TORONTO, June 4, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Today is International Trails Day and Trails Open Ontario will once again showcase Ontario's extraordinary natural heritage by featuring several free special events. Many of the province's trail systems are included in this year's program.
"For five years now, Trails Open Ontario has provided an opportunity for all Ontarians to access and celebrate the remarkable trail systems that exist throughout the province," said Dr. Thomas H.B. Symons, Chairman of the Ontario Heritage Trust. "We are delighted to partner with trail organizations, conservation authorities, communities and volunteers to deliver Trails Open Ontario 2011."
Some of today's special events include: a guided tour of the Midland Rotary Trail, routed through unique natural areas between local industries (Midland); a walk along the urban section of the Trans Canada Trail, where participants can learn about the environmental features of Fleming College's Frost Campus (Lindsay); and, a hike and filtration plant tour through the Inglis Falls Conservation Area, where 100-year-old underground caverns were previously used to filter drinking water (Owen Sound).
Modelled after the successful Doors Open Ontario program, Trails Open Ontario is designed to promote trail use and education, support natural heritage conservation and stewardship, and encourage physical activity and a healthy lifestyle. In addition to guided hikes, several of the participating trail systems and organizations are coordinating free activities - such as trail dedication ceremonies, community festivals, birdwatching and educational workshops. With over 50 events planned throughout the season, Ontarians in every corner of the province will have access to a variety of recreational opportunities on Ontario's 88,000 kilometres (54,680 miles) of trails.
Ontario's trails are ready to be explored. For a comprehensive listing of Trails Open Ontario 2011 events, visit www.heritagetrust.on.ca/trails. A selection of guided hikes and tours offered by participating trail systems and organizations is also featured in a special 12-page section of the Doors Open Ontario 2011 Guide. To obtain a free copy, call 1-800-ONTARIO (668-2746).
Trails Open Ontario is a program of the Ontario Heritage Trust. The program's media sponsor is The Globe and Mail.
The Ontario Heritage Trust is an agency of the Government of Ontario dedicated to identifying, preserving, protecting and promoting Ontario's heritage for present and future generations.
...Now in its fifth year, Trails Open Ontario is a provincewide natural heritage tourism program that invites residents and visitors to experience the province's trails and natural spaces.
...The Trust has once again partnered with Conservation Ontario to host Trails Open Ontario events in conservation areas across the province; many of these events will be advertised directly through www.conservation-ontario.on.ca.
...The Trust has also partnered with the Bruce Trail Conservancy to coordinate Trails Open Ontario events on all nine sections of the trail on Bruce Trail Day - Sunday, October 2, 2011.
...Visit www.heritagetrust.on.ca/trails for updated Trails Open Ontario 2011 event listings. Additional events will be added throughout the season.