The Ontario Trails Council (OTC) - Conseil des Sentiers de l'Ontario – is a charity that promotes the development, preservation, management and use of recreational trails and trail based activities in Ontario.
Ontario Trails Council brings the right people together to provide reliable information that advances the management and operation of recreational trails, while providing public access to the largest multi-use trail inventory in Canada.
Ontario Trail Council Successes - Everyday OTC makes a difference for trails somewhere in Ontario!
With over 220 individuals, economic development, tourism, planning, recreation, park and club organizations, municipalities, conservation areas as members, the Ontario Trails is the largest, most diverse trail association in Canada. We continue to reach out to new stakeholders and create new working groups at the regional level. It supports our goal of making a difference locally, while acting provincially.
As a major stakeholder in the development of the Ontario Trails Strategy, and the Ontario Trails Act. Ontario Trails was pleased to see 30 years of hard work represented in this provincial policy statement, and legislation for Ontario. We also acknowledge the establishment of the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, Culture Industries (MHSTCI) as the lead Ministry for trails in Ontario.
OTC does not receive Ontario government core funding, nor are we a department of the Ontario governement although we work in partnership with them.
Ontario Trails Council Goals
- Continue to increase the number, length, variety and accessibility of trails throughout the province, some trail work includes-
- The Ottawa Valley Recreational Trail - we wrote the management plan, maintenance plan and community action plans.
- Horses on the Chrysler Greenway Trail - we worked with local groups and the conservation authoirty to remove the horse ban.
- Hastings Destination Trails - we helped 8 townships and user groups come together to create a brand and common purpose.
- Niagara Glen - we advocated for climbing and are working on a new management plan with the NPC and Brock University.
- St. Lawrence Parks Commission - worked with community volunteers and the SLPC to create a citizens trails advisory committee.
- Provide government and other public bodies with credible information about community groups and volunteers working to create, preserve and promote trails-
- Promote the safe and responsible use of trails, by producing guides for trail users, operators and managers -
- Act as a provincial resource centre for trail information, providing ready access for the public, communities and trail users -
A few comments about us
"New trails are still to be developed in Ontario. Existing trails need to be maintained and expanded. Trail organizations in Ontario need one common voice to advocate for them. We need a central source to promote funding opportunities and act as a communications link between trail groups. More than ever, trail groups need to stick together and speak as one mind. OTC is the organization that can assist us all in those regards. A significant benefit of being an OTC member is the website itself -- a great resource for information and access to like-minded organizations. The research we require is most often sourced directly through the OTC office or by expansion through OTC member organizations. It's where we go for answers and direction."
- Ray Gilbert, Executive Director, Bruce Grey Trail Network
"The OTC provides us with the ability to communicate and collaborate with industry stakeholders, professionals and advocates. It also provides us with the tools to develop our own capacities, skills, and networks. As well, it is important to back to the OTC and trail communities in our province. Being an OTC member allows us to benefit from the knowledge of other members through education and professional development opportunities such as the Trailhead Ontario conference, and through professional networking. The OTC is the influential body that will help guide and shape the political, professional, and physical landscape of trails in Ontario. Joining the OTC provides an opportunity to be part of this process: to both contribute and gain knowledge in a community of passionate, like-minded individuals and organizations."
- Damian Bradley, LEES + Associates Landscape Architects
"Trails and trail development is a significant topic within North Grenville because of the positive impact trails have on a community - quality of life, tourism, broad spectrum of users etc. As a member of the OTC, we can learn how to promote and manage our trails program in a more professional manner. The OTC was the obvious choice. To date, we have benefitted from our membership in these ways: making personal contacts with provincial, national, and international leaders in the trail’s movement access to the Trailhead Ontario conference, which was a watershed event for the three North Grenville staff who attended being able to promote the trails movement in Eastern Ontario, it has provided a more credible position from which to advocate trails. Once we have our trails master plan in place, we will take full advantage of posting and promoting our trails on the OTC website. Trails are the future - if you really want to be part of the trails movement in Ontario, you need to be a member of the OTC."
- Forbes Symon, Director of Planning and Development, County of North Grenville
The Ontario Trails Council was a program of the ministry of Natural Resources from 1974-76. Community leaders from the horse, snowmobile, hiking and cycling communities re-established the OTC in 1988. These leaders had a shared interest in trails and in the conservation of abandoned rail lines for recreational use. From 1996-2001 we were the agent for the completion of the Trans Canada Trail in Ontario. Wikipedia.
Membership also includes similar trail organizations and others with compatible interests and values. The OTC appreciates the volunteers who contribute their time to trails in Ontario. Volunteer Board of Directors
We encourage you to celebrate their contribution! Membership
Please consider supporting our work today. Join