Volunteer Managed Trails:
What Can-Do People Do
Across the province of Ontario, thousands of volunteers are swinging into action, writing inspection reports, clearing winter-fallen branches and trees, trimming growth and picking up garbage. Some are building bridges, boardwalks, side-logging trails to make them safer, erecting signage or trenching to improve drainage and dry out spring soaked pathways. Others are placing chip dust to create a stable surface for multiuse trails.
Hike Leaders continue to train, pre-hike, guide groups and mentor others to create safe enjoyable hikes. Others take first aid courses as a best practice in risk management.
Other volunteers staff displays, give out information, update websites.
Thousands of volunteers actively making a network of thousands of kilometers of trails that are being build and improved on now or continuing to maintain trails that are over 50 years old.
Behind them all stands Hike Ontario.
We provide low cost insurance in a "flow through" program, train new hikers with the Safe Hiker Program, train Certified Hike Leaders and renew their certifications once five years are up. We provide information and support when new trails systems are being attempted and advocate for trails when challenges to trails arise. Out Best Practices for Encouraging Trail Usage by Hikers and Walkers contains case studies and a myriad of ideas for trail promotion. We are available to do presentations, give out Ambassador discs and encourage outdoor experiences by Young People through the Young Hikers' Program manual. We are also able to assist groups to communicate across the province using electronic meeting software which we can share with member clubs and trail associations.
Our board meetings are fascinating looks at the challenges and joys of trail and hiking club operations. Once a year we gather at our Summit to hold our annual meeting and provide information exchanges and presentations that celebrate and enable trails and the volunteers who make it all happen.
We are a combination of trail activists with a background in trail associations and a younger new generation of trail users with diverse backgrounds and skills. As always new volunteers are welcome and really necessary for succession planning and continuity.
As you enjoy the dozens of volunteer-managed trails we have in this province that span thousands of kilometers all at no charge, remember the people who make it happen and consider joining a "Can-do" team of people.
You may want to experience this net work vicariously by clicking on the Ontario Trails Slideshow created by Ron Knight and second from the Top on the What's New section on the Hike Ontario home page.