Submitted by Pamela Marsales
It was bitter cold on Sunday, March 27. But there was warmth in the people from the joy of rambling again during the first Friends of the Rail Trail Sunday Ramble this season.
The Sunday Rambles’ is the annual spring program of rail trail walks led by Friends of the Rail Trail (FoRT). Over a dozen people and dogs kicked off not just the first one this season, but the first since health measures related to the pandemic suspended the tours. Usually there would be eight or nine, depending on how many Sundays in April and May. This year a special program of 15 Sunday Rambles are planned – to celebrate FoRT’s 15th Anniversary. This longer season will somewhat make up for having to cancel the last two years due to COVID.
Each Sunday Ramble will explore a different stretch of the 34 kilometres of the Haliburton County Rail Trail (HCRT), with a casual, social stroll. Because the rambles go out and back – everyone can find their own pace and no one gets left behind. Each Ramble is unique as the surroundings vary from forest to wetlands to rock cuts. The railway bed was engineered to stay as level as possible, so it makes for an easy meandering walking trail now.
The outings are free or by donation. We welcome all who are curious about the rail trail, and want to enjoy the fresh air, immerse in nature, or just like to meet new people. They’re fun for dogs too, as Roxie, Frankie and Molly were eager to express on the first Sunday.
All Rambles depart at 11 a.m. except for the coming Easter Sunday, which starts at 1 p.m. If you’d like to come out on April 3rd, meet up at the Trailhead parking lot at 7286 Gelert Rd (also known as County Road 1). The Ramble on April 10 departs from where Gould Crossing Road crosses the Rail Trail. On Easter, we set out from Donald. A full schedule and map will be available at the public library in Haliburton. The 15 Rambles will run through until July 3. Find Friends of the Rail Trail / Haliburton on Facebook. FoRT is part of the Haliburton County Community Co-operative. Call or text Pamela Marsales for more info at 705 457-4767.