The Glengarry Trails system remains open during the COVID-19 pandemic, offering an opportunity for you to get some exercise and fresh air during this anxious time.
Four trails collectively cover 13 km through North Glengarry forests, west of Alexandria. Normal spring conditions prevail, so walked should be prepared for varying surfaces, including soft snow, ice, mud, puddles, and flooding.
Access points include the west end of Lochiel Street in Alexandria, County Road 43 just west of the hospital, County Road 45 and Marcoux Road south of County Road 43, and Kenyon Dam Road.
For more information on the trails and current conditions, check out the group’s website and Facebook page.
Note, the Annual General Meeting has been postponed to April 23.
North Glengarry mayor Jamie MacDonald tells me that “At this point, we are still open,” when asked about the township’s recreation facilities and widespread shuttering of sports leagues across the country, along with facilities where large numbers of people typically congregate, due to concerns over COVID-19. However, he adds, “We have suspended the March break camps.”
MacDonald goes on to say, “Well we are being guided by Dr. Paul [Roumeliotis, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit medical officer of health] … keep crowds under 250.”
Meanwhile, this afternoon, the township of South Glengarry announced in a press release that the municipality is “taking proactive measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. While the risk in South Glengarry remains low, the municipality is taking necessary steps to protect the health of residents. As such, recreation facilities and community centres will all be closed from Monday, March 16 to Monday, April 6.”
All events scheduled during this period will be either cancelled or postponed. The list of closed facilities in the south includes the Char-Lan Recreation Centre, Martintown Community Centre, Green Valley Community Centre, North Lancaster Community Centre, Paul Rozon Park building, and Jack Danaher Park building.
Facilities in Cornwall are also being closed: “In light of COVID-19, the City of Cornwall is taking necessary steps to protect the health of residents. As such, recreation facilities will be closed from Monday, March 16 to Sunday, April 5, inclusive. The Aquatic Centre is closed as of Friday, March 13 at 10:30 p.m.”
The EOHU states, “At the moment, the risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus is considered low. However, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) continues to work with our partners at the regional, provincial and federal levels to monitor the situation, and is prepared to respond to any potential cases in our area should they occur.”
The Friends of Glengarry Trails Association has scheduled its annual general meeting for Thursday, March 26, starting at 7 p.m. New general members and board members are welcome.
Note/update: AGM has been postponed to April 23.
Board member Patricia Kerr, in a post to the organization’s Facebook page, noted all are invited to attend the meeting, which will be held at The Georgian House Restaurant, 148 Main Street, in Alexandria.
“We invite you to consider being on the Board of Directors of this vital community organization that develops, maintains, and promotes our safe public trails system for outdoor walking, biking, and skiing trails in the Alexandria area,” Kerr added.
“Please consider this opportunity to make a difference in your community by serving as a board member. Being on the Board of Directors contributes to the broader community in so many ways, making possible a safe, public trail system near Alexandria, that supports outdoor recreation, tourism, environmental education, nature connection, and natural heritage in our local area.”
Among items on the agenda for the AGM are a report on the new boardwalk that was installed last fall (accessible from the Lochiel Street entrance to the trails), a report on the StoryWalk Project, the annual financial report, and the annual election of Board of Directors. (Several positions are open for 1-year and 2-year terms.) There will also be a 30-minute presentation on trails of Cuba.
Current members may vote at the AGM, join committees, and stand for election as board members.
The Glengarry Trails offer 13 km of groomed, marked routes in North Glengarry, flanked by Island Park in Alexandria, County Road 43, the southern portion of County Road 45, and Lakeshore Road / Loch Garry.
Conditions are ideal for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Winter walking is also permitted. Five trails are now available, with the seasonal trail recently opened. Users of the green trail should note that the path is shared with the snowmobile club.