Universal Trail Opens in Northumberland County Forest

Cobourg, ON – October 15, 2014 – Celebrating 90 years of the Northumberland County Forest as a community retreat, local officials and members of the public gathered today to participate in the launch of a Universal Trail.

"The launch of this Universal Trail creates opportunities for more members of our communities to enjoy recreation experiences in the County Forest," stated Warden Linda Thompson. "2014 commemorates 90 years of the Forest as a beloved community retreat. I can think of no better way to celebrate this anniversary than with the opening of this inclusive, welcoming trail."

In 2014, Northumberland County Council approved a staff proposal to create a Universal Trail in the County Forest. This trail differs from others in the Forest in that it has a gravel base and a surface built with limestone screening, rather than a natural path through the trees, making it a more sturdy, level surface on which to travel. To further the mandate of making this trail as accessible as possible, benches were placed at rest areas at distances no greater than every 364 metres.

"This trail makes the County Forest even more open and accessible," said Cheryl Blodgett, Chair of the Northumberland Accessibility Advisory Committee. "This important development gives persons with disabilities a chance to experience nature and recreation similar to how able-bodied persons experience these pleasures on other forest trails. It is a wonderful, inclusive community resource."

The Universal Trail is located on Bowmanton Road, east of Beagle Club Road in the Township of Alnwick/ Haldimand. It is 3.2 kilometres overall, with 4 possible loops - the smallest being 750 metres and the longest being 2.2 kilometres.

For more information on the Northumberland County Forest and its system of trails, visit www.northumberlandcounty.ca/forest.

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