An ambitious proposal to expand tourism by expanding and connecting trails in Peterborough County was presented at county council on Wednesday. The idea came from Weity Hamersma of the Peterborough County Trails ATV club.
“Our request was to get partial county roads to connect trail to trail that we don’t have now — we can bring people from the east and south,” said Hamersma.
Hamersma says if the motion gets passed, trails from Campbellford, north through the county forest to Apsley would be connected for the first time.
The club says they only have permits on certain county roads right now, but not all. They’re asking for permits to travel on the shoulders of some roads, including Trent River Road, County Road 42 going west for one concession, and County Road 48.
“We are going to create some multi-use trails for horses, people, ATVs of course, dirt bikes,” said Hamersma.
Deputy mayor of Havelock-Belmont-Methuen, Jim Martin, agreed this could be a good idea and this could really help attract more money coming in from the tourists.
Hamersma says that if this motion is passed, there will be safer trails, and flourishing tourism into Havelock, Warsaw and Apsley.
“Hopefully, people will buy trail permits from us so we have funding to build trails with, and enjoy what they are doing but ride safely and don’t let a 10- or 12-year-old go out on a trail by themselves without supervision, and be responsible and no drinking and riding,” said Hamersma.
Chex News spoke with Peterborough County OPP who say numerous municipalities allow ATV access on major roads and they have had no problems. If this were to pass, OPP would have to educate ATV riders and the general public on the rules of the roads, and enforcement of safety strategies.
County council will present this recommendation to the director of public works, Chris Bradley, who will then present them with a more detailed document and then county council will decide how they wish to move forward.