Many aren’t aware that Lennox & Addington County manages more than 1,100 acres of forest on five parcels of land in Addington Highlands. The County Forest is certified according to the Forest Stewardship Council’s standards for sustainable forestry. Other than some signage at various points along the perimeter, the lands weren’t actively promoted for the public’s use.
For a number of years I’ve walked the old logging roads and marveled at the unspoiled beauty that the properties offer. At long last, big changes are now starting to take shape in the soon-to-be re-named “Forest 2” as a series of hiking & mountain biking trails are being developed within the 127 acre parcel in Flinton. Cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing will be available in the winter.
The new trails are being created with the desires of off-road mountain bikers in mind, taking advantage of the natural terrain of the forest. Seeing has I have no experience building trail whatsoever, and the bike I own is ancient (and barely used), I’m fortunate to be able to lean on the knowledge and experience of L&A County resident Mike Sewell. He’s an avid off-road cyclist that has experience building similar trails in Vermont.
Beginning in May, Mike and I worked with Rick Tuepah Excavating and his staff to create what we hope will become a destination for the region’s hikers and mountain bikers. So far we’ve constructed about 6 kilometres of the trail, with more to come. Bon Eco Design in Tamworth is working on a unique trail head development at the main entrance near the Addington Highlands Municipal Office with installation expected this summer.
The goal is to have 10 kilometres of The County Forest Trail: The Pines Loop compete, all signed and ready to go in August. In the meantime, you’re welcome to venture out on the trails and explore our progress, either in your hiking boots or on your mountain bike.
A sketch of the trails to date, courtesy L&A’s GIS Department.