To celebrate the partnerships that made twinning the Algonquin Trail in Petawawa possible, a ribbon cutting was held on Oct. 18. Members from various groups attended the ceremony on the trail itself. From left are Petawawa Parks and Recreation Facilities Supervisor Mark Reinert; Sheila Clarke with the Petawawa Accessibility Advisory Committee; Petawawa Public Works Director David Unrau; Laura Lapinskie, Constituency Assistant to MPP John Yakabuski; Petawawa Mayor Bob Sweet; Jason Davis, Manager of Forestry and GIS Services; Ottawa Valley Cycling and Active Transportation Alliance (OVCATA) Secretary Ron Moss, Petawawa Councillor James Carmody, Garrison Petawawa Personnel Support Programs (PSP) Health Promotion Manager Dana Lawson, Petawawa Community Services Director Kelly Williams and CAO/Clerk Dan Scissons. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

Algonquin Trail project links to Garrison
Petawawa Fitness Trail

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Thursday November 7, 2019

A stretch of the Algonquin Trail in Petawawa has been twinned, allowing two distinct parallel paths for separate motorized and non-motorized users.

For 2.4 km from Town Centre Boulevard to Portage Road, walkers, runners and cyclists will have their asphalt walkway. “This is a safety aspect that we brought to the Algonquin Trail,” said Petawawa Mayor Bob Sweet.

Though it runs throughout Petawawa, town borders are not its limit. The entire Algonquin Trail stretches from Smiths Fall to Mattawa, Ont. and measures 296 kms. It traverses the town, mostly alongside Petawawa Boulevard. “It isn’t all complete yet,” noted Sweet. “There is some beautification that will be done with benches and garbage disposal.

“It is going to be a showpiece in the centre of our town,” he added. “I’m very, very excited about that.” It was only made possible through partnerships and aided by the now-defunct Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling (OMCC) funding program. This funding was part of a four-year cost-sharing directed program under the Climate Change Action Plan to reduce Green House Gas emissions by encouraging people to use cycling paths. It allowed the town to develop their Active Transportation Plan, from which the idea to twin the trail was born.

In partnership with Petawawa Town Centre Developments, the County of Renfrew and using the remaining OMCC funds, the creation of this paved cycling and the walking trail began in late 2018. Though funding for the OMCC program was pre-emptively cut after just one year, Petawawa continued the project, ensuring that it would connect to Garrison Petawawa.

This would allow military members and others who work on the Garrison to safely cycle to and from work. The twinned path also joins to the Garrison Fitness Legacy Trail by way of the Four Seasons Bridge. “I know there are a number of people who do commute (by bicycle) so it is nice to have this safe option,” said Personnel Support Programs (PSP) Health Promotion Manager Dana Lawson. “It’s great to see this expansion in the town itself as well as that connectivity to the Garrison. It is hugely important.”

The twinned section of the trail is for non-motorized use only. The main Algonquin Trail, however, allows for ATV and snowmobiles as well as cyclists and pedestrians. “This is great news going forward, this is an alternative for those who want it,” said Mayor Sweet, adding this is an opportunity for walkers and cyclists to make their way through town safely, avoiding traffic and keeping fit.