Happy Trails

Two people walking along a trail during fall colours.

You Can Build Your Own Sustainable Trail

Take a moment. Picture yourself outside on your favorite recreational trail. Think about the features that make it great. Does it lead to a scenic view or feature of interest? Maybe you like that it winds through the forest rather than going in a straight line. The best trails are carefully planned and designed for specific uses. They look like they belong. They require minimal maintenance, protect habitat and bring joy to those who use them.

Knowing your property is the first step to sustainable trail building. Is there a special tree that you love to visit? Are there viewpoints and natural features that can be anchors for routing the trail? What sensitive areas need protecting? Understanding how water moves through your property informs trail slope planning that minimizes erosion. Knowing your property informs good trail design.

Six people walking along a trail during fall colours.
Exploring trails is a great way to reconnect with family and friends.

Next, consider how you will use your trail. Will you be cross-country skiing? Hiking? Mountain biking? How and when you use your trails determine design elements like potential routes, elevation changes, and trail clearance. Learn more about trail design best practices by watching our recent Sustainable Trails webinar or read our guest speaker’s recommended “how-to” guidebook for developing all types of recreational trails.

Get to know your property

Mindful planning when making property improvements provides long term benefits and enhances your recreation and enjoyment through higher quality habitat and wildlife viewing opportunities. Creating an overall stewardship plan for your property can help by assessing the condition of your natural areas and identifying options for improving habitat and protecting the environment. Funding is available for eligible projects through the Landowner Action FundRural Water Quality Programs and ALUS Peel Pilot. We cover up to 100 per cent of the cost to plant trees on your property with funding support from our municipal and federal partners on eligible projects for 2023. Connect with a stewardship coordinator to get started. Connect with us.

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