It’s very early in the process, but Wellesley is looking at a trail that would connect the township with a popular off-road biking-and-hiking area in Waterloo.
The proposal floated at Wellesley council this week would involve an expansion to the Hydrocut, a high-traffic mountain biking trail system near the regional landfill site at Erb Street and Ira Needles Boulevard.
The idea was brought to councillors July 5 by Chris Borutskie of the Hawkesville Recreation Committee.
“Igor Dragoslavic with the Hydrocut approached us in Hawkesville saying, ‘wouldn’t it be cool if we could develop some kind of a trail system to connect ideally Hawkesville and St. Jacobs?’ Perhaps doing something to follow along the river. (Recreation director) Brad (Voisin) and myself had an impromptu meeting with this guy, just to hear what he was thinking about,” he said. “I mention it here because we have also reached out to (planner) Geoff (van der Baaren), we want to have some additional discussions if we can to see is what he is talking about could be feasible and beneficial to the township,” he explained.
The trail system would be nothing like the proposed trail in Wellesley, crossing through people’s lawns and being suitable for all types of outdoor recreation. Instead, it would have a narrow purpose, he was quick to add.
“We are not talking about the eight-foot wide trail that is paved or has really nice gravel on it. It would be a trail that is relatively narrow; something that could be put in with very little funding, something that could be enhanced by a lot of cyclists in the area who have in the past given of their time to make the Hydrocut work,” he shared.
Mayor Joe Nowak was receptive to the idea, and looked ahead to what kind of process the project would have to go through.
“It is a good idea, but it sounds like a lot of work to put it all together,” he said, mentioning that a review would fall to the trails advisory board. “That doesn’t mean that (the project) won’t be a recommendation that they could bring forward to us to work on.”
Borutskie was optimistic about the connected mountain biking trail idea as the recreation portion of the agenda came to a close.
“The potential is exciting, but the reality, who knows?” he said. “Igor will contend that he can make a trail that is exciting, low cost and has low impact on the terrain. He comes with some credibility.”
There were tentative plans put in place for further discussion on the matter, and a possible meeting with the township’s trails advisory board, which next meets at the end of August.