Algonquin Trail opens in Petawawa
Sean Chase/Daily Observer With this ribbon cutting ceremony on Murphy Road, the County of Renfrew officially opened the Petawawa section of the Algonquin Trail Friday. In the photo are (left to right) County CAO Jim Hutton, Petawawa CAO Dan Scissons, Ottawa Valley Tourist Association (OVTA) vice-president Cyndy Phillips, County forestry/GIS manager Jason Davis, Renfrew County ATV (RCATV) Club directors Dwight Panke and Dave McIntosh, Arnrpior Reeve Walter Stack, Ron Moss, representing Ottawa Valley Cycling and Active Transportation Alliance (OVCATA), Petawawa Mayor Bob Sweet, erry Vaudry, with Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC), Margo Johnson, Mark Johnson, OVTA director Damien McCarthy, County director of development and property Craig Kelly, Nicole Panke, RCATV president Teresa Hebb and Stephen Hebb.
PETAWAWA – The Algonquin Trail is officially open for business in the Town of Petawawa.
Local dignitaries, active transportation advocates and snowmobile and ATV organizations were on hand Friday for a ribbon cutting at the trail's intersection with Murphy Road to dedicate a small section of the 219-kilometre Algonquin Trail which runs along the decommissioned Canadian Pacific Railway.
Organizations such as the Keetna Snowmobile and Recreation Club, Timberline Snowmobile Club, North Renfrew Snowmobile Association, Calabogie and District Snowmobile Club, the Whitewater Sno-Goers, Snow Country Snowmobile Association and the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs District 6 have supported the necessary upgrades along sections of the trail such as brushing, grading, application of aggregate and signage. However, more work needs to be done before the entire trail network is ready to go.
“This is going a long journey, but it is the start of a tremendous opportunity,” said Petawawa Mayor Bob Sweet, who chairs the development and property committee and the Algonquin Trail Advisory Committee.
The Algonquin Trail is part of the much larger Ottawa Valley Recreation Trail (OVRT) which stretches over 296 kilometres from Smiths Falls to the Town of Mattawa. In partnership with Lanark County and the Township of Papineau-Cameron, the rail line has been purchased for $500,000, with the County of Renfrew paying $360,000.
The county has pledged to enure the recreational trail corridor can be used by ATV drivers, snowmobilers, hikers, naturalists and tourists. Sweet noted the Algonquin Trail is one of the largest acquisitions in terms of recreational trails in the province of Ontario at this point and will connect to another 4,000 trails.
“This is going to be the backbone and we just don't know how many users are going to be out there,” said Sweet. “It is a four-season, multi-purpose trail for the entire community of the Upper Ottawa Valley. This will also increase tourism in Renfrew County and expand the offerings our four-season tourist season while assisting to reduce health costs for our residents.”
The County’s portion of the corridor runs from the Arnprior/Ottawa border in the south to the Renfrew/Mattawa border in the North. Praising the county for opening the trail, Ron Moss, with the Ottawa Valley Cycling and Active Transportation Alliance, said he believes they will adopt an operational model similar to the K&P Trail, a recreational trail that runs along the old Kingston and Pembroke Railway bed between Renfrew and Kingston.
“They've fashioned this after the K&P Trail,” said Moss. “You see machines in with active transportation all the time.”