200 Bayfield Avenue, Midland, ON L4R 5J5
September 14, 2016
County of Simcoe (Dan Kingsbury, Nathan Westendorp, Kathryn Stephenson, Graeme Davis, Grant Hudolin)
Simcoe County District Health Unit (Christine Bushey)
Town of Midland (Shawn Berriault, Wes Crown, Lyell Bergstrome)
Town of Penetanguishene (Jeff Lees)
Township of Tiny (Bonita Desroches, Jim McMillan)
Township of Tay (Bryan Anderson)
Huronia Community Foundation (Barbara Jones, Wendy Smith)
Georgian Bay Trails (www.georgianbaytrails.org) was created to “provide a World Class, Multi-Use Trail Network in the Heart of Georgian Bay and to promote Trail Tourism, while increasing Community Awareness and Involvement in the area of Active and Alternate Transportation”. With the expectation of receiving legal, insurance and bookkeeping support, our volunteer group chose to set itself up under the governance of Simcoe County Trails (previously known as Huronia Trails and Greenways). Unfortunately, in the fall of 2015, the board of Simcoe County Trails decided to dissolve, leaving Georgian Bay Trails without any legal status.
While we at Georgian Bay Trails have since tried to re-organize ourselves under the auspices of the 4 municipalities in North Simcoe, we have come to the conclusion that without proper legal status GBT cannot operate efficiently. Our committee has therefore decided to disband as well, but our members will stay active on various local Active Transportation and Trails committees. We are currently in the process of disposing of our assets for use by another trail organization or trail related project.
However, it is our hope that both the County of Simcoe and our local municipalities (Tiny, Tay, Midland and Penetanguishene) will continue to create connecting links and loops that will encourage Active Transportation and physical activity, and will attract tourism to the area, by completing the projects Georgian Bay Trails had envisioned and was working towards:
Surface upgrades to the Georgian Bay Snowriders Trail (to make it more cyclable and form a loop with the Tay Shore Trail)
Shared use trail to connect Tay and Midland with Wyebridge (incl. the Albert Street project to move the snowmobile trail off Albert Street)
Shared use trail on Tiny 7th Conc. from Wyebridge to Wyevale (possibly to Wymbolwood)
Share use trail from Penetanguishene to Awenda Provincial Park
We appreciate the investment the County of Simcoe continues to make in trails, through its TCCP program, GIS mapping, and the publication of the trail guide, and we sincerely hope that with the dissolution of Simcoe County Trails, the lack of ongoing trail maintenance on the SCT loop trails will be addressed and resolved soon. It took years of effort to create these loop trails, to map and promote them, and we fear that it will not take long before they will become completely overgrown and lack the proper wayfinding signs.
Thank you for your support for trail development in the past.
Chair, Georgian Bay Trails