Algonquin Trail Wins Provincial Awards

It’s another big boost for tourism in the Ottawa Valley.

The Algonquin Trail, which has been developed along the old CP railroad bed, was recognized with two provincial awards at a conference in Toronto last night.

One award is from the Economic Development Council of Ontario.

The other is a Lieutenant Governor’s Award, for which the trail beat out 400 other entries.

The County of Renfrew has been a major player in redeveloping the old rail line into a four-seasons trail surface, along with neighborhing municipalities Lanark County and the Township of Papineau-Cameron, near Mattawa.

Petawawa Mayor Bob Sweet was among the Renfrew County Council members on hand to receive the award Thursday evening.

Sweet says breathing new life into the old rail bed has truly proven to be another jewel for Valley tourism.

"I keep saying one door closed and another one opened", Sweet told Star 96.7 on Friday morning.

"The economic impact of what we have now far surpasses what the CP railway was delivering into the Upper Ottawa Valley.  You see that with the number of users we see on a regular basis", Sweet added.

"It's only going to get bigger and better and utilized by not only our generation, but generations to come.  It's a tremendous legacy project".

The County of Renfrew and other municipal governments continue to work on redeveloping sections of the rail bed into a flat and useable trail, with more sections being finished each year. 

The County's 2019 budget lays out money to complete the section between Renfrew and Arnprior.

Sections in and around Pembroke, Petawawa, Laurentian Valley, Laurentian Hills and Whitewater Region that are already finished have proven popular with a range of outdoor enthusiasts, from hikers to cyclists, joggers, snowshoers, and cross-country skiers.

Snowmobiles are permitted along certain designated sections of the trail.

Motorized off-road vehicles such as ATV's and dirt bikes are allowed on sections of the trail during certain times of the year which includes the summer months.

The by-law governing the specific rules of the trail can be found here:

http://www.countyofrenfrew.on.ca/county-council/by-laws/119-18/