.

cootes to escarpment park at royal botanical gardens
“Lessons from Local Data” This presentation looked at some of the data collected through the Hamilton Burlington Trails Council's Trail Use Survey (2015-2016), which collected over 18 000 trail counts and over 1000 user feedback surveys. Alex Brodka discussed how this information is driving local projects and where HBTC are looking for best practices that might help us overcome challenges, identified through the survey, to accommodate trail users in the region.

cootes to escarpment park at rbg
“Managing Trail Users in the Toronto Region: Lessons Learned from TRCA” Deanna Cheriton (Supervisor, Greenspace Conservation, TRCA and Steve Roesch, Coordinator, Greenspace Conservation, TRCA)

With over 17,000 ha of greenspace in Canada’s largest city region, TRCA is well versed with trying to negotiate various interests in accessing and using green spaces. The TRCA session highlighted some of the successes and challenges TRCA has with managing users on the over 600 km of permitted trails in TRCA green space in the Toronto Region, and suggest some techniques for minimizing user conflict.

credit valley conservation at rbg“Credit Valley Conservation’s Lands Monitoring Program: From Property Monitoring to Visitor Management”
Kate Burgess (Conservation Land Planner, CVC), Scott Cafarella (Junior Conservation Lands Planner, CVC) and Olivia Bakowski (junior Conservation Lands Planner, CVC)

kate, Scott and Olivia spoke on Credit Valley Conservation’s Lands Monitoring Program (LMP) as an adaptive management tool designed supporting land planning decisions by making by collecting usable information on conservation area visitors and property conditions.

The session provided an overview of the tools and methods LMP uses to collect data that informs visitor management. Conducting a detailed trail inventory is one example of how LMP has collected property information to support trail projects that address sources of conflict, mitigate environmental degradation, facilitate consultation with accessibility advisory committees and identify barriers to access.

Many thanks to C2E and Peter Kelly of the C2E for arranging and involving these skilled people in the event. For more informaiton e-mail Peter at: 

Provincial Celebration of Trails Week! 
For the first time Ontario is recognizing the trails that offer so much of us so much enjoyment, by declaring a Celebration of Trails Week. Send us your event!

Celebration of Trails Week is taking place in Ontario May 29 to June 4 this year.

This week is designed to showcase outdoor lifestyles, recreational activity and the diversity of trails that Ontario has.
Tell us all about your trail event and join us as we celebrate Ontario's Trails!
Whether you paddle, ride, walk, bike, hike, climb or get fit on your favourite trail, the Celebration of Trails Week is your chance to coordinate an event to celebrate the diversity and inclusivity of Ontario's 2600+ trails!
Be sure to log in your event here! Event spreadsheet.
To add your event to our event calendar add it here.

Be sure to also celebrate International Trails Day!At both Canadian Trails and Ontario Trails we are interested in knowing who is hosting an event as part of this celebration of trails.
International Trails Day is an annual celebration of trails, trail development and the healthy lifestyle they encourage. It is celebrated each year on the first Saturday in June.
Started by the American Hiking Society in 1992, trails Day has spread to encompass all forms of recreational trail usage in more than a dozen countries worldwide.
It promotes public awareness of and appreciation for trails and the people who build & maintain them.
List Your Canadian Event Here
  • It promotes public awareness of and appreciation for trails and the people who build and maintain them.
  • Builds partnerships among trail groups, businesses, and public land managers.
  • Encourages cooperative efforts among different trail users, including hikers, bicyclists, equestrians, walkers, runners.
You only have to log it in once on the national site, OTC monitors this site as part of its voluntary contribution to the national organization so we'll copy it to our inventory if it's based in Ontario!
The public is encouraged to join in the celebration by attending one of the community events listed at
With content from Leisure Information Network
Ontario Trails Council looking for a Strategic PlannerIn order to remain as a leading provider of trail related services to our members, the Ontario Trails Council has worked for a number of years to secure support for our revitalization.
Since 2004 the OTC has worked in support of Ontario Trails and the Ontario Trails Strategy. Perhaps you have noticed that our sustainability has been noted as a deliverable of the Ontario Trails Strategy Action Plan?
To that end we have worked for over a year to secure funds to retain a Strategic Business Plan Consultant.
Please find an RFP for circulation to professionals in the strategic planning process you may know, as well as to groups you work with through your trails councils or committees.

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 North Nipigon! Trail Training and Hike Leader Training added to ProgramJoin us in Nipigon as we present another symposium with enriched and regional content geared to the north!

2017 Program

As at 3/8/2017 Program content subject to change based on availability.

Trailhead Headwaters May 10, 2017!Posted by  on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 · Leave a Comment 
trailhead headwaters trail summitHCIA Trails/CHATT (Citizens of Headwaters for Active Transportation Team) will again be partnering with the Ontario Trails Council (OTC) to host a Trails Summit.  The OTC has a wonderful track record of hosting and managing Trailhead events.  This event to be supported by our partners at the County of Dufferin, The Town of Mono, and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health. The Summit will be an opportunity for stakeholders, interested groups and residents to come together and discuss all things Trail.

register for trailhead headwaters 2017
What has happened since the first summit in 2009? Given our growing population and identification of Well-Being issues in our latest Well-Being Report, what are the Trail priorities now?

Trail experts are joining us from across Ontario:

Rail Trail Development: with a presentation from Chris Lee who is on the Guelph to Goderich Rail Trail Committee
Dufferin County Active Transportation and Trails plan (DCATT): Jay Cranstone from MMM Group and Patrick Connor from Ontario Trails Council will detail the Trails masterplan model and as it applies to Dufferin.
Regional Trail Committee Discussion: Patrick Connor of OTC with Alex Brodka- Administrator of the Hamilton Burlington Trail Council on the possible development and implementation of a Dufferin Regional Trail Committee.
Economic Impact of Trail Development: Kirsten Spence – formerly of the Trans Canada Trail and Park to Park Trail Association, with Patrick Connor. Detailing economic recapture tools.
Developing Interpretive Signage: Implementation of Interpretive Signage with AODA Compliance Standards (TBD)
Headwaters Trails Connectivity: Roundtable discussions of priorities identified by Headwaters citizens, project opportunities, and possible next steps.

Headwaters Trails Summit

Date: Wednesday May 10, 2017, 9:00am -4:00pm
Registration 8:30 am with light breakfast and coffee provided
Lunch provided with a walk on the local Trails weather permitting.
Location: Monora Park Pavilion, 500 Monora Park Drive, Mono, ON L9W 0E1
Cost to attend this full day event (lunch included with all tickets):
$75.00 ~ Organization representatives (Trails, Municipal, Recreation, etc). This ticket also allows you to attend all sessions and profile your organization with literature handouts and/or a table display. A table will be provided and your organization promoted where possible.
$50.00 ~ Ontario Trails Council members. Attendance for all sessions.
$25.00 ~ General Admission: Public and non-OTC Members: Attendance for all sessions.
If you want to participate in the development of this event please contact us.

Event notice: Ride the GARTRide the Goderich-Auburn Rail Trail on June 4th to celebrate Trails Week in Ontario; meet at the trailhead on Harbour Street, Goderich at 1 p.m. for a leisurely ride. Sponsored by Active Transportation Goderich, and the Maitland Trail Association. More information - Ride the Gart

Trailhead Canada - Topics Listed On-Line!Below you'll see page 7 of topics open for discussion at the event. Click through to the main website to find 7 pages of topics we are planning to explore over the event. Check the site for presenter applications you can download or complete on-line. Thanks.

trailhead canada 2017 topics
Be sure to check out the 7 pages of topics up for presentation.

Remember to Donate!

Trail Development Posting - Kitchener - links to more information!

region talks trail development iron horse

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

join ontario trails"The OTC provides us with the ability to communicate and collaborate with industry stakeholders, professionals and advocates. It also provides us with the tools to develop our own capacities, skills and networks. As well, it is important to back to the OTC and trail communities in our province. Being an OTC member allows us to benefit from the knowledge of other members through education and professional development opportunities such as the Trailhead Ontario conference, and through professional networking. The OTC is the influential body that will help guide and shape the political, professional and physical landscape of trails in Ontario. Joining the OTC provides an opportunity to be part of this process: to both contribute and gain knowledge in a community of passionate, like-minded individuals and organizations."
 - Damian Bradley, Cycling advocate and Developer Guelph Regional Trails Council

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