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Lynn Valley Trail use thriving during pandemic

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Going for a walk is one of the few activities not impacted by the global pandemic.

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As such, many people have turned to area trails to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise.

At just over 11 kilometres, the Lynn Valley Trail from Port Dover to Simcoe and has become one of the busiest trails in the county.

“We know this trail is getting a lot of use,” said Helen Wagenaar, president of the Board of Directors of the Lynn Valley Trail Association. “The numbers have gone up through the roof and there are months where we can count 10,000 people at the entrances.”

The LVTA will be making upgrades to the trail, such as easily accessible ramps, resurfacing the path and repairing the structural support of the Rotary bridge.

The Rotary bridge project has an estimated cost range of $120,000-$130,000. The association is currently looking for funding and plans to begin a fundraiser for the bridge in the fall.

This week, the federal and provincial governments announced joint funding under the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan for improvements to the trail. The federal portion is $58,420 while the province will kick in $48,678 and $30,952 will be provided by the LVTA.

Funds will be used to replace six existing wooden bridge ramps on the trail with an updated design to improve accessibility. Funds will also be used for resurfacing 6.75 kilometres of the trail and paving of 1.15 kilometres on the Port Dover in-town section to improve accessibility for all trail users.

The association has a 16-person board of directors and members are heavily involved in trail development.

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Last year, the LVTA launched its membership drive where residents can optionally pay $15 to help provide funds for maintenance and additional trail accessories.

“We started with just under 200 members and our goal was to double the membership and we had a slogan ‘Let’s Get Moving’, now we have achieved over 500 members,” said Wagenaar.

“It’s awesome. It shows that people really want to help, and it was also an informational campaign at the same time, so people know how the Lynn Valley Trail Association worked in cooperation with Norfolk County.”

The association has also provided garbage cans at the entrances and exits of the trail, rather than along the path in order to reduce litter. Wagenaar says this method has been effective.

The idea of having garbage cans at the exits and entrances kicked off as a campaign with Norfolk County called, Pack In, Pack Out.

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