Haliburton Trail Upgrades
The Victoria - Haliburton Rail Trail, one of Ontario's longest ATV trail arteries, leads riders through the interior of some of the provinces most scenic areas. Stretching 90 km from Lindsay to Haliburton, the trail connects to numerous, off-road side trails, the real gems in the Kawartha Haliburton ATV trail systems.
The Haliburton ATV Association (HATVA) identified the need for riders to be able to reach the community of Minden at the midpoint of the rail trail, a picturesque, ATV-friendly community with numerous restaurants, accommodations, and further trail systems on the north side of town.
Until this year the connecting trail T3.4, also known as the South Lake Trail, near the Southwind Motel, was very challenging, often impassable for the meek rider, and winching was a regular part of the journey.
After two years of negotiations with the Ministry of Natural Resources, the club was given the green light to upgrade the trail to a safe level so all types of riders had access to food and fuel in Minden.
They were hoping to do the work in August of 2012 to take advantage of the unusually dry summer, since many of the mud holes had dried up. Unfortunately, MNR identified the area as habitat for the Blandings turtle, a species at risk, and therefore would not allow work between May and October. The unseasonably wet fall added to the drenching from the tail end of Hurricane Sandy that saturated the area and replenished the mudholes prior to commencement of the work.
A local company, Thomas Contracting, delivered two-inch minus crushed stone from their quarry to the head of the trail. They then used a tandem axle hydraulic dump trailer to haul the stone along the trail farm tractor delivering about three tonnes per trip. Three tracked skid steers also delivered stone, and a tracked excavator prepared sections prior to filling.
More than 1,000 tonnes of aggregate was placed along the badly braided trail. The $50,000 project was largely funded by HATVA membership dues. The township of Minden Hills donated almost $10,000 for the work, recognizing the tourism benefits. Thomas Contracting also donated 50 tonnes of aggregate and countless hours of volunteer time.
HATVA is very proud of the results: a sustainable, safe trail leading ATV riders to and from the town of Minden, connecting them with the thousands of trails the area has to offer.