The Forgotten Trails in South River, Ontario

We generally have a sense of what we will encounter at each of our visits. We meet the trail champions of the community, we explore some trail, we engage the volunteers and a new trail is created. Working with the Forgotten Trails Association wasn't much different except that our volunteers exceeded our expectations.

The Forgotten Trails are located on the border of Algonquin Park in the Near North part of Ontario. With plenty of beautiful landscapes it is not hard to find positive controls points to make a trail interesting. We chose to work on the Moose Mountain Trail, a short 2 km loop trail, because it was a smaller project to take on and a well used hiking trail in the area. We had volunteers from a variety of small communities around North Bay attend the workshop, many of them hikers, but each of them brought more enthusiasm than we've seen anywhere else in Canada.

We laid out 150 meters of new trail, and broke those 150 meters into smaller segments. Setting up a project in this manner allows us to take on as much or as little as needed depending on the number and abilities of our volunteers. We recommend clubs do this with their projects so that as work is done on smaller segments it allows the trail to stay open and projects that are started are completed. Our crew worked hard on the first day and when given the option to continue to work on the Moose Mountain trail or do a group hike on day two they unanimously voted to continue working. We firmly believe that the wonderful homemade food that was provided by The Northern Edge Algonquin chefs was the fuel that kept our volunteers working strong.

We want to thank Discovery Routes, The Forgotten Trails Association, and Northern Edge Algonquin for putting on a remarkable and engaging workshop. The energy and cooperation that was generated at this workshop will help to keep us going for the last few months of our journey.

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