Timothy Allen of the Merrickville and District Trails Society and Merrickville Public Library Librarian Mary-Kate Laphen at the start of the new story trail installation.

Summer is here! While there are lots of things to see and do in Merrickville-Wolford over the summer, the trail system is one of the Municipality’s best kept secrets. The Merrickville and District Trails Society is a group of dedicated volunteers who are committed to developing, maintaining and promoting several of the trails in the Municipality. The trails they support range from shorter walking paths in the Village through wilderness and local ruins, to longer trails in the municipality’s rural area.

The main trails that the Trails Society looks after are the Woodland-Toboggan Hill Loop, and the Merrickville-Limerick Trail. They are currently working on developing the Wetlands Trail, which runs along the Rideau Canal. There are several other trails that they promote, however they are looked after by other entities, such as the Municipality, or Parks Canada.

The Trails Society has been working hard to get their trails ready for the summer. They have about 120 people on their mailing list, and a volunteer executive team of about ten. Every year, a team of volunteers gets together to clear the trails from debris and to put down gravel, to mark the path. They are also always looking for ways to promote the trails, and make it more attractive for people of all ages to get active and enjoy the great outdoors.

The Woodland-Toboggan Hill Loop now has a Story Trail installation for children that was mentioned in the last issue of the North Grenville Times. There are also two geocaches along that trail for people who are interested in spending the day geocaching in the Village.

Timothy Allen, of the Trails Society, says they would love to increase the number of geocaches they have along their trails, establishing a network of geocaches. “We want to expand, and would like to have a geocaching day next year,” he says.

The Trails Society holds a few events over the year to promote the trails and walking in general. There are two group walks and two trail talks, one each in the Spring and Summer seasons. The Spring walk and talk has already happened, but the Fall walk is planned for mid October and will be on the Merrickville-Limerick Trail. The 2019 Fall trail talk will be in early November, and they will have a guest speaker talking about walking trails in Peru.
The Society has also come out with a new brochure, which outlines all the trails available for use. Brochures are free at establishments like the bank and many of the stores in the Village.

Volunteers to help maintain the trails, and support the Trails Society’s efforts, are always welcome. The group meets 6-8 times throughout the year, and meetings are always open to the public. For more information about getting involved with the Trails Society, or the different trails in the Village, visit their website www.merrickvilledistricttrailssociety.org, or contact Timothy at [email protected].

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