Trans Canada Trail in
Rails to Trails
History of CARTS
Friends of Trails
Media News re trails 2003
Nov. 27, 2003, Red Deer Advocate, by Paul Cowley
Area groups take steps to link
Central Alberta's trail groups are slogging ahead with efforts to
develop networks of pathways.
Sherry Scheunert, chair of the Central Alberta Regional Trails
Society, said they are working on developing the so-called Bluebird
Trail between Lacombe and Ponoka.
"But our vision is to link up Red Deer to Ponoka, so we're trying
to recruit interested folks in the Blackfalds area as well as to make
that linkage," said Scheunert before the society's annual general
meeting at Dawe Centre on Wednesday night.
A draft proposal is in the works and landowners along the proposed
Bluebird route are being consulted. The town and county of Ponoka have
endorsed the idea.
The group now wants to meet the town and county of Lacombe to get their
No trails have been registered in Central Alberta yet by the
Work is underway to form a partnership with the J.J. Collette
Naturalists to access their property. They are also trying to develop
trails in Penhold and Springbrook.
Linda Strong-Watson, executive director of Alberta TrailNet, said
there is a need to develop trails through the Central Alberta corridor
to help complete the Trans Canada Trail.
Red Deer's trails are part of the Trans Canada.
"One of the projects that is underway is looking at what the
potential routes are and completing the connectors in between some of
the towns and villages along the route of the Trans Canada Trail."
Penhold, Innisfail and Olds are all part of the Trans Canada Trail.
"What we're trying to establish and look at right now is how to
connect those communities."
Transportation studies have been done and the plan is to take a
proposal to Alberta Transportation to share right-of-ways in
Negotiations are underway to use railway land near Hwy 2A to create
a hiking and cycling trail to Innisfail.
"There are large gaps in the area between Red Deer and Calgary with
various communities engaged in projects."
Strong-Watson said slow but steady progress is being made.
Among the hurdles is overcoming the concerns of some landowners.
Liability fears have some landowners leery of allowing trails on
There are also concerns that taxes could go up if land is used for
recreational trails and that they will attract litter.
It is hoped that the success of existing trails will convince
others to support them.
The Trans Canada Trail is a recreational trail that will cross
every province and territory in Canada.
Alberta also has its own 17,000-km trail system called the Wildrose
Trail System that incorporates the Trans Canada.
Alberta TrailNet doesn't build or operate trails but provides
support to community groups that do.
April 20, Red Deer Express/Adviser, by Lea Hilstrom
TransCanada trail route stalled
Plans to route the TransCanada trail through portions of Central
Alberta have stalled.
"We're not working on any trail development in that (Torrington,
Wimborne) area right now and probably won't be for some time," said
Linda Strong-Watson, Alberta TrailNet coordinator.
Started in 1992, the organization's goal is to now have
approximately 75 per cent of Alberta's often contentious portion of the
trail completed by 2005, she said.
While portions of the cross-Canada recreation trail in
Central Alberta my be on-line by that time, she said the south-eastern
Central Alberta location will likely take much longer to establish.
Area landowners there are opposing the establishment of the trail
down the abandoned rail line that may run through some of their
properties, she said.
"We are respectful of the fact that there are some concerns there
regarding enhanced liability and that it will be a bunch of urbanites
with no sensitivity to the business of farming on the trail," said
The organization will continue to work on changing attitudes in the
area, she said, as the trail is still slated to run down the abandoned
rail line there.
"There's no other options being considered right now," she said.
Work is progressing though on the Innisfail, Penhold, Red Deer
link, she said.
Negotiations are now ongoing with the provincial government
regarding the use of highway right-of-way for the trail between those
The provincial organization's future plans will be detailed during
an annual general meeting in upcoming weeks.
Recent Media News
Archive Headlines: Current &