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GCRT Segment Aborignal Site To 401

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Trail segments:
Causeway To Rowing Club - Kingston Rowing Club To Belle Park - Belle Park To Apartments - Apartments To Aboriginal Site - Aborignal Site To 401 - 401 To Kingston Mills

Looking east from the marsh on the west across the Great Cataraqui River
Looking south and back towards the 401 in the distance
Railroad bridge under 401 showing the central arch with the two train tracks.

Segment Description

This segment of the trail is the longest, going from the Outer Station Archaeological Site to the 401. The proposed trail would go through the marsh on the water side of the CN railway at a sufficient distance from the railway to alleviate safety concerns. At the 401 railway underpass, the bridge has three arches. The central arch is over two tracks. The proposed trail would pass under the eastern arch.

Exciting Features

This section of the trail is the best for wildlife and educating the public about the ecology of the wetland.
Large numbers of species have been identified here.
A walking tour and displays showing pictures of the various creatures that inhabit the wetland would be in order.
School children could come and learn to appreciate and protect our wetlands.
People also inhabited the wetland. The Connery brothers lived on the islands trapping muskrats. All three came to sad ends.

Key Difficulties

Part of the terrain is fairly solid and part is fairly wet. And, of course, conditions vary according to year and according to season.

Part of the proposed trail would consist of a gravel berm and part would be bridges where needed.
The marsh is a protected wetland which means that it can only be used for scientific and educational purposes. We propose that the trail would be an educational purpose as it would serve to educate legions of school children as well as other interested citizens and tourists about the ecology of the wetland.

Some concerns have been raised about endangered turtles. We have been told by Matt Ellerbeck, local turtle expert, that the gravel berm would actually enhance the environment for the turtles by creating basking areas. Historically this is extremely degraded terrain what with the construction of the railway through the marsh and yet there remains an extroardinarily rich variety of wildlife.

Negotiating with CN, the Smiths Falls office of Parks Canada as well as the Ministry of Transport of Ontario and possibly the Federal Ministry of Transport present challenges.

Concerns have been raised about vandalism on the trail near the North End. We believe that with community involvement in the creation of the trail using members of the Boys and Girls Club partnered with community members from the Rotary, interested seniors as well as students from Queen's and RMC that potential vandals will buy into the trail and learn to appreciate and protect the ecosystem. Robert Rittwage of the Katarokwi Friendship Centre and also a volunteer policeman has suggested that community patrols would also be possible if an occasion warrants it

Accessibillity concerns have also been raised. In our opinion, as with other rural trails, signs should be posted that people proceed at their own risk. However in the case of a medical emergency we would hope that emergency access in the form of an ATV or such like might be possible although for ordinary trail use they would be barred.

List of properties or permissions to acquire

Permissions would be required from the Ministry of Transport of Ontario to pass under the 401 bridge, with CN to build near the railway, and with Parks Canada and possibly the Federal Ministry of Transport for constructing a trail through the wetland.

Cost estimates for trail conversion

To be determined

Timeline for conversion

To be detrmined
( Topic last updated: 2010.12.16 09:50:18 AM )