Blyth bridge installation adds to G2G Trail - Sept. 7, 2017
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
With the installation of a new bridge just west of Blyth, the Goderich-to-Guelph (G2G) Rail Trail took another big step towards its end-to-end goals.
Chris Lee of G2G Inc., which is building and maintaining much of the trail, said that the bridge work last week was a big moment for him and his colleagues.
Several workers were brought in to install the bridge, which was co-financed by Huron County and Regional Tourism Organization 4 (RTO4). The bridge was craned into its location and then put into place by the workers.
For Lee, the bridge was an important step in the process, knowing that the Blyth Brook area of the trail was a major gap that needed to be closed.
There are a number of rivers along the trail – namely the Maitland, Conestoga and Grand Rivers – that have presented challenges along the way, but little by little that work is being done.
And, while there are still a few small jobs to be done, the bridge installation took place just in time.
In the years between the trail announcement and now, Lee has always identified the International Plowing Match (IPM) in Walton as a milestone for the trail. To be able to provide a potential avenue for active transportation that could deliver people directly to the door of the IPM, to him, would be a huge accomplishment and the first of its kind.
To be able to provide a way for people from the Kitchener, Guelph and Waterloo areas to make their way to the IPM in Walton, either by hiking or by biking, would be a major achievement in the world of active transportation, Lee said.
“The numbers aren’t going to be huge, but the option is there and the fact that that can happen is really exciting,” he said.
As far as work on the trail from end to end is concerned, Lee said that it is an exciting time to be involved with the G2G.
The trail is now able to be fully hiked from end to end, he said, and, depending on the bike you own and your skill level, it can be biked from end to end as well.
If you own a good mountain bike and are an experienced rider, Lee said the trail shouldn’t be a problem. However, if you have a hybrid bike and are new to negotiating rough patches of trail, it might not be the time for you to bike certain short portions of the trail.
Those behind the trail are working to do some last-minute clearing of brush and some tidying up, but aside from that work, Lee says G2G Inc. will be putting its best foot forward just in time for the IPM.
Work is ongoing to create a bike corral from the trail that will bring users of the G2G right to the front gate of the match with no shuttle necessary. In addition, work is ongoing at the tract of Huron County forest right near Walton that will create a trail that will link the IPM’s RV park to the trail, allowing those staying at the IPM to easily access the trail.
For more information on the trail, visit its website at g2grailtrail.com.