New parking, trail head for Cup, Saucer Trails opens this week

The Northeast Town installs a culvert at the new parking area for the Cup and Saucer Trails on Tuesday of last week. The new access point is set to be open on Thursday, June 8. photo by Robin Burridge

Look for signage on Highway 540 near Coldsprings Cemetery area

MANITOULIN—It has been less than a month since access to the Cup and Saucer trail was closed by a private landowner, but through a partnership between the Northeast Town and Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy (EBC) the trail will once again be open to the public starting tomorrow, Thursday, June 8.

“We will be having an official opening of the trail this Thursday at 5 pm,” said Northeast Town Mayor Al MacNevin. “The EBC is busy finishing the trails and some natural steps, but plans to be done Thursday. The town has finished putting the culvert in, clearing the parking lot and has put the gravel down. We just have one more load of gravel to put down and pack.”

The mayor explained that the parking lot and entrance from Highway 540 is temporary, as the town and EBC must await comments from the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) concerning the parking lot and entrance. The town also needs to complete a traffic study that will be submitted to the MTO.

Temporary signage will be added this week, marking the new entrance on Highway 540 just past Bidwell Road.

“We are pleased that we were able to get this project done so quickly and to reopen the trails for Islanders and visitors to enjoy,” said Mayor MacNevin.

Casson Eadie, proprietor of Don Eadie Construction, closed the parking lot and access to the Cup and Saucer trail, which are on his property, on the Friday of the May long weekend due to a number of concerns.

The EBC, which owns 300 acres of land at the Cup and Saucer and the adventure trails, and the Northeast Town quickly developed a partnership and plan to develop a new access point to the trails. Randy Noble and Meredith Chandler, who own a portion of the trails that abuts the EBC property, also partnered with the Northeast Town to allow for continued use of the trail on their property.

The new entrance and access to the trails opens tomorrow at 5 pm. The Northeast Town has used town labour and paid for the new culvert, gravel and other developments of the entrance and parking lot, while the EBC has been upgrading the trails on their property to make them more family friendly. Donations can be made though the EBC campaign ‘Save the Cup and Saucer Trail’ on Canadahelps.org. Donations will help offset the costs of creating the new entrance, signage and trail work.