LITTLE CURRENT—In its continued attempt to create a community filled with healthy options, the Northeast Town has been successful in accessing further funding in its quest. An additional $24,000 will be used to lengthen the waterfront walking trail, making it a full circle route encompassing all of Little Current.
Council received notice that it had been granted $24,500 through the federal government’s ‘Let’s Take a Walk’ program. The Northeast Town will use the funds to add an additional trail to the already established walking trail that begins at the Manitoulin Welcome Centre and follows the waterfront to and around Low Island Park.
The municipality has received previous funding opportunities in its quest for senior-friendly exercise options for the establishment of the waterfront trail and the newly installed circuit workout equipment at Low Island.
The project description notes that the key activities of the project will be: the construction of a 12 kilometre age-friendly community trail with a width greater than six feet; minimal/gradual elevation changes; a compact surface and lighting to make it usable for all seniors; install benches and signage; develop a print map of the trail; and develop a walking program for seniors.
Northeast Town CAO Dave Williamson explained that the trail will leave Low Island Park, joining the intersection of Robinson Street and Red Mill Road near the Manitoulin Centennial Manor, will go south on Red Mill Road to the Boozeneck Road, cross Highway 540 and will utilize the snowmobile trail to the recreation centre, then head down Harbour View Road, to Shaftesbury Street where users can access Vankoughnet Street, eventually crossing Highway 6 and joining the waterfront trail at the Welcome Centre—making the trail come full circle.
A year-and-a-half ago, the Northeast Town contacted Manitoulin Island Cycling Advocates (MICA) president Maja Mielonen, asking for her assistance in coming up with a Little Current circle route. After an hour and a half with the Community Services Advisory Committee (CSAC), this new route was developed.
Councillor Bill Koehler suggested a different route—one encompassing more scenery and using the municipality’s road allowances, such as the one near Red Mill Road, which would expand the waterfront portion of trail.
Mr. Williamson said the route was not engraved in stone and that the route is the will of council.
Mayor Al MacNevin suggested opening the route up to the public through a meeting.
“This is great for Little Current, but what about Sheguiandah?” asked Councillor Dawn Orr.
Mr. Williamson responded that part of the Sheguiandah archaeological site development, funding does include maps which could be used for Sheguiandah’s historic walking tour.
Ms. Mielonen said she applauds the municipality for seeing the recreational trail, which will also be bicycle friendly, through to this new stage.
Council is set to have further discussion on the trail before the final configuration is announced.