Kawartha Lakes, Ontario celebration a success – Report

On Tuesday October 7th, the City of Kawartha Lakes celebrated the opening of 24km of Trans Canada Trail, the first of three sections of the 44-km Kawartha TCT to be completed. The completion of the Lindsay-to-Omemee trail section provides cyclists, walkers, horseback riders, skiers and snowmobilers with a well-surfaced, three-metre-wide trail for outdoor activity, which links to existing trail sections running to Peterborough. Dan Andrews, General Manager of Trans Canada Trail Ontario, attended the event and sent in the following report.

It was a spectacular fall day with a hint of a breeze, bright sunshine and the leaves in full colour, miraculously mirroring the events that took place. The first public event was a ribbon-cutting ceremony in mid-afternoon with over 500 school kids flanking Valerie Pringle on the Kawartha Trans Canada Trail. Once the ribbon was cut we joined the students in singing O Canada. I remember singing the anthem every morning at school; it always makes me smile. Al MacPherson, our local trail champion, spoke of the connection between the community and the Trail, inspiring everyone to continue building the Kawartha Lakes Trail. Valerie Pringle captured the imagination of all by pointing to the Trail entrance and saying that if you travel east you will end up at the Atlantic Ocean; if you turn left and walk, cycle or ride west you can go all the way to the Arctic Ocean or the Pacific Coast.

The second of the day’s events was a big “thank-you” reception for some 70 volunteers who have given their time, effort and energy to plan, organize and build the Trail section over the past four years. Held at Fleming College, the reception featured a performance by David Archibald, a local folk and children’s musician, and many heartfelt expressions of thanks from the leaders in the room. I had the good fortune to be part of a tour of the College campus and was particularly impressed by the facility dedicated to Environmental and Natural Resources education.

The third and final event brought the seven o’clock crowd to the Glenn Crombie Theatre, also at Fleming College. I gave a Trans Canada Trail slide show presentation; Valerie Pringle and Cameron Clark, Chair of the TCT Board’s Trail Building Committee, thanked everyone for their efforts and spurred them on to the next section. The highlight of the evening event was the debut live release of David Archibald’s new song written about the Trail, exclusively for Kawartha Lakes. You’ll be able to hear it soon, on the Kawartha TCT website.

Thanks to everyone for joining us!