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Officials celebrate 600 new kilometres for South Georgian Bay trail

Minister Lisa McLeod joined local politicians and the trail trust to officially open the newest stretch of the 3,600-km Great Lakes Waterfront Trail

A recreational trail spanning much of Ontario has just grown by 600 kilometres with a new stretch that winds through Simcoe, Grey, and Bruce Counties. 

Lisa McLeod, Ontario minister of sport, heritage, tourism and culture industries joined local politicians and trail creators at Blue Mountain Village on Saturday morning to officially open the new stretch of trail.

The trail was started 26 years ago with a 325-kilometre stretch along Lake Ontario and is stewarded by the Waterfront Regeneration Trust with support from multiple levels of government and private-sector industries. 

Marlaine Koehler, executive director of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust, said she hopes one day the trail will extend into the U.S. It currently runs along waterfront from Sault Ste. Marie to the Quebec border. 

The latest stretch of trail added connects 26 more communities in Bruce, Grey, and Simcoe Counties. 

Local dignitaries at the launch included MPP BIll Walker, Blue Mountains Mayor Alar Soever, Collingwood Mayor Brian Saunderson, Grey County Warden Selwyn Hicks and Simcoe County Warden George Cornell. Also there for the launch were Cheryl Weldon, director of development for the Greenbelt Foundation and Tracy Nickelford, manager of community relations for CAA South Central Ontario. 

Saturday's official trail opening was also part of the 2021 Great Waterfront Trail Adventure, which is a 500-kilometre cycle tourism event that will see a group of about 70 cyclists ride from Blue Mountain to Point Clark in Huron Kinloss along the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail.

For more on the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail and a map, click here.