Essex County Trail System Marks Milestone

The 3rd year of celebrating the County Wide Active Transportation System, or C-WATS,  marks a unique milestone.

Canada's birthday and the size of the system have co-incided.

Jane Mustac is Manager of Transportation Planning and Development for Essex County.

She says the trail system has grown significantly since it began:  "C-WATS has been around for 5 years, we've been annually building our trails and our networks. This year we can celebrate 150 kilometres of off-road trail connected in the region, which co-incides with Canada 150"

She says the trail system is growing in popularity and they're beginning to gather data on the numbers.

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Essex County Warden Tom Bain at CWATS celebration (by AM800's Peter Langille)

Essex County Warden Tom Bain is surprised how qiuckly the trail system has grown:  "initially there was a push for it but once we got started the push from our residents became even greater.  They really expressed a need for more paths more equipment in our parks and more parks more areas where they could do physical activity"

Mustac says their initial tracking shows a 20-percent increase in trail use since the first ones opened.

A celebration event was held at the Atlas Tube Centre yesterday and another is being held at Brunet Park in LaSalle today.

More similar CWATS events are taking place in Essex and Amherstburg later this week.