Sunday, 1 July 2012

Amherstburg to Essex Rails-to-trails

Once finished, this will be a very welcome addition to the Chrysler Greenway. The land has been purchased by ERCA (Essex Region Conservation Authority) which is just waiting for funding to complete this trail from Amherstburg to Essex and which intersects the Chrysler Greenway just east of McGregor. I was very surprised to find this completed section, from McGregor to CR 15 as it isn't even mentioned on the ERCA website! I needed to put in 7.5 miles, so I parked at the small trail parking lot just north of the Home Hardware in downtown McGregor (about 6-7 spots and garbage bin, but no bathrooms, although there is a county library nearby). Turns out it is about 3.25 miles long, skirting the golfcourse, before heading into a lovely tree-lined lane. There is one short chunk on a little-used road (about 60 feet on the road to connect to the continuation of the trail). Out and back made 6.5 miles, so I did a .5 out-and-back once I encountered the Greenway again.
I was lucky; I got up early and was on the trail by 7 AM, and it was relatively cool and cloudy with some spitting rain. Our recent weather has been brutally hot and dry, so this was most welcome. The cloud cover and a lovely breeze stayed with me until I only had about 30 minutes left to do, and then I was able to stay in the shade of trees. Lots of frolicking rabbits and active birds (including some brilliant yellow goldfinches) made the walk interesting - the horseflies less so. Luckily, I had brought a small umbrella with me that soon became dubbed Fly Whacker (to be fair, the horseflies were only on one small part of the trail). On my little jaunt on the Greenway, a vole suddenly darted out on to the trail in front of me and raced along with me for a bit!
I can't wait for the rest of this trail to be done! It's going to be a major step forward for walkers and bike riders in Essex County!

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