Ontario Trails News – News on fatbikes, from Trailhead North

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From Trailhead North

The organizers of Trailhead North are pleased to announce a significant outcome expected from the two day symposium on trails taking place in Thunder Bay, April 17, 18 2015.
A fat bike etiquette. Fat bikes are those larger tire all season all terrain human powered bicycles that are emerging as a winter riding option for road cyclists and mountain bikers in the winter.
The Ontario Trails Council, the provincial trails association and co-organizer of the symposium was approached by the cycling community to come up with guidelines on use of fat bikes on trails.
“Fatbikes are becoming more and more popular, there are many cross country and other types of trails that fatbikers can use, but that aren;t necessarily designed for their use – we want to work with the FB community to develop and etiquette for users so they can expect and respect other users on trails,” states Patrick Connor Executive Director of Ontario Trails Council.
Co-organizer, Kirsten Spence of Quercwood Consulting, adds, “Multi-use trails often have complicated numbers of people using a variety of equipment to do their recreation. This means bicycles now with fatbikes, snowmobiles, cross-country, snowshoers, winter hikers etc. So having an etiquette will educate all users what to expect and how to interact safely on recreational trails.”
Through the Trailhead North development process the event has secured support from various groups and organizations. These included the City of Thunder Bay, The Active transportation Committee in the City, The Kinghorn Rail Trail, Trans Canada Trail through Path of the Paddle, City of Marathon Economic development – all of these groups want groups like OTC and Trailhead North to produce outcomes from meetings.
The creation of a fatbike committee will be such an outcome and should produce a guideline before the summer is out in time for the next riding season.
With a membership of over 200 organizations that stretches all over Ontario, including Trans Canada Trail,Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs, and over 80,000 km of trails the OTC will carry this northern fatbike etiquette to all other Ontario trail communities.
Trailhead North is taking place April 17, 18 at the Nor’wester Best Western. More information can be found at trailheadnorth.com

Our condolences to family, friends and wilderness canoeists – George Luste

Loss of a Legend: George Luste, 1940-2015

Remembering an inveterate wilderness traveler

April 02, 2015By

George-luste

On a snowy February day in Toronto, I’m feeling inadequate standing at the podium in a high-school auditorium—not because of the 500 people in the audience, but for one larger than life man in the front row. Retired physicist George Luste founded theWilderness Canoe Symposium 30 years ago as a way for paddlers to share stories of their northern expeditions and to inspire new trips. The event has the feel of a latter-day Beaver Club—the exclusive gang of fur-traders who explored and mapped Canada in the 18th and 19th century and gathered to chat about it in wintery Montreal.

Following in the paddle strokes of explorers David Thompson, Alexander Mackenzie and Samuel Hearne, Luste spent 55 summers traveling Canada’s far north. He immigrated to Canada from Latvia in 1948 and made his first canoe trip in 1963, a solo journey on Ontario’s Abitibi River. He completed a Ph. D. at Johns Hopkins University before returning to Canada in 1971 for a professorship at the University of Toronto.

Canoeing was Luste’s passion. He paddled Canada’s iconic wilderness rivers—the Missinaibi, Rupert, Eastmain, Kazan, Nahanni, Coppermine, Stikine, and George—often in the company of his wife, Linda, and their children. What’s more, he was part of a group that made the first complete descent of the Dubawnt River in the Canadian barrenlands, pioneered many other multi-watershed routes, and was amongst the last to paddle Labrador’s Grand River before a massive hydroelectric project was completed at Churchill Falls.

Full Article – https://mail.google.com/mail/ca/u/0/#search/googlealerts-noreply%40google.com/14c829842c123947

Lots of signs of spring at Ontario Parks – some in the north too!

JIM FOX, SPECIAL TO QMI AGENCY

Mar 31, 2015

, Last Updated: 11:43 AM ET

You know it’s spring in Ontario Parks when you discover these 10 signs.

Lori Waldbrook of Ontario Parks has put together this list, starting with seeing moose that are salt-depleted by the end of winter.

They head to roadside ditches to lick up road salt especially along Highway 60 in Algonquin Provincial Park.

Then there’s hearing the great horned and eastern screech owls and seeing mourning cloak butterflies in forests on sunny days and spotting spring tails, tiny insects that look like black powder on patches of snow and downed wood.

Listen for a chorus of spring peepers – tiny frogs on warm evenings – seeing the sap flow and turning into maple syrup, hearing the chickadees sing and the tundra swans return en route to the Arctic.

You can see buds forming on trees during a spring park hike and see experienced paddlers on an ice-out adventure with higher water levels that allow them to explore areas not accessible by canoe or kayak in the summer.

More details on the Ontario Parks blog.

Full Article Here http://www.canoe.ca/Travel/Canada/2015/03/31/22318891.html

Ontario Investing in Cycling Infrastructure – should help tourism and trails

NEWS RELEASE

Ontario Investing $25 Million in Cycling Infrastructure

Province Supports Safe, Active Transportation

April 1, 2015 8:00 A.M.

Ministry of Transportation

As part of Ontario’s 20-year #CycleON strategy, the province is moving forward with a $25-million investment over three years to create a more cycling-friendly future for the province.

This includes $15 million for cycling routes that provide key connections and linkages on provincial highways, such as paved highway shoulders and barriers on bridges that separate cyclists from vehicles. Early proposals include:

  • Highway 33 west of Kingston (part of the Waterfront Trail)
  • Highway 137 structure over the 1000 Island Parkway (part of the Waterfront Trail)
  • Highway 6 on Manitoulin Island and south of Highway 17 at Espanola (part of the Georgian Bay Cycling Route)
  • Highway 17B and Highway 17 between Sault Ste. Marie and Espanola (part of the Lake Huron North Channel Cycling Route)

The province has also dedicated $10 million to the Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program to help municipalities:

  • Expand their local cycling routes
  • Connect with provincial cycling routes
  • Launch pilot projects to make cycling improvements

Consultations on the municipal program have concluded and the launch is on track for spring 2015. Work is also underway to identify a provincewide network of cycling routes in collaboration with a broad range of cycling stakeholders.

Investing in infrastructure is part of the government’s economic plan for Ontario. The four part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people’s talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives, and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.

Quick Facts

  • According to the National Trauma Registry, Ontario has the second-lowest cycling injury rate of all Canadian provinces.
  • Ontario has enhanced the Driver’s Handbook to include information about sharing the road safely with cyclists.
  • Ontario’s public education efforts to promote cycling safety include Cycling Skills, Young Cyclist’s Guide, a partnership with TVOKids targeting children and parents and support for stakeholders to deliver public education resources at the community, regional and provincial level.
  • According to the Canadian Medical Association, a 10 per cent increase in physical activity could reduce direct health-care expenditures by $150 million a year.

Additional Resources

Quotes

Steven Del Duca

“We know that working with our partners is key to creating a more cycling-friendly Ontario. We’ll continue to engage municipalities, road users, businesses, advocacy groups and non-governmental organizations to make sure we get it right.”

Steven Del Duca

Minister of Transportation

Kathryn McGarry

“Cycling helps to build more healthy, active and prosperous communities as it generates a wide range of health, economic, environmental, social and other benefits.”

Kathryn McGarry

Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Transportation

There is some debate in the cycling community that this is a re-commitment to an announcement made in April 2014.