We have received the following cautionary note from a local community member regarding the Tay Shore Trail. Please tread carefully if you’re out there.
If you are using the Tay Trail be aware of a drop-off hazard on the bridge at Hogg River (Vent’s Beach Rd Victoria Hbr.) Best to stay single file and only on center paved portion. Drop-off can occur on either side, I have advised TAY twp. of this problem, and hopefully it may be addressed. Also, be extremely cautious at the barriers along the way as there HAVE been incidents with them.
Please see attachment showing diagram of hazard area.
Just in time for the June 21, 2014 Pilgrim Route opening, maps of the 87 km route from Barrie to Martyrs’ Shrine in Midland via Orillia were posted on www.georgianbaytrails.org under maps.
As for the opening day, it promises to be a great day… lots of sunshine, an 11 km hikealong the beautiful Georgian Bay Snowriders Trail (with drop out points for anyone wanting to do a shorter hike, etc. ), historical and aboriginal information, a blessing and smudging, fundraising BBQ, campfire with bannock making, free admission and tours at the Martyrs’ Shrine, pilgrim mass, etc. Bring water and insect repellent!
For details and a map of the event itself see trails event brochure
Thanks to the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the board of Simcoe County Trails and staff of the Martyrs’ Shrine for making the Pilgrim Route become a reality.
Thanks also to the Georgian Bay Snowriders snowmobile club for opening up the snowmobile trail to other users, and thanks to Tourism Simcoe County, Avionics, Factory Recreation, the Champlain Commemoration 2015, and the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit for assisting us with the June 21 opening of the Pilgrim Route and Georgian Bay Snowmobile Trail.
The Tiffin Conservation Area in Utopia will be closed June 18 due to storm damage. Members of the public are asked to avoid the area as downed trees and property damage may pose hazard.
All trails at the Tiffin Centre, including SCT’s Loop Trail, are closed until further notice.
Also, the NVCA Administration Office, located at the Tiffin Centre, will be closed June 18 due to the storm damage. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
Thanks to a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the idea of a permanent Pilgrim Route to the Martyrs’ Shrine, was presented by Simcoe County Trails (www.simcoetrails.ca) to the Martyrs’ Shrine and has been enthusiastically embraced by various municipalities in Simcoe County.
“The Pilgrim Route enables anyone to follow the route any day of the year, alone or with friends or family, as a parish, or as a tourist to explore this part of Canada, in an off-road setting”, says Fr. Bernard Carroll, S.J., Director of the Martyrs’ Shrine. “Some pilgrims may want to follow the Pilgrim Route for religious reasons, others may just want to set themselves a personal challenge, meet other people, or visit another region.”
Mike Lauder, chair of Georgian Bay Trails, a recently founded Trail Development organization and committee of Simcoe County Trails, added that “From a tourism perspective, the Pilgrim Route is expected to bring tourists to the area and contribute to the local economy as pilgrims and tourists need accommodations, food and other supplies along the way”.
As a first phase in the development of the Pilgrim Route in Simcoe County, a route between Barrie and Midland via Orillia and Coldwater has been confirmed and follows Barrie’s North Shore Trail, the Lake Country Oro Medonte Railtrail, Orillia’s Millenium Trails, the Uhthoff Trail, the Tay Shore Trail and the Georgian Bay Snowriders Trail. Further expansions are planned south to Tottenham and into neighbouring regions.
Georgian Bay Trails, Simcoe County Trails and the Martyrs’ Shrine are therefore very pleased to announce the official opening of the Georgian Bay Snowriders Trail as well as the Pilgrim Route on June 21, 2014, National Aboriginal Day, which was deemed an appropriate date as our local trails in many instances follow aboriginal trade routes. Samuel de Champlain also took advantage of these trade routes to explore the area.
The June 21 opening event program includes:
· Official opening ceremonies at St. Ignace (on Rosemount Road, Tay Twp)
· 10 km Walk from St. Ignace to the Martyrs’ Shrine along the Pilgrim Route on the new Georgian Bay Snowriders Trail
· Fundraising BBQ for Georgian Bay Trails at Trestle Park on hwy 12
· Guided tours of the Martyrs’ Shrine and the Museum
· Bannock making and trail club displays
· Pilgrim Mass
Everyone welcome. Free admission and parking at the Martyrs’ Shrine. Enter via the west gate on hwy 12, just east of Midland. Free busing to St. Ignace between 8:30 AM– 9:30 AM. Hop-on/hop-off buses at trail crossings to Trestle Park and to Martyrs’ Shrine in the early afternoon. Parking at St. Ignace or on Rosemount Road is very limited and should be avoided. Bring your own water bottle.
We hope you will join us for this event.
Earlier this year, the Midland Ganaraska Hiking club raised $550 at a winter ski and snowshoe event, and is happy to donate these funds to the newly established Georgian Bay Trails (www.georgianbaytrails.org).
The Georgian Bay Trails (GBT) organization is a grass roots trail organization established to provide quality, well built and well maintained trails that connect the trail systems in Tiny, Tay, Midland and Penetanguishene. Their goal is to work closely with local municipal trail committees, as well as with residents and businesses, to design and develop new trails, secure private and public land use agreements or easements, and to raise funds to finance the projects (grants, donations, endowments, events, etc.), Some of their current projects, (all still in the planning stages) include a trail from Penetanguishene to Awenda Provincial Park, and a trail from the Tay Shore Trail at hwy 12 in Midland to Wyebridge then further extending along Tiny Conc. 7 to Wylbolwood Beach.
The Georgian Bay Trails organization has been set up as a trail development committee of Simcoe County Trails (www.simcoetrails.ca), which is a not for profit charitable organization. Donations to Georgian Bay Trails can therefore be made to Simcoe County Trails (charitable number 869134759RR0001), or through the Huronia Community Foundation.
The Georgian Bay Trails committee’s first success story involves a new 13 km trail running south of highway 12 from Rumney Road (i.e. from Hole in the Wall at Hogg’s Bay) to Sandhill Road in Tay Township. The Georgian Bay Trails committee is very thankful to the Georgian Bay Snowriders, the local snowmobile club, for opening their snowmobile trail to walkers and cyclists so that this trail can be used year round. Last fall, Georgian Bay Snowriders spent $25,000 on resolving drainage problems and surface upgrades on this natural surface trail located on the old CPR line. The trail is particularly scenic as it passes various wetlands, goes through dense forest, along the Hogg River, and crosses the Sturgeon River waterfalls east of Rosemount Road. In combination with the paved Tay Shore trail, trail users can now walk or ride a mostly off-road loop between Midland and Waubaushene. The official opening of this new trail is scheduled for June 21, 2014 at 10 AM at St. Ignace on Rosemount Road and will be followed by a walk and bike ride to the Martyrs’ Shrine. More details to follow.
Ganaraska club members will be participating in the June 21 event, as part of their regular hiking schedule. Anyone is welcome to join in the club’s weekly hikes, which may include a variety of difficulty levels (from easy to challenging) and may take place close-by or further away such as on the Bruce Trail. The Wednesday hikes are quite easy, local and a maximum of 2 hours.. The club meets at the Tim Horton’s sign post in front of the Huronia Mall on hwy 93. Members also take part in recreational bike rides, canoe and kayak outings, camping weekends, and many more social events. Everyone welcome. For more information, check the Hike Schedule on http://www.ganaraska-hiking-trail.ca or contact 705-245-1005.
We all know people who have hiked the Camino Frances, an 800 km pilgrimage from St-Jean-Pied-de-Port (in France) to Santiago de Compostela in Western Spain. Some of us may even plan to hike this Camino as one of the things on our bucket list. And if you have not seen it yet, you’ll enjoy seeing the movie “The Way” with Martin Sheen. Quite the cultural and spiritual experience he had, as he walked the 800 kms to Santiago.
So if people from all over the world come to Spain to hike the Camino Frances, why not create a Canadian Camino? We have the National Shrine of the Canadian Martyrs located in Midland, right on the Ganaraska hiking trail. We also have a network of existing railtrails leading to this same shrine in Midland. And annually, huge pilgrimages already take place from Burlington, Guelph, Toronto, etc. to Midland.
Hundred of pilgrims take part in organized pilgrimage walks on specific days throughout the summer. The groups tend to use roads, some quite busy, to make the annual trek. Would it not be much nicer to undertake a pilgrimage on more scenic trails? Trails would certainly be much more suitable for quiet reflection, meditation, prayer and enjoyment of our beautiful countryside
With a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Simcoe County Trails (www.simcoetrails.ca) presented the idea to create pilgrimage routes that one could follow any day of the year, alone or with friends or family, or as a parish, or as a tourist to explore this part of Canada, to the Martyrs’ Shrine who enthusiastically embraced the concept.
Some pilgrims may want to follow the Pilgrim Route for religious reasons, others may just want to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, or set themselves a personal challenge, meet other people, or visit another region or country.
Also, from a tourism perspective, the Pilgrim Route is expected to bring tourists to the area and contribute to the local economy as pilgrims and tourists need accommodations, food and other supplies along the way.
The Pilgrim Route to Midland uses existing trails, on which pilgrimage wayfinding signs will be installed in the future. Permissions have been requested and have been received from various landowners, usually municipalities, who own most of the major trails in Simcoe County. As an option, pilgrims and tourists can also follow the blazes of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail from Barrie to Midland.
In 2014, the Pilgrim Route is being opened on June 21, 2014 and will include a 10 km hike or a 30 km bike ride along the Georgian Bay Snow Riders Trail and the Tay Shore Trail to the Martyrs’ Shrine.
Participants will enjoy re-enactments, a fundraising BBQ, storytelling, traditional 17th century food, and free access to the Martyrs’ Shrine, the grounds and the museum. We hope you will join us for this event. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
While the Pilgrim Route started in Simcoe County, it is hoped that neighbouring regions will also pick up on the idea and extend the Pilgrim Routes through their areas.
In Spain, “buen camino” is commonly used to greet pilgrims and wish them well. We’ll have to come up with our own Canadian version… any suggestions?