Trail Development Fund aims to keep pace with surging visitors

Valens Lake CA has been especially popular during the pandemic with visitors seeking a reprieve from the stress of urban lockdown living. The Conservation Area’s boardwalks are ready for some improvements.

One of the few silver linings Covid-19 pandemic has been the extraordinary increase in visitors throughout the Hamilton watershed’s natural areas. It’s not hard to see why so many people are getting outdoors. With lockdowns, uncertainty and social isolation taking their toll, time spent in nature provides a vital tool in managing mental health. In order to keep up with this increased use, some work needs to be done. Trail improvements are being planned across the watershed, funded in part by your generous donations to the Foundation’s Trail Development Fund.

Valens Lake CA, Fletcher Creek Ecological Preserve and the Lafarge 2000 Trail will see some of the first improvements. As donations come in, Valens Lake will see an improved trailhead at its iconic fishing bridge, have mown grass trails developed into formalized stone dust trails and see some of its beautiful lakeside boardwalks restored to their former glory. Trail work is also planned for the nearby Fletcher Creek Ecological Preserve where some existing pathways will be developed into formalized trails and existing trails upgraded. An improved trailhead kiosk is also planned to help new users find their way to the beautifully restored former quarry site. The Lafarge 2000 Trail will also see erosion hotspots repaired and restoration work throughout. This work has an estimated price tag of $220,000 and will proceed as donations come in.

Those aren’t the only properties seeing improvements either! Trail work is also underway in the Dundas Valley where horse-friendly bridges continue to see improvements thanks to the Equestrian Campout  Fundraiser which has continued to raise money for the Valley’s trails despite being unable to hold their annual event in person. Westfield Heritage Village is also looking to develop trails on recently acquired natural lands behind the beloved Heritage Village, which has seen more and more visitors dropping by to explore the existing trail loop.

With your support, these projects will help to ensure that our conservation lands are able to help a new generation of visitors. We’ve seen just how far that work can go to build a stronger, healthier community and we’re so thankful for all of the generous donors who make this possible.

To add your support to the Trail Development Fund please click here.