CENTRAL MANITOULIN – Thanks to a recently-signed easement agreement with a local property owner, Wagg’s Wood Trail will soon have a new trailhead and parking lot.
The trail head will start near the corner of Thorn and Forest Streets where, according to Central Manitoulin Councillor Dale Scott, “a business person has donated a piece of property.”
“Basically, there will be a culvert installed and crush put down,” said Mr. Scott, who sits on the Wagg’s Wood Trail committee. “There is a small flat area on the west side of the corner.” The parking area will be across the street from the trailhead. “Visitors will be able to walk across the road right into the wood,”
said Mr. Scott.
“Things are moving along finally,” said Marcel Beneteau, president of the Manitoulin Nature Club and chair of the Wagg’s Wood Trail committee. “I will be excited when the shovels hit the ground. The municipality has allocated some funding for the work.”
At present, much of that work consists of making the existing trail accessible, with a new parking lot and trailhead. The existing trailhead, while open to the public, provides some challenges when it comes to accessibility.
Future plans include some form of interpretive signage that will inform visitors what they can expect to see while navigating the trail. What form that signage may take has not yet been fully determined. Mr. Beneteau noted that plants can move location from year to year, so placing signs beside existing flora might not suit the bill.
The trail has benefited from significant effort from local volunteers in recent years and the committee hopes to add to the trail system, creating a loop that visitors can follow. But all this does not mean that people can’t visit Wagg’s Wood Trail now.
“The trail is open and people can visit now,” said Mr. Beneteau, who stressed that the trail, while not as accessible as the committee desires, is safe for pedestrian traffic.