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Final phase of River Trails completed

By Ken Johnston

While fall is the sad ending of summer for some, the end of construction season has the Rainy River Trails Committee very excited!
Phase II, the final phase, of a community trails project in Rainy River has been completed. It is the “Greenway Path” portion of the project.
Last year Phase I involved the construction of the “Accessible Path” portion. This portion begins at Heritage Square, just across the parking lot from the 4008 steam engine. It runs down Main St. and then over to Sixth St. and along the Rainy River through Hannam Park. Last year the park portion of the trail was paved with asphalt, making it accessible for wheel-chairs and electric scooters. No motorized vehicles are permitted. Phase I ended just across from the schools.
Picking up from there, the greenway path then runs through a small wooded area and then crosses Mill Avenue and meanders through the old Mill Yard (field just east of Riverview School’s track). It is about 2 km long (1.2 miles) and features open space with a permanent natural path (it is not paved).
Trails Committee member Heidi Ivall said, “All the signage is in place and we are very encouraged by all the usage of the first phase.” They hope to have a grand opening of the entire trail system (4.3 km long) next spring.
The committee considers the trail system to be an asset for the community in many ways. It not only features the river, providing a beautiful experience for tourists, it offers a place where citizens can safely engage in physical activities. “Taking to the trails as a physical activity for you or your family is a simple and enjoyable form of exercise with plenty of rewards... it refreshes the mind, reduces fatigue and relieves stress,” said Ivall.
Ivall said that the Town of Rainy River’s outside crew deserve high praise for their work on Phase II this summer. “The crew worked with a sense of pride. They deserve huge kudos.”
While the work on the trails is complete, Ivall said they are still working on promotional materials. A full colour brochure is in the works and should be available soon.
Partners in making this project a success were The Town of Rainy River, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Rainy River Future Development Corp. and the Northwestern Health Unit.