Kinda fell out of the saddle for posts the last while, but I'm back with some good news.
Last year I joined IMBA Canada's Regional Trail Advisory Committee and have been working on developing singletrack opportunities in Lanark County. My vision is to develop a route joining Carleton Place, Appleton, Almonte and Pakenham. While it's an ambitious goal, I believe you need to aim high in these matters and fortunately I've been able to make some great progress in the past few months.
A few weeks ago I presented my idea to the Mississippi Mills Rec Committee and received and encouraging response. It turns out the municipality owns two chunks of land that are open for trail development. One is out in Lavant Township and has just been earmarked for development as horseriding trails. The other is a 1000 acre tract near Mt. Pakenham that currently has no development plan. Council would welcome a proposal to develop walking/biking trails on this land, so that's one thing I'm now working on.
Any proposal for trails would follow the IMBA model of sustainable trail development which is a gold-standard adopted by the likes of Parks Canada. The model covers everything from access issues, liability, master planning, management and trail construction. While it's awfully tempting to just get out there and cut trail, the reality is that part represents only the tip of the iceberg. The real effort is in all the management aspects so landowners and trail users alike are happy with the results.
There are some other exciting trail developments I look forward to announcing once I have more planning in place. Not sure how much I'll get done this summer though. We're building a house and trying to get our current house ready for sale. This and the weather have kept me off two wheels for a while.
Lots more to post but not much time. Stay tuned!
PS, if you know anyone looking for a nicely renovated bungalow in a great neighbourhood of Almonte, contact me!