The winter trail along the railway corridor is 10 years old this year, and it’s grown into a well loved feature of winter recreation in Chelsea. This 16 km corridor connects 8 residential neighbourhoods, and will be extended an additional 2 km south this year, to chemin Loretta. This joint venture between Chelsea Trails and the Municipality of Chelsea requires both volunteer hours and financial support. Volunteers from Chelsea Trails do the brush cutting, install signage and do pre-season trail maintenance, while trail lovers and local businesses donate cash to support winter grooming and maintenance work.
This year local businesses stepped up in a major way to help with generous financial contributions. Corporate Trail Leaders (Gold) include Greg Christie’s Ski and Cycle, Lafleur de la Capitale, Nordik Spa-Nature, Le Pub Chelsea and PhysioSport Chelsea. Community Partners (Silver) include the Clinique Vétérinaire de la Gatineau, Ed Brunet Inc. and The Wakefield Mill and Spa. Through the generosity of their donations, we were able to boost our sponsorship dollars by 50 %.
All individuals making donations to our Chelsea Community Trail fund will also benefit from a charitable tax receipt and will be included in a draw to receive gift certificates from participating businesses. We want to sincerely thank all these contributors and volunteers for their support.
And the success of the trail keeps attracting more community partners looking for ways to help build the trail experience. Last year the Gatineau Valley Historical Society, working with Chelsea Trail added historical interpretive signs along the Kirk’s Ferry section of the corridor. This year we are adding six additional interpretive signs in the Cascades village area to help show the history of that community.
The 10 year success of the winter trail has been the catalyst for envisioning year-around use of the corridor. The Chelsea Trails vision is to convert the railway corridor into a year-around, multi-use linear park which would allow Chelsea residents to benefit from a scenic community trail system for generations to come. In March 2015 we presented our vision to Chelsea Council, and in November 2015 Council earmarked $460K in its 2016 budget towards the project. A feasibility study is currently underway and the municipality has supported a public consultation process in 2016. Please follow the links to read more about SCT’s vision for the linear park, and our Frequently Asked Questions .
Thank you for your continued support of Chelsea Trails and we look forward to an exciting 2016.