As noted by many residents, putting motorized vehicles and pedestrians on the same pathway is a dangerous proposition. As a skier, biker and hiker, it would be ideal from my perspective to have the proposed rails to trails restricted to pedestrian traffic only. Considering the many, nicely groomed snowmobile trails that crisis cross this area, I find it difficult to accept the notion that snowmobilers would be hard done by if they couldn’t use the proposed trail.
However, let’s look for a win-win Canadian outcome. As we celebrate our 150th anniversary, it seems appropriate to look eastward and consider what PEI has done with their Confederation Trail. It is restricted to bikers and hikers in the summer and snowmobiles in the winter. To note though, the Confederation trail does not run through the middle of any town as it would through Almonte. Perhaps a compromise?
Except for any areas where the trail passes through residential or town limits, the trail could be used by hikers and bikers in the snow free months (to be more precisely defined) and for snowmobilers in the snow months. For areas that pass through residential or town limits, the trail could be restricted to hikers, skiers and bikers (yes there are winter bikers). With the multitude of existing snowmobile trails, options could be examined for providing a bypass for the use of snowmobilers in the snow months.