At the May 6th Council meeting, a delegation led by Cavan resident Al Steel delivered a presentation promoting the development of a multi-use trail within the township. The project envisioned was described as a ‘backbone’ network that connects features, activities and destinations within and outside the Township. It would allow residents and visitors of all levels of physical ability to use their modes of recreation transport of choice and ensure Emergency Services would have easy access to trail users.
The group of residents supporting the presentation use off-road vehicles (ORVs) and are asking the Township to create a network similar to those developed in other rural municipalities where they can legally ride. They would like ORV usage on township roads and properties to be controlled, and hope to create linkages and trails that will connect to trails in other townships and points of ORV interest within the Township and beyond.
Many existing trails in the township are currently being used to ORV’s and have been for decades, but doing so illegally. This is happening because there are no designated trails for their use, of occurs when riders have to cross from private to private trails/property. They suggest that some rural home owners can only access certain parts of their property for maintenance by use of Township roads because of natural obstacles such as steep inclines, and deep creeks and some ride on the Township roads to plow and maintain property frontage.
Rather than reinvent the wheel in forming a new local multi-use trail association, the group met with other organizations with experience and expertise in this area and found the Kawartha ATV Association the most suitable partner.
This is a community-based ATV club that promotes and offers, safe and enjoyable ATV riding in Kawartha Lakes and Peterborough County. With more than 1500 members, this organization manages several trail systems encompassing more than 250 kilometres of trail that provide a wide variety of terrains, including dense forest tracts, natural vistas, historic stops, wildlife viewing and majestic outlooks. Their membership respects the environment and the recreational pursuits of other trail users and advocate safe and responsible ATV use.
The delegation suggested that a partnership with an established club like Kawartha would expedite the establishment of a trail system in the Cavan Monaghan with a focus on safety and respect. They also offered examples of by-laws from other jurisdictions to demonstrate the kind of regulation other municipalities have established.
The proposed multi-use trail system is projected to be self-financing through user fees, and partnering with the Kawartha ATV Association facilities insurance issues as well.
The group suggests they represent both urban and rural local residents who have expressed an interest in riding directly to the entrances of local private and adjoining township ATV trails without having to trailer their machines there. They hope that by this fall, riders on bikes, horses, ATVs and Side by Sides are able to join walkers along a first phase of the Cavan Monaghan Multi-user Trail System, enjoying the natural beauty of our Township assured that Emergency Services can reach them quickly and efficiently if needed. Much work is required to meet that goal. KG