Another stretch of the Trans Canada Trail is ready for recreation in Manitoba.
Trails Manitoba, along with Laureen Harper, the honorary chair of the national trail project, officially opened a 40-kilometre section of community trails between Old Pinawa Dam Provincial Park and Whiteshell Provincial Park today.
Winding its way along rivers and lakes through the Canadian Shield, the trail passes near the Manitoba Hydro Dike and Seven Sisters Generating Station, the Ironwood Trail, the Pinawa Channel and the Pinawa Suspension Bridge.
The new trail is available for hiking, cycling and horseback riding before the snow flies. The trail is also expected to allow for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling during the winter.
The opening of the 40-km leg is another step for Trail Manitoba and its ‘Border to Beaches’ trail project. The trail is anticipated to be a 370-km high-quality path along the Winnipeg River that eventually connects the Manitoba-Ontario border to Grand Beach Provincial Park.
"The trail is now approximately one-third complete," said Ian Hughes, president of Trails Manitoba in a release. "All trails encourage exploration and this one provides unprecedented access to Manitoba’s beautiful wilderness as well as its parks, towns and natural wonders."
The Border to Beaches project has a $4.6-million price tag jointly funded by the federal and provincial governments, along with Trails Manitoba. Both Ottawa and the province are in for $1.45-million each, with the condition that Trails Manitoba comes up with the remaining $1.7 million.
The Trans Canada Trail group has also contributed $950,000 towards Border to Beaches.
Not only is the new section a milestone for the local trail heads, it also continues the down the path of the national vision. "This trail and the development of the Trans Canada Trail will connect us from coast to coast to coast," Harper said.
Trans Canada Trail officials have a goal of a fully connected national recreational path by the end of 2017. Currently, the Canadian trail is 72 per cent complete (92 per cent connected across Manitoba).