Trails Open Ontario kicks off in Ottawa



    OTTAWA, June 2 /CNW/ - Today, the new Trails Open Ontario program kicks
off with two launch events - one on the Ottawa Section of the Rideau Trail and
one at the Petrolia Discovery Trail. Today's launch events coincide with
International Trails Day.
    "The McGuinty government supports Trails Open Ontario because it provides
opportunities for people to be physically active while enjoying Ontario's
trails, including right here in Ottawa," said Health Promotion Minister Jim
Watson, MPP Ottawa-West Nepean. "By investing in our trails system, we not
only are providing an inexpensive way for people to lead active, healthy
lives, but also, we are attracting visitors to communities throughout the
province, helping to strengthen local economies."
    The Ottawa section of the Rideau Trail begins along the shore of the
Ottawa River within sight of the Parliament Buildings and other Ottawa
landmarks. The trail traverses a variety of landscapes, including urban
pathways, forests, waterways, farmland, county trails and Rideau Canal lock
stations. Today's event included a 5-km hike on a combination of Rideau Trail
and National Capital Greenbelt trails. The Ottawa section of the Rideau Trail
is maintained by the Ottawa Rideau Trail Club, one of three regional clubs of
the Rideau Trail Association.
    "We are very pleased to be part of the inaugural Trails Open Ontario
season," said Ron Hunt, Chair of the Ottawa Rideau Trail Club. "Our event
gives us an opportunity to build awareness of the many hiking and walking
opportunities in the Ottawa area. It also enables us to demonstrate that
people of all age groups and fitness levels are welcomed, and can enjoy
themselves at Rideau Trail Association events."
    The Ontario Heritage Trust announced the pilot year of Trails Open
Ontario in April, with $100,000 in funding from the Ministry of Health
Promotion and with media sponsorship from The Globe and Mail. Modelled on the
success of Doors Open Ontario - a provincewide heritage tourism program -
Trails Open Ontario is designed to promote trail use and education, support
natural heritage conservation and stewardship, and encourage physical activity
and a healthy lifestyle. Trails Open Ontario events are free to the public.
    "Trails Open Ontario is a unique natural heritage tourism program that
showcases the province's trails and natural heritage," said The Honourable
Lincoln M. Alexander, Chairman of the Ontario Heritage Trust. "These events
encourage people to venture outdoors and lead an active, healthy lifestyle,
while discovering the beauty of Ontario's trail systems."
    Seven Trails Open Ontario events are planned across the province in this
pilot year:

    
    -   Lambton County Trails - Petrolia Discovery Trail: Discover a Trail
        Day! - June 2

    -   Rideau Trail - Ottawa Section: Lime Kiln Hike - June 2

    -   Voyageur Trail - Saulteaux Section: Hub Trail Evening Hike - June 7

    -   Oak Ridges Trail: The Moraine for Life Hike on the Oak Ridges Moraine
        Trail - June 17

    -   Elora Cataract Trailway: Tree Planting and Hike - September 16

    -   Bruce Trail - Sydenham Section: Bruce Trail Day in Woodford -
        September 30

    -   Bruce Trail - Iroquoia Section: Bruce Trail Day at Kerncliff Park -
        September 30
    

    Additional Trails Open Ontario information is available at
www.heritagetrust.on.ca. The free Trails Open Ontario 2007 Guide - featuring
participating trail organizations and events - is included as a special
pull-out section in the Doors Open Ontario 2007 Guide. Both guides are
available by calling 1-800-ONTARIO (668-2746).

    The Ontario Heritage Trust - the province's lead heritage agency - is
dedicated to identifying, preserving, protecting and promoting Ontario's
built, cultural and natural heritage for the benefit of present and future
generations.

    
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For further information:

For further information: Catrina Colme, Marketing and Communications
Coordinator, Ontario Heritage Trust, Telephone: (416) 325-5074, E-mail:
catrina.colme@heritagetrust.on.ca


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