Trails Open Ontario kicks off in Petrolia



    PETROLIA, ON, June 2 /CNW/ - Today, the new Trails Open Ontario program
kicks off with two launch events - one at the Petrolia Discovery Trail and one
on the Ottawa Section of the Rideau Trail. Today's launch events coincide with
International Trails Day.
    "Trails Open Ontario promotes physical activity and highlights the
recreational opportunities provided by the province's trails," said Caroline
Di Cocco, Minister of Culture. "The Petrolia Discovery Trail showcases the
unique landscape and history of the area, providing a great example of the
cultural and natural heritage wonders that Ontario's trails have to offer."
    The Petrolia Discovery Trail is one of the most popular trails accessible
through the Lambton County Regional Trail System. The 4-km trail consists of
four loops and meanders along the banks of the Bear Creek through woodlands
and grassland prairies. The trail is lined with rare tree species such as the
Kentucky Coffeetree and passes a variety of artifacts from the 1890s petroleum
industry. Today's event included bird, plant and tree identification, wildlife
watching and a scavenger hunt. The trail is maintained by the Town of Petrolia
and promoted by the County of Lambton.
    "We are extremely pleased to be part of Trails Open Ontario," said John
McCharles, Mayor of Petrolia. "Our trails provide an opportunity to explore
the unique natural landscapes of this part of the province. This program will
encourage people to explore our trail and other trails across Ontario and
learn more about Petrolia's contribution to Ontario's heritage."
    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.
    "Ontario's natural heritage is rich and diverse - from wetlands and
woodlands, to grasslands and geological land formations," said The Honourable
Lincoln M. Alexander, Chairman of the Ontario Heritage Trust. "Trails Open
Ontario encourages people to experience and enjoy this extraordinary heritage
by taking advantage of the province's vast network of trails."
    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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