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.
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.
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.
To be determined