Council briefed on Millennium Trail upgrades

The Millennium Trail. (Chad Ibbotson/Gazette Gazette File Photo)



On April 25th, Patrick Maloney of the PEC Trails Committee provided an update to Prince Edward County Council regarding Millennium Trail upgrades.

The trail is a 46 kilometre, multi-use, recreational trail on a scenic route of an abandoned Canadian National Railway right-of-way.  The Trail begins at Fort Kente Road in Carrying Place roughly following the Loyalist Parkway to north of Picton at Highway 49 near White Chapel Road.

ENJOYING WINTER TRAVELS – Snowmobiling isn’t the only activity taking place on the Millenium Trail in the depths of winter. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette Staff)

Since its purchase by the municipality in 1997, the trail has welcomed walkers, cyclists, runners, skiers, farm use, horseback riding, as well as ATVs and snowmobiles in season.

Since 2017, members of the PEC Trails Committee, an Ad Hoc Committee of residents working with municipal staff, has made considerable upgrades to the trail. Their mandate is to resurface the 46 kilometre trail and improve infrastructure for recreational use. Some pertinent upgrades include:

  • Cut-back edge areas to a 9’-10’ width, re-grade the base, and top with limestone
  • Substantial engineering to protect the Hillier Wetlands and the Trail
  • Add kilometre markers, safety, interpretive, and directional signage
  • Build multiple Kiosks with parking and accessible amenities
  • Develop a volunteer maintenance group

The Upgrade Project, as it’s called, was funded through multiple sources, with a total amount close to $700,000.

Over three years, the committee received $350,000 for trail upgrades from the municipal budget, $120,000 from the province (#CycleON Grant), $15,000 from TD, $30,000 from Foundations, and $175,000 from the public.

Referencing a recent commercial wine tour proposal for the trail, Councillor Bill Roberts quoted a complain from a constituent concerning this and inquired as to whether the trail committee believes this would be a safe use of the trail.

“I think all 14 of us have gotten a lot of emails about this subject,” said Roberts, speaking of the issue.

Maloney noted the trail was not designed for two vehicles of the size proposed to pass each other.

“The trail was never designed for two vehicles that size to pass each other,” stated Maloney.

Councillor Phil Prinzen asked how the trails committee intended to tackle the speed limit issue on the trail.

“Do you feel, with your participation in the Millennium Trail Bylaw Review, that this is the best spot to look at speed of trail?” inquired Prinzen. “How do you want to move forward looking at the speed of that? Or is the review sufficient?”

Maloney noted that speed is a major issue that would contribute to degradation of the trail.

“Speed is a major issue. We have a 50km speed limit on parts of the trail and that speed may do more damage and hence more damage, maintenance etc,” explained Maloney. “So as part of the bylaw review, we’d like to review the speed. It’s currently faster than some downtown locales.”