The Trails of Norfolk County

Mini bridge spans the west gap over the Waterford PondsThere are many groups that promote walking/hiking and cycling in Norfolk County.

Norfolk County boasts a large variety of trails for every age and ability. There are many urban trails, which are trails through our Norfolk County communities including Courtland, Langton, Delhi, Port Dover, Simcoe and Waterford. Any community can be walk-able. We encourage you to explore your neighborhood by walking on sidewalks and less travelled side streets.

We are fortunate to have access to well signed, maintained trails such as the Lynn Valley Trail, the Norfolk Sunrise Trail, the Waterford Heritage Trail and the Delhi Rail Trail with many access points throughout the county. Many volunteers have worked hard to make these trails available for our use.

There are also many trails on Long Point Region Conservation Authority lands which are well marked and encourage participants to walk and enjoy nature.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada manages several tracts of land in Norfolk County and has been developing new trails and signage. These trails lead walkers through amazing southern sand plain areas.

The Turkey Point Mountain Bike Club has been designing and acquiring lands for mountain biking and hiking. This group continues to make new trails for multi use in the Turkey Point area.

Visit www.norfolkpathways.ca for links and trail information on all the trails throughout Norfolk County.

A great hike is never too far away when you live in Norfolk County!

Submitted by Ingrid Zyma-Irvin


Trail Talk - Geocaching on Norfolk Trails

Upon arriving in Norfolk County in 2002, my family and I immediately sought out trails, recreation areas, beaches and other places to get out and enjoy the fresh air.  What a thrill it was to find and explore many of the trails, bush lots and hiking/biking areas.

In 2006, we discovered a new passion that led us to even more areas we hadn’t been before.  Most everyone these days has heard of geocaching.  For those that haven’t, here are the basics from geocaching.com:

  • Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.
  • Geocaches can be found all over the world. It is common for geocachers to hide caches in locations that are important to them, reflecting a special interest or skill of the cache owner. These locations can be quite diverse. They may be at your local park, at the end of a long hike, underwater or on the side of a city street. 

Many hidden geocaches in our local area are some of my favourites, involving a great hike, location and unique creativity in the hiding. 

Currently there are over 200 geocaches within a 10km radius of Simcoe.

So if you are looking for a great family or individual activity, check out geocaching.com to see what the fuss is all about.  See you on the trails!!

Submitted by: Bruce Robinson


Province's Draft Cycling Strategy

cyclistsThe Ministry of Transportation [MTO] has recently released its Draft Cycling Strategy. The aim of the strategy is to increase the number of people cycling in Ontario and improve the safety of all road users. Some of the work is ongoing or underway but defining the strategy ensures that it will be part of the Ministry’s ongoing business.

The Draft shows a lot of promise for the future of cycling across Ontario and here in Norfolk County. The three-pronged approach will address:

  • Enhancing Cycling Infrastructure in the Province which includes supporting municipalities in the development of local cycling networks through infrastructure design, guidance documents and funding.
  • Enhancing Cycling Safety through Education and Legislation.
  • Ensuring Relevancy through Monitoring, Researching and Coordinating.

Cycling is a growing activity in Norfolk County and a number of county initiatives support cyclists. These include an extensive rail trail system, paved shoulders, lease agreements with the Turkey Point Mountain Biking Club, Share the Road signage and promotion, cycling routes promoted on the official Norfolk County Map, special education for migrant workers who travel by bicycle, introduction of the Welcome Cyclist program and the upcoming Great Waterfront Adventure ride coming in August 2013.

The cycling strategy supports policy statements currently captured in Norfolk County’s Official Plan. And cycling is listed in the top six of activities that overnight visitors participate in while on vacation in our municipality. We look forward to future directions from the MTO Cycling Strategy and any funding made available to municipalities. 

To view the Draft Strategy, visit the Ministry of Transportation’s website: www.mto.gov.on.ca 

Submitted by Michele Crowley 


New Bike Racks in Norfolk County!

bike-rackNorfolk County recently approved funds from the Invest in Ontario Act for the purchase and installation of bike racks at County owned and operated facilities. This investment shows strong County support for cycling and it reflects two of the County’s strategic goals:

  • Enhance Community Access to Services;
  • Promote a Healthy and Sustainable Environment.

Providing racks gives cyclists a safe place to secure their bikes and encourages people to ride their bikes for short trips more often. The bike racks are for county clients and customers as well as staff. 

Fifty-three double loop racks, fabricated by Henderson Recreation Equipment of Simcoe, will be installed at a variety of locations over the next few months to be ready for the next cycling season!

Submitted by  Michele Crowley


Waterford Heritage Trail

New steel staircase connecting lower level trail up to the Black Bridge.

The Waterford Heritage Trail is looking forward to spring, a time when our trail comes alive with birds, blossoms, bees and all variations of wildlife. That we are a nature corridor is one of the beauties of our trail. I’ve seen a hawk fly low overhead cruising the pathway; a wild turkey scratching in the gravel; dam beavers; phlox aplenty; does dancing; flickers flicking; chipmunks chirping; the spent casings of turtle eggs and families of four or six out for a bike ride.

What attracts this plethora of life is simply that the trail is there. Build it and they will come. So this spring we will be busy beavers ourselves, paving from the

Black Bridge into Waterford, seeking a bridge to span the east gap, planning a boardwalk and clearing brush under the Black Bridge. New boardwalk over fish habitat.That our trail is a nature corridor is just one of the myriad reasons to come visit us – come alone, bring friends, family; make it an hour, a morning, the day; go a kilometre or go the whole way. But do come and join us.

Submitted by Frank Woodcock








Norfolk Pathways for People Members

  • Joyce Flexman, Chairperson
  • Gord Mason, Trail Advisory Committee
  • Al Ladd, Community member
  • Ruth Loughton, Community member
  • Anne Wynia, Community member
  • Rob Luke, Turkey Point Mountain Bike Club
  • Dave Challen, Lynn Valley Trail Association
  • Ingrid Zyma-Irvin, Norfolk County Community Services Dept.
  • Janice Robertson, Long Point Region Conservation Area
  • Bruce Robinson, Community member
  • Frank Woodcock, Waterford Heritage Trail
  • Michele Crowley, Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit

Interested in becoming a member of Pathways for People? Contact Michele at 519-426-6170 Ext. 3239.


Lynn Valley Trail Association - Robinson and Burt Bridge Repair Project, 2013

decayed piersThe Lynn Valley Trail provides recreational opportunities for the local community and visitors.  Our surveys show that both local residents and many tourists come here to enjoy the trail and spend time in Norfolk County.  The benefits to health and well being through active recreation, walking, running and cycling, in the natural setting provided by the Lynn Valley Trail are well known.

Bridge abutment is showing its age and requires rebuilding and reinforcement.The Lynn Valley Trail Association [LVTA] is starting a major fundraising campaign to support necessary safety repairs to two of our bridges between Decou and Ireland Roads.  Vallee Engineering recently completed an inspection report for LVTA and indicated that repairs must be completed to twenty-six support piers by 2014 to ensure the longevity of these two bridges.  In addition, some abutment and bridge entrances will be upgraded.  Once completed, the reinforced piers will increase the lifespan of the bridge support structures. The repair work will also improve access by emergency vehicles should the need ever arise.

Decay at the base of piers. The previous repair used a concrete filled steel culvert.The bridge repair project will cost approximately $265,000. On Jan. 8, 2013, Paul Beischlag, President of the LVTA, along with five Directors, asked Norfolk County Council in Committee for funding support.  It was announced in the Jan. 23, 2013 Port Dover Maple Leaf that all Council members approved a grant of up to $90,000 to the LVTA for the bridge repairs. This was very welcomed news!

We are also working on a community fundraising campaign. The level of community financial support will be outlined in an Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant Application that the LVTA Board is also working on. This application deadline is March 1, 2013.  Families, individuals and businesses can donate to the Lynn Valley Trail and receive a tax receipt for the amount in return.  Donations should be directed to:

Repairs made with steel culverts & concrete have provided support to the trestle bridges. Lynn Valley Trail Association
Box 993
Simcoe, ON N3Y 5B3 

In the near future, members of the LVTA Board of Directors will be asking various service clubs, organizations and businesses in Norfolk County for contributions.  Board members will be available to make a short presentation on the Lynn Valley Trail if requested by groups who may want to make a donation and require additional information.  Please feel free to contact members of the LVTA Executive or a member of the Board, if you require additional information or wish to make a donation. The LVTA brochure listing Board members and outlining the Lynn Valley Trail is also widely available in Norfolk County.

Submitted by: Dave Challen and Steve Tomajko


2013 Slate of Officers

Executive

  • President, Paul Beischlag - 519-426-8591
  • Treasurer, Peter Munzar - 519-583-1101
  • Secretary, Mike Davis - 519-429-3323
  • Past President, Paul Cunningham - 519-583-1378

Directors

  • Corina Bachmann - 519-428-8090
  • Barb Boyko - 519-583-3971
  • Dave Challen - 519-583-1090
  • Diane Clark - 519-426-0339
  • Scott Fletcher - 519-426-6218
  • Malcolm Meller - 519-583-1124
  • Dan Robinson - 519-428-2487
  • Steve Tomajko - 519-428-2681
  • Diane Luke - 519-428-1385
  • Kerstein Mallon - 519-909-8993