Rainbow Routes hopes to complete local stretch in 2015
At their Feb. 14 meeting, the university's board of governors gave the thumbs up to a plan that would give Rainbow Routes access to 1.5 kilometres of trails currently maintained by the Laurentian Nordic Ski Club.
The only problem is this trail doesn't currently connect to the nearby Bethel Lake trails.
That's why Rainbow Routes plans to build a 150-metre connector trail from the ski trails to the corner of South Bay Road and Arlington Boulevard, where people can then access the Bethel Lake trails.
Rainbow Routes executive director Deb McIntosh said because the project is so small-scale, it can likely be achieved through volunteer labour.
She said the trails in the area are quite beautiful, with several vistas.
“You're in amongst the birds and the trees, and you can look over and see the urban core of the city at the same time, which is really cool,” she said.
McIntosh congratulated the university on working with Rainbow Routes to further connect the city's trail system. She said Laurentian is one of the few universities in the country to host the Trans-Canada Trail.
The initiative is also indicative of Laurentian's efforts to become more connected to the community, McIntosh said.
“The borders are disappearing,” she said.
Rainbow Routes should be able to achieve its goal of extending the Trans-Canada Trail across the region by 2015, as it's “down to the last few kilometres,” McIntosh said.
Nationally, the goal is to complete the Trans-Canada Trail by 2017, in time for Canada's 150th birthday, she said.
Did you know?
The Trans Canada Trail was founded in 1992. Now 72 per cent connected, the trail is nearly 17,000 kilometres long, linking the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic coasts. Comprised of locally managed segments, the trail is within 30 minutes of more than 80 per cent of Canadians and runs through or near 1,000 communities.