The Trans Canada Trail is a project that was initiated in 1992 to celebrate Canada’s 125th year by linking the country from coast to coast in a trail system that is safe for users and accessible to all Canadians. The vision of a national “greenway” to link the country took off, and in 2017 Canadians enjoyed a nation-wide celebration of the connection of “The Great Trail”. The project has had support from all levels of government – local, provincial, and federal – as well as corporate sponsorships; however, it is mostly volunteer-driven and is a community-based initiative.
The Trans Canada Trail is made up of nearly 500 individual trails and spans 24,000 kilometres from the Atlantic to the Pacific to the Arctic Ocean, through every province and territory, linking nearly 1,000 communities. Locally, the Lac du Bonnet Trails Association has been working with Trails Manitoba to develop approximately 40 kilometres of trail from Pinawa Dam to Great Falls, known as the Bluewater South portion of Trans Canada Trail (pictured above right starting at the Old Pinawa dam). Some of this trail is new construction, some is on municipal roads used as connecting links, and some is existing trail on Manitoba Hydro dikes and right of way as well as RM of Lac du Bonnet property.
The task of planning, building, and financing such a project has been monumental, and involved collaboration with many government partners at all levels. The Lac du Bonnet Trails Association has partnered with the RM and Town of Lac du Bonnet, Trails Manitoba, Trans Canada Trail, Manitoba Hydro, Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation, and Sustainable Development (Conservation, Crown Lands, and Wildlife Management Areas).
The connection of the trail doesn’t mean all the work has been done; in fact now there is lots more to do! Improving signage, providing amenities such as parking areas, washrooms, and rest stops, map production, marketing, and promotion of the trail are all goals for the future. Volunteers are needed now more than ever to help with these tasks. The Trans Canada Trail started as a dream and developed into a nation-wide reality, with volunteers as its heart and soul.
It belongs to all of us, and it is the responsibility of all of us to respect, protect, and maintain it. Get out and enjoy it, and get involved in your local trails association! For more info visit https://goo.gl/kKMhmC.