A reader’s view on the rail trail

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To the committee considering the development of The Rail Trail, and to citizens of Almonte and area.

I have lived 24 years in this area: 21 in Pakenham and 3 years in Almonte.  I am aware of a huge network of snowmobile trails in our area and how much those trails are enjoyed.  However, I do not think that snowmobiles should be allowed on the trail through or close to Almonte. These are my reasons.

Safety If the trail is a multipurpose trail… for hikers, skiers, winter bikes, then snowmobilers in areas close to the town of Almonte are dangerous to walkers, hikers skiers and winter bikes and possibly cars at crossings.  Non-motor traffic would be denser within the town limits and therefore are in greater danger from snowmobilers.

Precedence The city of Peterborough has marvellous trails within the city limits, and along the river out to Lakefield. They are used by bicycles, hikers, skiers in winter. Snowmobilers are not allowed on the trails within the city limits and out to Lakefield. This system works.  Snowmobile trails are separate from the walking, hiking, skiing trails and both are marked clearly.. Snowmobilers enjoy large networks of trails in area around the city of Peterborough and the town of Lakefield.

Sound  Snowmobilers in and close to the town of Almonte, a residential area, would cause too much noise. There are a number of condos in the restored mills right on the Mississippi River, and the loud sounds of the snowmobile motors would be magnified near the water.

Sufficient trails and river crossings, without access to Almonte trails  The river could be crossed by snowmobilers, close by at Blakeney, a less busy community. More safety for all in crossing at that location.

Quiet areas for non-motorized activities. Hearing the sounds of nature are important to the walkers, skiers and hikers.  These would be drowned out by snowmobile motor noise.

Please respect my voice.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth Veninga