Taking a page from the “if you build it, they will come” philosophy, the Chatham-Kent Trails Council and the municipality are embarking on a public information drive to inform local residents about the number of walking trails in the community.
Dianne Flook, chair of the Chatham-Kent Trails Committee, said there are more than 40 trails across Chatham-Kent, encompassing something for every walker.
“We have urban trails, trails which go through woodlands, wetlands, parks and just about anything you could think of,” she said. “You could walk a different trail every day for a month and not duplicate your walk.”
A Chatham-Kent Trail map booklet has been published this year by the municipality and is available at every municipal service centre and library. In co-operative efforts with the local school boards, elementary school students took home copies earlier this year. The booklet is also available online at chatham-kent.ca/trails
The booklet contains a page for each trail with a map and information with the length, width, surface, running slope and cross slope.
“Walking is the one of the cheapest, most simple and effective ways of keeping yourself fit,” said Kathryn Kielstra of the Chatham-Kent parks department that produced the booklet. “We have an excellent system in place and with our relatively flat terrain, almost all trails are appropriate for all ages.”
Flook said many people think trails need to be in remote areas but many people would be surprised to realize the tranquility that can be found along almost any trail.
“Any trail near water will have frogs and turtles and even those in the city often have rabbits and many different kinds of birds,” she said. “There are all kinds of things you notice when you’re outside walking as opposed to driving by in a car.”
The booklet lists more than 75 kilometres of walking trails.