Canadian Cyclist


May 13/06 9:42 am - The Pines: Trails Update

Posted by Editoress on 05/13/06

The Pines: Trails Update May 2006
Courtesy Woodstock CC

In the fall of 2005 the Upper Thames River Conversation Authority (U.T.R.C.A.) “thinned” the Pines of over 25% of the softwood. After a forest is “thinned” there is left behind a layer on the forest floor of natural debris to eventually decompose, and add essential nutrients to the soil. This will obviously help to rebuild the forest with more natural growth over the years. There is some cleanup work to be done for sure!

Next Trail Cleanup Day Sat. June 3rd
Meet 9am At The New Parking Area

Over the winter months we have come to find out that C.P. Rail is possibly going to be putting a rail line (for the new Toyota plant) through the west end of the Pines, exiting the Pines right where the main entrance/map was. We have decided to stay away from the western end of the Pines for this season while the environmental assessment gets done and then we can see what if anything is going to happen.

With all this going on there are some major changes going to take place!

First is the new entrance to the trails (due to the possible rail line) and parking area to be located approx. 1.3 km to the east of the old entrance, at the second yellow gate on the left. The gate is unlocked if it is closed, please close it on your way out! The parking lot is up the driveway.

Now for the big one! The U.T.R.C.A. is suggesting the Pines become a W.C.C. members-only riding area. (somewhere an insurance person is smiling) What this basically means is:
A - If you're a member of an O.C.A. affiliated club (carry your card with you when riding) and ride the Pines a couple of times a year you're OK.
B - If the same as above but ride the Pines more frequently you need to join the W.C.C. and get the trail sticker for your bike/helmet (you will not pay for insurance portion twice).
C - All other riders are taking their chances as the U.T.R.C.A. will be doing random checks at the parking area and throughout the trails just as they do at Fanshawe Lake in London. Riders found in the Pines without proper membership card or W.C.C. sticker may be subject of a fine of 65$ under the “trespass to property act”.

The coin box located in the parking area does not give permission to ride there, it is a trail maintenance donation box only!

The thinning of the Pines has caused a lot of trails to be closed. Some old trails have been reopened, but most of the open trails, are new or a combination of old and new looped into each other. The trail head is at the new parking area. Follow the red arrows, and the black arrows (more technical trail). There are still a few old arrows out there but the new loop is pretty clearly marked.

After the cleanup day on June 3rd we should have another new section open to increase the mileage of the course and make it a good solid hour plus loop, the newest trails are marked they just need to be cleaned.

Membership is available at our website or Pedal Power. Trail stickers can be picked up at Pedal Power.


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