Multi- Use Trail Development Plan 2023

29 Jul 2023

Bruce Wurtele


Multi-Use Trail Development Plan


The Board of Directors is seeking your feedback on a proposed long-term plan to develop a multi-use trail network at Kawartha Nordic. A multi-use trail is a narrow trail that supports fat biking, snowshoeing, and classic skiing and would be packed by a snowmobile (no track-set). The proposed multi-use trail network does not share any groomed ski trails.

Snowshoe trails were first created at Kawartha Nordic in 2006 and then expanded with two additional connector trails to create the current 3 loop system. A 1.8 km fat biking trail was created in the 2022-2023 season after consultation with membership. And, over the last 2 years, a two kilometer wilderness (ungroomed) classic ski trail was created between the Red Fox and Kenner trails. The Board is looking to create additional recreational opportunities that better utilize these trails and offer trails of greater length and varied topography. A priority in the design was to maintain separation of fat bikes from existing groomed ski trails. The frequency of trail use by fat bikers, snowshoers, and backcountry (ungroomed) classic skiers is currently quite low when compared to the majority of visitors that ski on the groomed trail system. For this reason, the Board believes these 3 uses can co-exist on a dedicated trail network which can be viewed in the attached map.

The key features of the proposed network include:

  •   Converting 2 km of the existing snowshoe trails to multi-use trails while maintaining 7 km dedicated only to snowshoeing.
  •    In future there may be an option to re-route Kenner trail to its original route that has been used as a snowmobile trail by OFSC. The original trail is much more picturesque than the current Kenner trail and follows along Eels Creek with views of the river valley. If this trail is re-opened for classic skiing, the current Kenner trail and connecting snowshoe trails could be converted to a multi-use trail which would offer additional distance and routes.
  •   Create several short connections of new trails to connect with existing skid trails from the last logging activity and former ski trails that have not been used for several years.
  •   The former Kawartha trail segment from Owl to Kawartha (just north of Wolf-Kawartha junction) has already been cleared and brushed for ungroomed classic skiing.

The proposed network would be created in phases over a number of years as volunteers are available and demand warrants it.

Work permits and land use permits from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry are required for any new trails in the multi-use trail network. Given most of the trail segments currently exist either as former trails or forestry skid trails, the effort to create the new trail segments is relatively minor. As a narrow trail less than 3 feet wide, tree cutting would be minimal, and mostly limited to the removal of new small trees that have come up since the trails were last used.

The Board is also pursuing re-opening of the wilderness classic ski trails to the Bennett cabin, both on the east and west sides. The western trail to Bennett has not been used for several years and requires permission to cross private land. The eastern trail to Bennett has been closed this past season due to a large blowdown from the May 2022 derecho. Timing to reopen these trails will depend on a number of factors, and these trails will not be part of the multi-use trail network.

The Board welcomes input from the membership on this proposed multi-use trail development plan. Please send any comments on the multi-use trail development plan via this form by September 5, 2023.