‘New’ waterway trail passes though Buckhorn

·2 min read

BUCKHORN — Banners have been placed on each of the eight lampposts on the Buckhorn lock bridge to help enhance tourism in the region as small businesses continue to struggle through the pandemic.

As an initiative through the Regional Tourism Organization 8 (RTO8), Trail Town has made the Trent-Severn Waterway Canada’s first waterway trail, says Leslie Clarkson, vice-chair of the RTO8 board and co-chair of the Buckhorn Trail Town committee.

The trail currently connects a total of nine communities on the system, including Buckhorn, Coboconk, Rosedale, Fenelon Falls, Lindsay, Bobcaygeon, Lakefield, Hastings and Campbellford, Clarkson said.

The concept was taken from the Great Allegheny Passage in the United States; a biking and hiking trail that runs from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C.

Tourism is one of the main economic drivers in Buckhorn, Clarkson said.

“Buckhorn is one of the busiest locks on the entire Trent Severn system, and our welcome centre is generally the busiest in the region,” she said.

Buckhorn is one of the only towns of the nine communities that has municipal funding, so some of the funding was used for the banners, Clarkson said.

“The main thing really is to get visitors to come to the area and to stay in the area and to stay in the region, and then to get them to want to come back and spend more time in the region,” said Clarkson.

Trail Town is a great opportunity to help attract visitors to the area and to let them know that there’s a variety of different things that they can do in the region, said Selwyn Township Mayor Andy Mitchell.

“It’s a great opportunity and it’s coming at a time when the tourism industry is facing some challenges,” he said.

“Hopefully we can position ourselves as we move forward, particularly in the spring and summer when, from a public health perspective, things will be much better to welcome visitors from across the province and across the world."

With boaters travelling down the Trent Severn Waterway as well as cars crossing the bridge, the banners will be seen by many, Clarkson said.

However, the banners are just the first step in the Trail Town initiative, Clarkson said.

“As we move forward to year two and year three, we will continue to capitalize on the relationship with Parks Canada and look at those other gyms that a visitor would stumble across and develop those as well,” she said.

Marissa Lentz is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. Her reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach her via email: mlentz@peterboroughdaily.com

Marissa Lentz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner