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Joint Release

Grand Opening of Hickling Recreational Trail connects Barrie to Springwater


Partners open the Hickling Recreational Trail

Midhurst / June 28, 2017 – The County of Simcoe welcomed local partners from the City of Barrie and the Township of Springwater and representatives from funding partners Hydro One Limited and Trans Canada Trail for the grand opening of the Hickling Recreational Trail today.

The Hickling Recreational Trail is the first multi-use trail that directly connects Barrie to Springwater and is one of four additional trail connections being constructed over the summer that will allow residents using non-motorized means of transportation to move between the two municipalities. These five sections of new trails will also complete an 11 kilometre gap in the Trans Canada Trail between Springwater and Barrie and help form part of the 165 km Simcoe County Loop Trail which will launch later this summer. The Hickling Recreational Trail is 1.5 km in length, has an average width of 3 metres and has been designed to be accessible, for non-motorized uses with a firm gravel surface with screenings. 

This Active Transportation Infrastructure project, which includes all five trail sections, cost a total of approximately $600,000. This includes $103,750 in combined funding from the Trans Canada Trail and Hydro One Limited ($90,000); up to $103,750 from the Government of Canada through the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program (CIP 150); and $400,000 from the County of Simcoe.

County's Commitment to Forestry and Recreation:
At approximately 33,000 acres and growing, the Simcoe County Forest is the largest municipally-owned forest in Ontario and among the largest of its kind in Canada. The County continues to invest in strategic forestry acquisitions and within the past decade, the County Forest has expanded by more than 3,700 acres. Through its Trails Connecting Communities Program, the County makes $250,000 in annual funding available to local municipalities to construct and improve active transportation infrastructure, which often include, but not limited to, recreational trails. Since 2009, the County has provided more than $1.5 million to local municipalities towards the completion of 61 trail and active transportation projects. Furthermore, our County-owned forests contain more than 450 km of trails used for various recreational purposes. These trails are developed and maintained by non-profit groups through a high degree of volunteerism.

About The Great Trail by Trans Canada Trail:
Trans Canada Trail (TCT) has established a goal of connecting 24,000 kms of The Great Trail from coast to coast to coast in 2017 to celebrate Canada 150.  The Hickling Recreational Trail completes a long standing gap between the North Simcoe Rail Trail (in Springwater Township) and the TCT network within the City of Barrie.

County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at

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Allan Greenwood
Director, Corporate Communications 
705-726-9300 ext. 1230
705-794-9301 (mobile)

Collin Matanowitsch
Communications Co-ordinator
705-726-9300 ext. 1430
705-734-8386 (mobile)


"Through the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program, we are strengthening our communities across the country. These new sections of trails will bridge the gaps in our national trail and I'm pleased that the Barrie Springwater Active Transportation Corridor project will benefit residents in Simcoe and across Canada as we work to link Canadians from coast to coast to coast." – The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario


"Outdoor recreation is a huge part of the Simcoe County lifestyle and our residents' passion for the outdoors drives our commitment to growing our forestry program and connecting trails strategy. We thank the Government of Canada, Hydro One Limited and our municipal partners for supporting the completion of the trail which will provide trail users with access to the Simcoe County Loop and the Trans Canada Trail." – County of Simcoe Warden Gerry Marshall


"We congratulate the County on completing this important legacy project and are honoured to work with Trans Canada Trail to help connect over 15,000 communities across Canada through this tremendous initiative. Hydro One's donation to TCT for the Barrie to Springwater connection is in keeping with our decades-long legacy of contributing to the health and prosperity of all communities across Ontario." –   Natalie Poole-Moffatt, Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Hydro One