Newsletter - February 2011


Greetings from Norfolk Pathways for People!

snowshoeing on the delhi rail trailNorfolk Pathways for People is a community coalition, supported by the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit, and made up of volunteers from community members, Public Health and Community Services Department. Pathways for People is represented on the Norfolk County Trails Advisory Committee.

Our Mission:

  • Promoting pathways for walking and cycling in Norfolk County for health, recreation and active transportation.

Our Objectives:

  • To advocate for new and improved trails and pathways in Norfolk County.
  • To build a healthier, accessible and connected community.
  • To promote the safe use of local trails and pathways.
  • To provide input to Norfolk County Trails Advisory Committee.

If you have an area of concern in your community or would like to get involved, we’d like to hear from you! Visit us at www.norfolkpathways.ca.


Trail Talk

What a joy to write the chairperson’s remarks for the first edition of our Pathways for People newsletter. Our group, since its beginning four years ago, has seen amazing changes in trail development and use. The original Lynn Valley Trail has now spawned the Waterford Heritage, Norfolk Sunrise, and Delhi Rail Trails as well as offshoot trails. We can now travel from Port Dover to Brantford and beyond on a connected series of trails.

With all the new trails, we see an increase in usage. During the past cold snap, there still were brave souls out enjoying walking. The landscape varies along the way allowing us to truly appreciate our county of Norfolk.

Pathways would not be in existence without the support of the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit. Their goal of promoting an active lifestyle through walking is being met in many ways.

Another goal, to connect communities [people] with each other and with commercial areas, is also progressing. We have been able to monitor and support improvements to sidewalks in Norfolk, the biggest one being the Queensway from Norview Lodge towards Queen Street via Cedar Street and the Queensway. Sidewalks are now being automatically built into the plans for new subdivisions.

It is exciting to see how many groups are now coming forward to promote physical activity in Norfolk County; something that is good for all of us! We enjoy being part of this excitement. So put on your mittens, lace up your boots, get outside and enjoy!

Joyce Flexman, Chairperson Norfolk Pathways for People


Winter Trails

Winter Trails in DelhiThere are lots of great trails in Norfolk County for cross-country skiing. Here in the banana belt of Ontario, it is essential to get out while the going is good. Take advantage of the snow while we have it!

The relatively flat and easy trails I have used are the Turkey Point Provincial Park trails and the Lynn Valley Trail. Rail trails are fairly straight, level and ideal for beginners and old folks.

Backus Woods’ trails, which are accessible from Hwy. 24 and from the 4th Concession Road [Sand Road], are a little more challenging with curved tracks, several hills and trees to avoid. There are also trails behind the St. Williams Forestry Interpretive Centre, # 885 on Hwy. 24, just west of County Rd. 16.

The trails are beautiful with snow covered or sparkling, icy branches and extensive views through the trees and shrubs - not so visible during the other seasons. There are also lots of interesting animal tracks, bird wing marks and little rises where creatures tunnel under the snow.

Breaking your own trail is great exercise and not too difficult with the lighter snowfalls. Often you will find that someone else has already broken the trail or that snowmobiles have made trails. Even on cold days you’ll soon be toasty warm in the woods, protected from the wind, while enjoying a crisp sunny day in a winter wonderland. If you’re out walking, be mindful not to walk on ski tracks when possible. Dress in layers, pack a snack and bring your cell phone. Enjoy our winter while it lasts!

Anne Wynia, Pathways Member


Man using poles to walk through snow

Seasonal & Safety Tips

Winter walking and hiking can be a great way to keep moving during these cold months. Here are some tips to keep you safe!

  • Dress in layers; replace wet clothes with dry ones.
  • Wear appropriate footwear, warm and waterproof with a good tread.
  • Keep neck, face and hands covered.
  • Wear sunscreen. Sun reflects off snow and ice.
  • Carry a small bag of sand or cat litter to sprinkle on icy sidewalks.
  • Keep hydrated.
  • Let others know where you are going and / or walk with a friend.
  • Wear reflective strips / clothing to be seen on these shorter days.
  • Watch for cars as they may have trouble seeing you because of snow banks and reduced visibility.
  • Choose routes that are sheltered from the wind.
  • Do your part and keep your sidewalks clear of ice and snow.

There’s no such thing as bad weather; just inappropriate clothing!


Waterford Heritage Trail

Black bridge in the winter with snowIt has been another successful year for the Waterford Heritage Trail thanks to all our members and supporters. Vergeer Golf did an excellent job on the trail from the Waterford Ponds to the Brant Waterways Trail at Jenkins Road. We are very pleased with the volume of traffic and positive comments from those enjoying the trail.

We are now poised to transform the Waterford High Level Bridge. An engineering study, paid for by the Trans Canada Trail, shows that the bridge only needs minor repairs to make it safe for pedestrian and cycle traffic. Vallee engineers are preparing drawings for the next phase. Depending on costs and available funding, we could be looking over the Waterford Ponds this spring.

And in other good news, by spring, the Thompson Road Bridge could be upgraded to allow for cycle and pedestrian traffic.  Norfolk County is looking at surfacing and fencing the bridge which will safely link that section of the trail.

We have met the terms of our Ontario Trillium Foundation grant and are now seeking funding for our bridge projects. If you have any suggestions of donors we should approach, please advise us. Many thanks to Ontario Trillium Foundation, Norfolk Community Foundation, Waterford Lions and our members for making all this happen.

Terry Bonnett, President, 300 Old Hwy 24, RR 3 Waterford ON N0E 1Y0


Norfolk Pathways for People Members • www.norfolkpathways.ca

  • Joyce Flexman, Chairperson
  • Donna McMillan, Port Dover Enhancement Association
  • Gord Mason, Trail Advisory Committee
  • Al Ladd, Community member
  • Ruth Loughton, Community member
  • Anne Wynia, Community member
  • Rob Luke, Lynn Valley Trail
  • Sam Menhinick, Community member
  • Janice Robertson, Long Point Region Conservation Authority
  • Ingrid Zyma-Irvin, Norfolk County Community Services Dept. 519-426-8866 Ext. 2303
  • Bruce Robinson, Community member
  • Frances Edmonds, Delhi Rail Trail
  • Steve Weinstein, Delhi Rail Trail
  • Frank Woodcock, Waterford Heritage Trail
  • Michele Crowley, Haldimand-Norfolk  Health Unit 519-426-6170 Ext. 3239

Lynn Valley Trail

Lynn Valley Trail in winter with snowIt is hard to believe that the Lynn Valley Trail has now been open for 18 years - happy birthday to us! We no longer are the only rail trail around as new and exciting trails connect us in an excellent network within Norfolk County and beyond. Thanks to a lot of hard work by many volunteers and Norfolk County Staff, our trail network has come a long way in a short time. Congratulations! There is still plenty of work to be done to make it an ideal hiking/riding experience.

The Lynn Valley Trail Association has always been blessed with a very loyal and true membership. Although we are always trying to increase our numbers, regular members have donated faithfully year after year. These donations allow the LVTA to maintain and continue improvements to the trail and to provide its members with a trail newsletter each spring and autumn.

Recently, LVTA newsletters have included news and tidbits about all local trails. And now, Norfolk Pathways for People are fulfilling their mandate to promote trails by assuming the responsibility for publishing a newsletter that will reach a broader base of trail enthusiasts. All trail groups, including the LVTA, will have space to publish and promote their activities through this new opportunity. It should be a great forum for centralizing ideas and sharing news from different groups. Congratulations to Norfolk Pathways for People in taking the initiative to keep all trail users informed!

Rob Luke, LVTA

LVTA News Items

  1. Re-fencing at Blue Line Access: This spring, work parties will be working on Blue Line Access.
  2. Monitoring and Eliminating Invasive Species: Under the leadership of Dan Robinson, LVTA are identifying and eliminating invasive species along the trail.
  3. Planting: We’ll be planting about a dozen Carolinian trees along the trail this spring.
  4. Screenings: We’ll continue placement of screenings this spring in low and wet spots.
  5. New Director: The LVTA introduces and welcomes our newest director, Scott Fletcher. Scott is a retired schoolteacher and is now enjoying more time on his woodworking projects. His love of the outdoors is well known and he will be an asset to our trail and association.

2011 Slate of Officers

  • President: Paul Cunningham • 519-583-1378
  • Treasurer: Robert Johnstone • 519-428-9913
  • Secretary: Paul Beischlag • 519-426-8591
  • Past President: Rob Luke • 519-428-2439

Directors

  • Jane Ashenden.....................519-428-8615
  • Bob Borthwick ....................519-583-1970
  • Scott Fletcher ......................519-426-6218
  • Mike Davis ...........................519-429-3323
  • Bill Macdonald ....................519-583-0324
  • Malcolm Meller ...................519-583-1124
  • Peter Munzar .......................519-583-1101
  • Gord Pennington ................519-426-2676
  • Dan Robinson .....................519-428-2487
  • Charlie Upshall ....................519-583-9544