Tarentorus Fish Hatchery aims to close trails at HiawathaTuesday, September 24, 2013 by: Steffanie Petroni
It has come to the attention of SooToday.com that the Red Pine Trail in Hiawatha Highlands will be possibly or inevitably closed to cyclists.
It has not yet been confirmed if this will affect hikers and cross-country skiers.
The Red Pine trail is located on Ontario government land.
The move was announced by Tarentorus Fish Hatchery manager Paul Vieira in a meeting with the Kinsmen Club on August 21.
The Sault Cycling Club has sent a letter to MPP David Orazietti outlining their concerns with the closure.
“The Red Pine trails are used by hundreds of cyclists, both locals and tourists, from May to November and are an important component of Sault Ste. Marie’s recreational facilities.”
The Sault Cycling Club website states that parts of the Red Pine trail will be fenced off to prevent access.
An anonymous source indicated that the decision came with seemingly no founded concern.
“It seems more like an empire-building thing. There’s no damage being done by hikers or mountain bikers back there.”
SooToday.com will update this story as it unfolds.
At this time, no spokesperson from the Tarentorus Fish Hatchery was available for comment.
Below is the letter from Sault Cycling Club to Orazietti.
It has come to the attention of the Sault Cycling Club that the de facto trail access cyclists have enjoyed on the Red Pine trail system at Hiawatha is being threatened by Paul Vieira, OMNR, manager of the Tarentorus Fish Hatchery.
Mr. Vieira informed the Kinsmen Club of Sault Ste Marie (the land use permit holder) in a meeting on August 21, 2013 that mountain bike trails will not be permitted on land managed by the fish hatchery.
At the meeting, two members of the Kinsmen club suggested some alternative trail management approaches but Mr. Vieira said that he was unwilling to consider any option other than closing all of the trails, while at the same time admitting he had no evidence of impact of the trails on the fish hatchery.
The Red Pine trails are used by hundreds of cyclists, both locals and tourists, from May to November and are an important component of Sault Ste. Marie’s recreational facilities.
Mountain bikers have been riding on the Red Pine system since the late 1980s, using the combination of double track ski trails as well as single track mountain bike, snowshoeing and hiking trails.
The Red Pine trail system constitutes a large proportion of the total trail network in Sault Ste. Marie and offers a unique trail experience relative to other trails at Hiawatha.
The Sault Cycling Club has formed effective partnerships with the Kinsmen, the Conservation Authority and the Algoma Highlands Conservancy to design, build, maintain, and map an excellent mountain bike trail system in Sault Ste. Marie.
The club is affiliated with the International Mountain Bike Association.
We would be interested in forming a partnership with the fish hatchery to manage trails on the property in order to limit any potential impact that trails may have on the fish hatchery and to improve the quality of the trail experience for cyclists as a mountain biking destination.
We are asking for your help as our MPP and as Minister of Natural Resources to find a resolution to this problem.
We would appreciate it if you would contact us to discuss this matter.