Waterfront Trail Extension Opens on Lake Erie
By Chris Riddell
photos by Goh Iromoto
On Monday morning in Windsor, the Waterfront Regeneration Trust unveiled a new extension to the Waterfront Trail.
The Waterfront Regeneration Trust is a non-profit agency responsible for completing, enhancing, and maintaining the Waterfront Trail. The new extension adds 620 kms, extending along Lake Erie, snaking though southwestern Ontario, and ending at Lakeshore, ON near the Detroit River, approximately 70 km east of Windsor.
“It's pretty significant because now the Waterfront Trail goes from the Quebec border to Windsor,” says Vicki Baron, director of regeneration with the Waterfront Regeneration Trust. “We're opening up the possibility for cycling tourists to explore Lake Erie's shoreline. It's pretty undiscovered and there's a lot to see and do.”
Marlaine Koehler, Executive Director of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust said that the event represented "Just a snap shot of the growing market for mass cycling and running events that are attracted to regions that have this kind of long-distance infrastructure. We are really excited for the potential of a trail of this length.”
Attractions along Lake Erie include wineries, fisheries, campgrounds, and beaches.
Although not able to attend the announcement, Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Michael Chan MPP (Markham-Unionville), made a statement that: “The Waterfront Trail has proven to be a vital asset for visitors and residents alike who seek to explore and experience Ontario's unique beauty and the communities that it runs through. With today’s expansion, 21 new communities will welcome tourists into diverse and distinct regions that showcase our history and culture while encouraging people to engage in active transportation.”
A band of 200 cyclists were there to witness this morning’s ceremony. They were participating in the 6th annual Great Waterfront Trail Adventure, a marathon bike journey that leads them through the entirety of the new extension, a trek that will last seven days. They stopped at the opening ceremony on the Windsor leg of their tour, and continued on as the first people to ride the new addition to the Waterfront Trail.