MORRISBURG – St. Lawrence Parks Commission (SLPC) in partnership with the Ontario Trails Council (OTC), Front of Yonge Township and the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands have proposed a coordinated approach to resolve the challenges encountered with the plowing of the multi-use recreational trail along the Thousand Islands Parkway (TIP). Through a shared vision for the trail, the goal is to identify a solution for winter 2021 that allows for the safe use of the trail and better user experience for all users.
As trails play a vital role in building a healthier, more prosperous Ontario, establishing a volunteer working committee will be the initial step to guide future decision-making and will help strengthen community engagement as well as collaboration.
The OTC has led over 300 community meetings to bring 51 regional trail committees to Ontario. Through their expertise, the committee will establish trail best practices and principles to safeguard the recreational trail so residents and users may continue to enjoy the many recreational activities such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking and walking during the winter months in a safe environment.
“The SLPC has heard the concerns raised by local community members regarding the conditions along the Thousand Islands Parkway multi-use recreational trail during the winter months. The SLPC supports and recognizes that a collaborative working group with stakeholders from the Front of Yonge Township and the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands is key to reaching a unified resolution that allows users to continue to safely enjoy the trail.” said Hon. Bob Runciman, Chair, St. Lawrence Parks Commission
“One of our pillars of better trails is the development of community trail committees, which we do with the support of groups such as the SLPC and its stakeholders,” says Patrick Connor OTC CEO. He adds “through these committees we can resolve landowner, maintenance, signage and other use or operational issues so that both local residents and trail tourists are well served by trails.” said Patrick Connor, CEO, Ontario Trail Council
“Front of Yonge is looking forward to developing a working relationship with the SLPC, the OTC and the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands. Not so long ago, the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville partnered with the SLPC to revitalize the bike path, providing $400,000 toward the resurfacing. The Path is recognized by the entire region as an important recreational opportunity for a variety of year-round activities.” said Mayor Roger Haley, The Front of Yonge Township
“Trail systems are incredibly important; they provide opportunity for low cost recreation, allow for social interaction, and connect people with their natural environment. We witnessed a huge increase in use of our trails as the pandemic kept us distanced, and pushed us to reconnect with the outdoors. Never has it been more important for us to support maintenance and upkeep of trails for residents and visitors to enjoy the beauty of our area. We look forward to working with the Ontario Trails Council and our neighbours to ensure that the Parkway Recreational Trail continues to be enjoyed and accessible to all.” said Mayor Corinna Smith-Gatcke, Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands
- The TIP is home to a paved multi-use recreational trail that is used year-round between Brockville and Gananoque in Ontario.
- Currently, the multi-use recreational trail is not maintained during the winter and the trail is only to be used by pedestrians, skiers and those who snowshoe when conditions allow and it is safe to do so.
- Motorized vehicles including vehicular traffic and snow machines are not permitted on the paved recreational trail.
- Snowmobiles are permitted on the TIP north lane, the land north of the recreational trail.