Newsletter October 2016

Trail Talk: Erie Blvd gets paved shoulders and a multipurpose trail

Resurfacing started on schedule for Erie Blvd in Long Point just after the Labour Day weekend. Thanks to the foresight of county staff and the support of council, when the budget was created to repave Erie Blvd it included safety improvements for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. In the summer months, more than 10,000 vehicles travel along this road every day. This includes large camper caravans and boat trailers.

Once the project is complete, most of Erie Blvd from the new park to Pike Lane will have 1.5M paved shoulders on both sides of the road to improve safety for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. Along the short section from Pike Lane to Hastings Drive, the old sidewalk will be replaced with a paved multipurpose trail.

This project is the first in a list of recommendations made by Pathways for People to improve roads that connect our communities to the excellent rural cycling routes throughout the county. The complete list of recommendations is now included in the Active Transportation Strategy for Norfolk County that will be presented to Council this fall to be approved as policy.  

Submitted by:  Dave Cameron

Migrant Farm Workers and Transportation Safety

As fall is fast upon us, Norfolk County’s apple harvest is well underway.  Other crops are also being harvested or their harvest is now complete. Ginseng is being put to bed for the winter and winter wheat has also been planted. The days are growing shorter and the hours of daylight are reduced at this time of the year. Norfolk County is recognized as being a prime agricultural area. Notable, as well, is the large number of migrant workers who reside in the County and participate throughout the seasons in planting, growing and harvesting the many crops.

Many workers travel the roadways on bicycles, tractors and other farm vehicles, also as pedestrians and as motorists.  The risks for their safety are greater when on foot or as cyclists. All users of the roads need to share the road and to be aware of the rules of the road. We all need to be mindful of migrant workers who are using the road often in the fading hours of daylight and early mornings.  Workers and their employers also need to be aware of and practice both cycling and pedestrian safety. Training in safe cycling including wearing reflective clothing can help increase visibility and reduce preventable accidents. Employers may also ensure farm vehicles including tractors, harvesters, wagons, transportation buses and trucks are well maintained and well lighted for safe operation in low light conditions.

Thankfully we have not had a tragic event involving a migrant worker on the roadways in Norfolk County in recent years. At the same time, this past summer a worker was killed on Highway #5 while cycling in the Flamborough area.  Norfolk County is increasingly developing more roadways with paved shoulders, trails, sidewalks and signage in an effort to increase cycling and pedestrian safety. Let us hope that due diligence and vigilance will prevent such an incident in Norfolk County.       

Submitted by: Dave Challen

Waterford Heritage Trail

Our Black Bridge (BB) Centennial was an Academy Award celebration as evidenced in the following photos. Nominated for Best Producer was creator Jan Rainey and Best Director went to the BB Centennial Committee who pulled it off. As for drama, the only wet weekend of the summer had rain pouring in the distance but all was dry in Waterford. The BB won for setting and Tanya Logan for set design. Tracey Winkworth’s recipe for success was orchestrating a host of local eateries providing a harvest table variety of tastes. Bonnieheath Estate Lavender and Winery, Villa Nova Estate Winery, New Limburg and Ramblin’ Road Breweries garnered accolades as did local musicians Ian Bell and Friends featuring Best Song written and performed by Mike Hogg.

Dawn Saturday, the cameras rolled for the action scenes of Baer Fishing Adventure Derby followed by Jonah Logan and friends running Open Division Paddle Board Races for all ages. Geocachers found treasure, buskers busked and we got serious with the BB Centennial Plaque unveiling by local dignitaries Mayor Luke, Councillor Sonnenberg and Toby Barrett, who applauded the community spirit of Waterford. The finale had people wet with tears and drizzle as Fred Eaglesmith and Tif Ginn entered by carriage and, in the-show-must-go-on tradition, put on a most entertaining concert. After the concert, the clouds parted for a fireworks extravaganza that unanimously won the special effects award. People gathered on the shores of Shadow Lake and the Black Bridge as dusk darkened and BOOM the sky lit up for miles around from the artistry of Circus Orange. What a time we had.

Submitted by: Frank Woodcock

Indoor Walking 2017

Norfolk County offers two indoor walking locations during the winter months. Walkers can enjoy supervised, safe walking conditions from January to the end of March from 10 am to 12 noon.Port Dover walks are held Mondays and Wednesdays at the Community Centre on George St. and the Simcoe walks are held at the AUD on the Norfolk Fair grounds.No advance registration is required, and the drop in fee is $2.00 per day. For more information, please contact Community Services Department customer service at 519-426-8866 Ext 2233.

Submitted by Ingrid Zyma-Irvin

Turkey Point Mountain Bike Club…in Review

Founded in 2011 by a group of like-minded cyclists, the TPMBC’s purpose was to promote mountain biking in Norfolk and to create and maintain a trail network in the Turkey Point crown lands. Here is our resume by year.

2011 – The club formed with 51 male riders and one brave woman! TPMBC was incorporated as a ‘not for profit’ entity and registered as a member of the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA). A website was created. TPMBC signed Memorandums of Understanding for 10 year agreements with Turkey Point Provincial Park and the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). The club hosted an informal fun ride in late September.

2012 – Membership grew to 80 and TPMBC signed land agreements with Long Point Eco- Adventures, Burning Kiln Winery and DeeLeebeck Farms. The club applied for and received a $30,000 Ontario Trillium Foundation grant to expand trail network and infrastructure. The trails were mapped, gated and marked with signage. Bridges were built over waterways to prevent erosion. TPMBC worked with the MNR to close old trails that passed where Species at Risk and Endangered Species existed. TPMBC declared its fun ride as ‘Fall Ripper’ and hosted it on the last Sunday in September. TPMBC engaged cycling shops and other businesses as corporate sponsors with interest in the trail network.

2013 – Membership hit 124 and the trail network officially opened on May 25th with Norfolk Mayor Dennis Travale presiding. The club signed land agreements with Long Point Region Conservation Authority and Ryerson Camp (United Church Outdoor Ministries). Ten members were trained for chainsaw certification in a 2 day course. 1500 map brochures were printed, including the trail users Code of Conduct. The 3rd Annual Fall Ripper had 130 guest riders including 3 bicycle shops and 2 bike manufacturers. The club noticed that trails were being used by more joggers, hikers and dog walkers.

2014 – Membership reached 142 with increased interest and use by local running groups from Port Dover and Simcoe, many of whom bought memberships as a way of supporting the trail network. TPMBC hosted 2 new events: 1) Bike Demo Day May 3rd & 4th – Our sponsors had their wares available for test; 2) Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day – October 4th. Three TPMBC members formed a ‘ladies only’ ride on Tuesday nights, known as L.O.S.T. – Ladies On Single Track. The group facilitated and encouraged women to take up the sport and attracted 25 regular riders.

2015 – Bikers like us! Club membership jumped to 243. TPMBC completed its Terms of Reference and 10 year Strategic Plan. Club signed MOU with Norfolk County for access to 200 acres (3 woodlots on Charlotteville Concession 2). TPMBC created 6 trails on County dump property using 1600 hours of member volunteer labour. A bike wash station was added to trailhead.

2016 – Membership reached 320, including 113 female members. TPMBC completed and implemented an Emergency Action Plan, now printed on new signage maps and brochures. The club hosted a new spring event: Every Frickin’ Trail! The event challenged riders to ride the entire 72km network in one day. 51 out of 71 riders endured the grueling ride on a 30C day!

Quick Facts

  • 360 paid member of which 50% live in Norfolk and 50% live in communities near 401 corridor
  • 35% of TPMBC membership is female
  • Yearly Membership fees are $35 single and $70 family
  • 42 groomed trails – 72kms in length over an area of 1052 ha. TPMBC’s footprint is on .4% of land
  • Trail counter has clocked monthly counts of 548 with an Average Daily Traffic of 18 within a year
L.O.S.T. ladies using team work to remove a downed tree blocking the trail

Submitted by: Rob Luke

Lynn Valley Trail

Don’t miss our Annual General Meeting!

Join the LVTA board and fellow trail members at our AGM at the Port Dover Library, 713 St. George Street, Port Dover on Thursday, November 3rd, 2016 at 7:30pm. Speaker Rob Luke, President of the Turkey Point Mountain Bike Club, has done extensive research on the history of cycling in Norfolk County, and the impact that resulted on roads, trails and social change. Some very interesting things happened. You don’t want to miss this!

Trail Art

There is nothing we love more than seeing masterpieces of the Lynn Valley Trail. Thank you to all contestants in the Norfolk County Fair Art Show!

Get out and enjoy the beautiful weather!

Hailey, Melissa, Ryleigh and Marley the dog, enjoying the trail before “back to school” in September!

Cyclists vs walkers…

Ok, there is really no competition here! We can all be friends and enjoy the trail together. Just remember this one sage request: Cyclists, please pass on the left, alerting walkers by ringing a bell or loudly proclaiming “on your left!” as you go. Walkers, please be prepared to move to the right! Remember, sharing is caring, folks.

Amazing Places Selfie Contest

Lynn Valley Trail was chosen as one of the Long Point Biosphere’s AMAZING places. Now you can take a selfie on the trail, post it to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and enter a contest to win an AMAZING Norfolk County experience valued at $1000!Check out the info and get your entry in by October 31!

Not a member yet?

Consider purchasing a membership or making a donation to help keep the trail safe, beautiful and accessible. Join and/or donate at

Not sure? Come out to the AGM on November 3 at 7:30pm, at the Port Dover Library and see what we’re all about. Hope to see you there!

News from Silver Spokes CC

This past Spring the Silver Spokes Cycling Club Executive decided it was time to revisit the Guidelines and Protocols governing the nature of its formally scheduled rides.   Attendance had diminished on certain rides as those outings had developed a reputation for being conducted at a higher speed than “as advertised”.

This situation is common with all cycling clubs as attendance varies from week to week. Those most willing to ride regardless of weather conditions end up being the most regular participants. As attendees physical conditioning improves the “Casual Ride” often become more challenging.  Word spreads and attendance dwindles.

In an effort to ensure inclusivity and please a wider number of club members, the Ride Schedule was evaluated, Ride Descriptions and parameters expanded and defined.  Where we once had four levels of ride based on pace and difficulty, we now have five. Further an effort was made to ensure there is an adequate number of each type of ride scheduled.

In addition, Ride Guidelines and Safety Considerations were also evaluated and updated.   Not only do we wish to be respectful of our fellow cyclists but also to motorists and pedestrians.

To say everyone was pleased would be an exaggeration but within weeks of the revised guidelines being circulated, ridership improved and the exercise deemed a success.

The complete summary of General Guidelines, Ride Descriptions and Safety Considerations can be found at the following link.

Those wish to explore the Silver Spokes website will also find information about Learn to Group Ride programs, past and future events and Club Membership

Submitted by: Rob Martin, P4P & Director Silver Spoke CC