The Rotary Club of Haliburton has improved a portion of the Head Lake Trail that connects Harmony Road to Pine Avenue in Haliburton. The path is covered in wood chips with large rocks in place ensuring it can only be used by cyclists or pedestrians. /JENN WATT Staff

Head Lake walking route safer with new path

Mark Dennys’s morning walk around Head Lake with his wife will be a lot safer and more enjoyable thanks to the collaborative effort of the Rotary Club of Haliburton the township’s parks and recreation department and ArborView Tree Care.

A rough 250-metre dirt path surrounded by trees was transformed by cutting back vegetation installing drainage features and surface improvements.

The short pathway can be accessed from Harmony Road or from Pine Avenue. With the exception of a few crossings of County Road 21 and Highway 118 pedestrians and cyclists now can avoid the heavily travelled vehicle routes when getting around Head Lake.

Dennys a Rotarian in Haliburton for 10 years led the charge to initiate this Rotary Club-funded work on the trail he can see from his house. He wanted to improve the safety conditions and make it more appealing to use.

“We’ve already seen an increase of traffic. I stopped a few people saying ‘Have you come from the pathway there?’ They said ‘yeah.’ ‘What did you think of the wood chips?’ They said they absolutely love it” he said.

When he lived on Vancouver Island B.C. there was a trail around a lake near his home on Mount Benson. That trail he remembers had wood chips and effective drainage and drew runners walkers and bikers.

The work in Haliburton began June 11 and finished more than a week ago and included grading ditching the addition of three culverts gravel fill for low and wet areas brushing raking and cleaning out ditches.

It was completed by an army of upwards of 20 Rotarians as well as manager Andrew Wilbee and his staff with the municipality’s parks and recreation department who provided labour and the operation of heavy machinery to remove large rocks and boulders which had made the path a challenge to walk. Josh Burk of Minden-based ArborView Tree Care supplied wood chips. Special mention goes to Rotarian Ted Brandon’s two family members: his wife Lorry and their son Connor who came every day to help. The trail includes a boulder at each end to address a neighbour’s concerns about ATV access.

“Besides making it safer it’s a much more manageable and enjoyable walk through that stretch of the trail” he said.