Island Lake’s perimeter trail is now open to the public

July 22, 2015   ·   0 Comments

After nearly a decade of work, and $800,000 in funds raised, the Vicki Barron Lakeside Trail at Island Lake Conservation area is complete.

The loop trail, which saw much of the work on the final portion of trails and bridges being completed throughout the winter and spring this year, was officially opened to the public on Saturday. The west link was the final section, which provides an fully accessible trail around the entire perimeter of Island Lake.

“This final section of the trail system at Island Lake is very important, not only for the park but for local residents,” said Bill Lidster, Operations Manager for the north zone at Credit Valley Conservation (CVC). “Completion of the west link now connects the park to the surrounding community. It gives local citizens and all visitors an outdoor hiking experience that is second to none.”

The Island Lake Community Trail Campaign was driven forward through overwhelming support and commitment from the Friends of Island Lake (FOIL), a group formed in 2005 by local residents and members of the community under the Credit Valley Conservation Foundation (CVCF). The purpose of the group is to enhance community involvement and awareness of the need to expand the trail system at the conservation area.

Over the last 10 years, FOIL has worked hard to raise more than $2 million in donations, both cash and in-kind labour and materials, as well as having contributed more than 12,000 volunteer hours to complete the project.

“Thanks to the tireless efforts of our volunteer members of the Friends of Island Lake we have accomplished something very special,” said CVCF Chair  Jim Muscat. “The perimeter lake trail has become a connector.  It has brought the community together, joined one municipality to another and established strong local partnerships.”

The west link of the Vicki Barron Lakeside Trail, which is located between the 4th Avenue entrance (across Highway 10 from the Home Hardware parking lot) and the North Dam, provides the final connection of the 10-kilometre trail system at Island Lake.

Designed with wheelchair accessibility in mind, the trail can be used for walking or cycling around the perimeter of the lake, and includes five boardwalks – three for water crossings, and two over wetlands. The boardwalks connect the existing north and south shore trails with the rest of the trail system, making the full 10-kilometre loop.

“[The perimeter trail] has done this while building a trail expansion that will be enjoyed by the community today and for generations,” added Mr. Muscat. “We are grateful for all the hard work and determination of everyone involved.”

As always, the CVC reminds the public to stay safe while using the trail system at Island Lake Conservation Area. Users are required to stay on the trails at all times, and cyclists are asked to yield to pedestrians on bridges and boardwalks. No fishing, jumping or swimming is permitted from any bridges. Fishing is permitted only on the south section of the trail between the gatehouse and the south side of Bob’s bridges.

Trail use is permitted during daylight hours only; users are asked to stay off the trails after dark. Visitors can access the trail through sanctioned entrances located at 4th Avenue, Hockley Road, and Hurontario Street North and South.

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.