The Municipality of Chatham-Kent maintains over 70 km of recreational trails and pathways, and more trails are being planned in collaboration with communities across the region. Ranging in length from 500 m to 5.8 km, the trails have been constructed with a variety of surfaces to appeal to walkers, runners, and cyclists.
Another 60 km of additional trails are located in Provincial Parks and Conservation Areas within the municipality. Two regional multi-use trails also pass through the borders of Chatham-Kent: the TransCanada Trail, which will eventually cross the entire length of the country, and the Waterfront Trail, celebrating the waterfronts of the Great Lakes. Both are renowned tourism attractions, and can be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike!
Prior to amalgamation, trail building in Chatham and Kent County occurred at the community level. Some trails were developed by towns and villages, while many more were the result of grass-roots initiatives. Local trail advocates were responsible for the construction of some of Chatham-Kent’s best known trails, from the Trillium Trail in Dresden to the water trails in Wallaceburg.
In 2003 it was decided to form a centralized committee to coordinate the efforts of trail advocates scattered throughout Chatham-Kent. Two years later this committee was incorporated as the Chatham-Kent Trails Council, a not-for-profit organization. Since then the Municipality has worked closely with the Chatham-Kent Trails Council, whose members provide guidance on trail development and assist with identifying future trail building priorities and required trail upgrades. The Chatham-Kent Trails Council is also a member of the Ontario Trails Council, a non-profit organization that promotes the creation, development, preservation, management and use of recreational trails province-wide.
Through trail development, and working in cooperation with other community partners, the Chatham-Kent Trails Council will promote healthy, active and safe lifestyles and contribute to building sustainable rural and urban communities throughout Chatham-Kent.