Path of the Paddle - Ontario Trails Council

Report
EXPERIENTIAL
WATER ROUTE
Developing a Unique Ontario
Cultural Tourism Product in the
Heart of the Continent
“PATH OF THE PADDLE”
 TRANS CANADA TRAIL
(TCT) National & Ontario
board sanctioned initiative
connecting northern
Ontario land-based trails to
Manitoba recreational trails
 900+km proposed
canoe/kayak route in the
Heart of the Continent
 Aptly named after Canadian
canoeing icon Bill Mason
PROJECT BACKGROUND
 2003 - Water route concept
proposed
 2007 - TCT National
approved canoeing/kayaking
preferred use
 2008 - Planning exercise with
MNR & Ontario Parks
 2008 – MOU signed: MNR,
MHP & TCTO
PROJECT BACKGROUND
 2009 - Hap Wilson
recruited to assist with
project development
 2010 - RTO13 funding
approved to conduct
first season of route
planning & groundtruthing
 2011 - 5 water trail
concept plans completed
WATER TRAIL HISTORY
 Water routes were the first
trail in Canada referred to
as “Onigum”
 Ojibwa & Cree descendant
used this water route for
almost 10,000 years
 Used for early trade &
barter between Nations and
for seasonal hunting and
fishing forays
WATER TRAIL HISTORY
 Archaeological surveys along
the selected route include
over 200 pictograph sites,
dolmen stones and
waymarkers, tooling site &
pottery shards
 The Pigeon River link was
used by the North West
Company as a point of
rendezvous and inland trade
PATH OF THE PADDLE
 The creation of an all-
Canadian, representative
“canoe route trail” in terms
of National Heritage values
 Recognizes a rich & exciting
part of our history and
acknowledges People of the
First Nations & Canada’s
historic use of the canoe
WATER TRAIL SEGMENTS
 Anishnabe Trail – 107 kms:
Falcon River through Shoal
Lake FN #40 to Kenora
 Rushing River-Eagle Dogtooth
– 256 kms: Kenora through 2
Provincial Parks to Dryden
 Maukinak Trail – 212 kms:
Dryden through Turtle River
Provincial Park to Atikokan
(White Otter Castle)
WATER TRAIL SEGMENTS
 Quetico Trail – 208 kms:
Atikokan through Quetico
Provincial Park to Granite
River
 Omimi Trail – 129 kms:
Granite River through La
Verendrye & Pigeon River
Provincial Parks to Neebing
FIELD RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
 Determine the Best-Fit
routes, divided into
management units
 Cultural, natural resource &
historical trail initiatives
gathered
 Site planning & preparation
 Digitally mapped & ground-
truthed as a risk
management tool
FIELD RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
 Risk assessment of the water
route: skill level required on
trail & portages
 Identification of route
development projects
locations: access points, camp
sites, portages, wayfinding &
trail head signage
 Estimate cost to develop
each trail segment
FIELD RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
 Initial identification of
partners to form sub-clubs
for trail stewardship &
portage maintenance
 Materials gathered for draft
guidebook which will serve
as TCTO’s risk management
plan
DEVELOPMENT STATUS
 2011 - Season One field
research: 3 of 5 trail
segments completed
 2012 – Path of the Paddle
Project Manager recruited
 2012 – Funding to be
secured for Season Two field
research $40,000 and
completion of draft
guidebook & art and digital
mapping $47,400
DEVELOPMENT STATUS
 2012 – Independent trail
segment funding for
infrastructure build to be
secured (ie: Quetico Park)
 2013 – Path of the Paddle
not-for-profit club formed
 2013 – Additional trail
segment infrastructure builds
 2013 – Printing of guidebook
as risk management plan
DEVELOPMENT STATUS
 2013 – Completion of
wayfinding & trail head
signage program
 2013 – build and create the
support structure, businesses
that support trail users
 2014 – Initiate water trail
marketing and promotional
campaigns with partners
PROJECT BENEFITS
 Community diversification
 Job creation
 Volunteer driven
 First Nation inclusion
 Business opportunities
 Themed development
 Education
 Events & festivals
 Health promotion
PROJECT OPPORTUNITIES
 Develop a world-class
marketable experiential
tourism destination
 Natural links to RTO13,
OTMPC and Northern
Growth Plan objectives
 Unique marketing integration
including: “passport”
achievement program and
mobile application
PROJECT SUMMARY
 Review & renew MoU
signed: MNR, MHP &
TCTO to include MNDM
 Provincial designation &
route recognition
 Funding $87,400 to
complete risk management
plan
Path of the Paddle Steering Committee Members:
CAM CLARK – Past Chair and Board Member of TCTO
KIRSTEN SPENCE – TCTO Northern Trails Coordinator
VICKI KURZ – Path of the Paddle Project Manager
THANK YOU

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