By Darren Lum
Published Aug. 21 2018
“Wow look at that” Pamela Marsales said as a great blue heron spread its wings seven feet across and took off from the marsh beside the Rail Trail.
This was just one of several animals seen on a casual ride to promote the upcoming first-ever Tart Ride organized by the Friends of the Rail Trail or FoRT.
The ride will be an out and back tour to The Little Tart Bakeshop (known for its desserts and in particular its butter tarts) in the hamlet of Donald starting at 10 a.m. at the Rails End Gallery at 23 York St. in Haliburton.
Marsales is the ride guide and is encouraging the public to join her for 1.5 hours on Thursday Aug. 23 rain or shine.
She welcomes riders of all ages and abilities particularly families with young children to experience the happiness she feels while riding her bicycle.
“It brings out the joy in all ages” she said.
Because the trail is self-contained there is little worry about traffic except for a few areas where it shares roadways or entrance paths.
Similar to the FoRT’s Sunday Rambles this social event is about enlightening the casual rider about how enjoyable riding the Rail Trail can be. The route offers a wealth of things to see hear and smell like the call of a duck or the aroma of a budding flower.
Come out and join this tour for the social opportunity and then share it with loved ones.
“Do it with people have fun and they can pass it on and do it with their friends family or by themselves and maybe see more wildlife if they go by themselves next time. It’s all about discovery” Marsales said.
She loves to share her passion for the outdoors.
As the co-ordinator and the biggest booster for the ongoing efforts to establish a Toronto to Algonquin Greenway she holds these biking and hiking tours to increase the numbers of people who could become allies for the development of a multi-user provincial route.
The Greenway which is based on a European Greenway Methodology is an original concept to draw visitors by linking communities with a route passing through parks and rail trails which could be used to hike bike and paddle from downtown Toronto to Algonquin Park. Partners are needed to move this concept forward. According to the Greenway website “greenways animate communities inspire local enterprise forge a regional identity and invite the world in for a visit.”
Anyone without a bike can contact local retailer Algonquin Outfitters for rentals at 705-457-3737 or in person at their Haliburton location at 218 Highland St.
Pre-registration is not required for the rain or shine event. For more information text or call Marsales at 705-457-4767 or see friendsoftherailtrail.ca.