New toboggan hill in North Grenville

·2 min read

Ferguson Forest Centre has partnered with the municipality of North Grenville to open a new toboggan hill for children and adults to enjoy, without having to leave town.

"The need for safe, outdoor recreational activities for families is even greater during the pandemic, and we thank Ferguson Forest Centre for offering such a wonderful space," said Mayor Nancy Peckford.

The new hill is located in the Arboretum at Ferguson Forest Centre (241 Honour Way) right across from the dog park, and is serviced by the dog park parking lot and washrooms. It's the only toboggan hill in North Grenville; the next nearest toboggan hills are in Limerick Forest, Winchester and Merrickville.

"I was walking with my kids on one of the Ferguson Forest trails this fall and I don’t usually walk by the Arboretum, but I did that day and spotted a slight rise in that area, so when Councillor O'Sullivan and I were meeting with Carl over some other ideas, I mentioned it to him and he welcomed it," said Peckford, referring to Coun. Doreen O'Sullivan and Carl Doucette, president of the Ferguson Forest Centre Corporation.

As flat as the North Grenville terrain is, this is not a high hill, but it has a long decent, making it an ideal family-friendly toboggan hill for adults and children alike.

"I went down the hill with my granddaughter and then with my husband, and at first I thought, oh this is so small, but it's actually ideal because you can get quite a bit of speed because of the length of the run," said O'Sullivan, council's parks, recreation and culture liaison.

The low long descent makes it fun even for teenagers, while the gentle climb back up to the top makes it easy for toddlers and grandparents to repeat the run numerous times.

The mayor and council have been focused on developing new outdoor recreational opportunities for residents since the last election, when they repeatedly heard about the need from residents, according to Peckford. Meanwhile, the forestry centre is a natural partner.

"The Ferguson Forest Centre is a not-for-profit corporation, and our mandate is forestry education and recreation. So we've developed the trail system and the dog park. The hill was already there, so we worked with the municipality to put up some fencing to protect some trees, removed some benches, added some hay bales for safety and put up new signage. The biggest issue was finding snow!" said Doucette.

Saturday’s snowfall filled that gap, and while it wasn't a huge snowfall it was ideal for the new hill, according to O'Sullivan.

"Having this new facility to expand outdoor recreation for families in our community is a welcome asset and very important for our wellbeing," she said.

Heddy Sorour, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brockville Recorder and Times