New South Huron Trail Mobile
New South Huron Trail Mobile continues tradition of bringing nature experience to those with limited mobility
South Huron Community Grant; Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation grant make it possible to purchase new electric cart for South Huron Trail
The South Huron Trail Mobile rides again. People with limited mobility can once again experience nature on the South Huron Trail thanks to the purchase of a new South Huron Trail Mobile. The previous electric golf cart served well since 2006 but the aging cart needed to be retired.
A South Huron Community Grant, from the Municipality of South Huron, combined with a donation from the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation has made it possible to purchase a new electric cart and outfit it with added safety features. The new trail mobile has enough room for a volunteer driver and three passengers and it is faster and can navigate tight areas better than the original electric cart.
Residents of the area’s nursing and retirement homes, as well as individuals who aren’t able to walk the trail, have enjoyed this unique experience. “Many of the riders lived in the countryside for years, or enjoyed walking in nature,” said Kate Monk, Manager of Stewardship, Land and Education. “We’re so pleased to get them back into the woods and along the river once again.”
The length of the ride depends on the interests of the riders. Some go for just half an hour from MacNaughton Park in Exeter to the Stirling Bridge. Others spend more than an hour and travel all the way from Exeter out around Morrison Dam Conservation Area and back into town. The electric motor makes it a quiet ride, so people can enjoy the birds and squirrels along the trail. There’s something new every season.
To book a ride on the cart, please contact Ausable Bayfield Conservation at 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 and staff will link the public with the volunteer drivers. There is no fee but donations are welcome.
The community is currently fundraising to raise money for a new pedestrian trail bridge so people don’t have to walk alongside vehicle traffic on the Morrison Line roadway in order to use both sections of the South Huron Trail. The Trail Mobile will be able to drive on the new bridge when it is built downstream of Morrison Dam.
In brief remarks at the announcement ceremony held along the South Huron Trail on Tuesday, May 29, 2018, Maureen Cole, Mayor of the Municipality of South Huron, spoke about how valuable the South Huron Trail is to the community and she said the new Trail Mobile adds extra benefits to that trail. “We all benefit when something like this happens,” she said.
The purchase of the new Trail Mobile was made possible through grants from the South Huron Community Grant program and from Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation. The South Huron Mayor said volunteers such as Trail Mobile drivers Jerry Mathers and Norm Eckel help to make the program possible. She also acknowledged the role of Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority in making the program possible.
South Huron Deputy Mayor Dave Frayne, who is Chair of the Pedestrian Trail Bridge Community Working Group and Friends of the South Huron Trail, said “people with limited mobility can get out and still enjoy nature” thanks to the Trail Mobile. He also said that the when the new pedestrian bridge is built “it’s going to be great” because the Trail Mobile drivers will be able to take people with limited mobility over the bridge.
Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation Chair Bob Radtke praised the South Huron Trail Mobile in his remarks. “It’s just such a fabulous program,” he said. The Trail Mobile gives people with limited mobility, including residents of nursing homes and retirement homes, a chance to get outside “and onto the trail and seeing the wildlife ... and now they can do it.” He also mentioned how quiet the Trail Mobile is, allowing passengers to enjoy their nature experience.
PHOTO CAPTION/CUTLINE: Shown in photo, with the new South Huron Trail Mobile, at the official launch ceremony held along the South Huron Trail on Tuesday, May 29, 2018, are (from left to right in photo): Maureen Cole, Mayor of the Municipality of South Huron; Dave Frayne, South Huron Deputy Mayor and Chair of the Pedestrian Trail Bridge Community Working Group and Friends of the South Huron Trail; Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation Chair Bob Radtke; Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority General Manager and Secretary-Treasurer Brian Horner; and volunteer drivers Norm Eckel and Jerry Mathers.