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Sunday, October 2, 2022
Letter: Let’s all share the old railway trail

Dear editor:

Regarding the Upper Canada Heritage Trail: More than 70 years ago the railway along Concession 1 was decommissioned.

Shortly afterward, dirt bike riders created a trail where tracks were once laid. I began riding the trail myself in the late 1960s along with countless other local kids who used this trail to move between farms and our local communities.

It's how we got to the public pool in the early '70s and for a slice of Alfredo's pizza on King Street. Years later, three-wheelers as well as snowmobiles arrived and we all learned to share our trail and more farm kids used our pathway.

Then came the four-wheel ATVs and once again we learned to share. Soon, Pam Gallop built her stables near Line 3 and we were joined by horses on our trail and we learned to slow down and minimize the noise from our dirt bikes to not spook the horses. Once again we learned to share.

Recently we have been banned from the last leg of our trail from East and West Line to Old Town and suddenly our trail has been usurped by those not willing to share.

We were here first. We were here before there was a corporation of the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. To this day I still ride the trail with my son and bump into other local kids who venture to Queenston and back safely off the travelled road, on a trail we've used for decades.

East Welland has a 20-kilometre trail to Port Colborne that is used by horses, bicycles and walkers as well as the original separate trail used by dirt bikes. They also learned to share.

NOTL pedestrians have the Parkway trail and the Bob House multi-use trail as well as sidewalks throughout Old Town.

There is lots of room to allow the original dirt bike trail to remain unmolested and still make room for a new walking and biking trail for the bicycles and walkers.

There is the question of a predated, legal non-conforming use, however, we are happy and willing to share. Question is, are you?

Rainer Hummel

St. Davids