THUNDER BAY - The revival in canoe culture has inspired the city of Thunder Bay to take action.
Saturday marked the official open of the western end of the 1,000 kilometre Lake Superior Water Trail.
"We really want people to get out in nature, in a canoe or kayak, but you need to do it safely. That's where we come in."
Joanie McGuffin, coordinator of the Lake Superior Water Trail, said the trail is an important link in the in the 24,000 kilometre Trans-Canada trail that connects all waterways in the country.
“We essentially have 16 access points here on Lake Superior, including national and provincial parks, and First Nation communities,” McGuffin said.
The stop at Lorne Allard Fisherman’s Park is the newest one.
McGuffin explained that the city, and a number of partners have provided the infrastructure to make the spot accessible and informative for paddlers.
“Each site is universally accessible,” she said. “We’re putting in more infrastructure as time goes.”
She hopes that the accessibility will provide an opportunity for locals to safely experience the beauty of Lake Superior, while not travelling far from their home.
“We are in a time and space on this planet where this is nothing more important that we reconnect with nature. It’s a really positive way to engage people.”
Acting mayor Lynda Rydholm was on hand at the announcement to take place in the ribbon-cutting.
“Thunder Bay is fortunate to have a number of rivers that lead to lake Superior, which is a big playground itself,” she said. “We’ll be able to make the travel more friendly, safe, and informative than ever.”
An owner of two kayaks herself, she plans to take on Lake Superior in the future.
“I have the Kaministiquia and the Neebing River in my own ward. I don’t think I’d be brave enough to tackle Superior by myself, but defintely with a group.”