A new provincial trails strategy from the Manitoba government as well as investments supporting 34 projects will strengthen the trail network across the province and nurture lasting bonds with nature for generations to come.
“Manitobans love the outdoors and our government is proud to support the development of new trails and make improvements to existing trails,” said Natural Resources and Northern Development Minister Greg Nesbitt. “The new Manitoba Trails Strategy and Action Plan puts us on a path to a healthier Manitoba with thriving communities, while ensuring our trails are sustainably managed into the future and that natural environments continue to be respected.”
The Manitoba Trails Strategy and Action Plan has several key objectives to improve trail connectivity, prioritize environmental protection, promote collaboration between user groups, and encourage eco-tourism development across the province, Nesbitt noted.
“Manitoba has some of the best trails in Canada that are world renowned, and our government is thrilled to partner with municipalities and community groups on their further development,” said Municipal Relations Minister Andrew Smith. “We’re committed to making trails more accessible for all to encourage the health and well-being of every Manitoban.”
As part of the strategy, a new provincial trails office within the department of Natural Resources and Northern Development is being created, Nesbitt noted, adding that this new office will act as a co-ordinating body for trails management across Manitoba and help reduce red tape for trail organizations and clubs.
The Manitoba government along with Trails Manitoba also announced $964,689 in funding from the 2023 Trails Manitoba Grant Program to support development of new and improved trails across the province. Successful projects, which will help to fulfil the objectives of the trails strategy, include:
- Falcon Lake East End Trail ($75,000 for new trail/enhancement);
- Winkler Reinfeld Pathway ($75,000 for new trail/enhancement);
- Maamawi Multi-Use Trail in Dauphin ($75,000 for new trail/enhancement);
- Oak River/Rapid City Trail Upgrades ($25,000 for maintenance);
- St. James Community Multi-Use Path ($21,180 for new trail/enhancement); and
- Churchill Winter Trail Loop ($10,600 for feasibility study/development plan).
“Today, we celebrate 34 Trails Manitoba Grant funding recipients reaching from Morden to Churchill,” said Jeana Manning, president, Trails Manitoba. “This funding will help enable the development, upgrade, and maintenance of 715 kilometres of recreational trails. These trails will not only connect communities, but also ignite the spirit of adventure, promoting physical and social wellness and a profound connection with nature.”
The Manitoba Cycling Association is receiving a $15,000 grant for upgrades to the Bison Butte multi-use trail, located at FortWhyte Alive in Winnipeg.
“Over the past several years, Manitoba Cycling, in support of FortWhyte Alive, has maintained the trails through community volunteers and grants obtained for approved projects onsite,” said Twila Cruickshank, executive director, Manitoba Cycling Association. “Our goal this summer will be to upgrade the existing trails and improve the trail use for all ages and ability levels. The funds received will not only help benefit the World Police and Fire Games competitions this August, but the residents of the city and province in general.”
In conjunction with these initiatives, the Manitoba government has proclaimed tomorrow as the inaugural Manitoba Trails Day, which will be celebrated annually the first Saturday in June to highlight the importance of trails and their positive impact on residents and communities, Nesbitt noted.