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HomeNewsCity Issues A Reminder That Motorized Vehicle Use On The Victoria Rail...

City Issues A Reminder That Motorized Vehicle Use On The Victoria Rail Trail Is Restricted Until May 1

KAWARTHA LAKES-The Victoria Rail Trail (VRT) is an 85-kilometre rail trail in Kawartha Lakes with corridors linking Kinmount to Bethany, through Fenelon Falls and Lindsay. This public, multi-use trail is uniquely linked by affiliated trail connections for the explorer in all of us.

The VRT is open all year round for the avid outdoor enthusiast, but there are rules and regulations for seasonal usage. Motorized vehicles are always restricted on the VRT until May 1 to protect the integrity of the trail system.

“Seasonal changes and weather fluctuations have caused the VRT to be clear of snow earlier than expected this year. Motorized use such as ATVs, dirt bikes or other wheeled vehicles is tempting in the muddy conditions, but it is not encouraged or permitted by the municipality,” said Jenn Johnson, Manager Parks and Recreation, Kawartha Lakes.

On behalf of the Kawartha ATV Association (KATVA), Carolyn Richards, KATVA President, provided the following statement about the importance of staying off the trails with motorized vehicles:

“As the seasons transition and trails begin to dry up from the winter months, we kindly ask for your cooperation in respecting these closures. While it can seem enticing to get out riding with such mild weather conditions this year, it’s crucial to recognize the importance of conservation and preservation. By refraining from using ATV and dirt bike trails during their closure period, you contribute to the protection of delicate ecosystems, prevent unnecessary erosion, and allow wildlife to roam undisturbed. Let’s demonstrate our commitment to responsible recreation by honoring trail closures and embracing alternative activities until they reopen. Together, we can preserve the trails that make ATV and dirt bike riding so enjoyable for generations to come. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.”

Motorized year-round use is regulated and restricted to seasonal use as per By-Law 2007–107 being a By-Law to Regulate and Govern Trail Uses Along the Victoria Rail Trail Corridor. Seasonal motorized use that is occurring in the wrong seasonal periods can damage the trails, which could cause the trail to become unsafe and closed to all users while repairs are undertaken.

VRT seasonal use restrictions are as follows:

  • From April 1 to April 30 inclusive, each year the VRT is closed to all motorized traffic, such as snowmobiles, ATVs, ROVs or off-road two-wheeled motorcycles (dirt bikes).
  • From April 1 to November 30 each year the operation of a snowmobile on the VRT is not permitted.
  • From December 1 of one year to April 30 of the following year, the operation of an ATV, ROV or Off-Road Two-Wheeled Motorcycle (dirt bike) on the VRT is not permitted.

Please note, per By-Law 2006-147, Somerville Forest also closes to motorized vehicles seasonally. No person shall operate a Snowmobile, ATV or Off-Road Motorcycle (dirt bike) in the Somerville Forest between April 1 and April 30 inclusive. No person shall operate an ATV or Off-Road Motorcycle (dirt bike) in the Somerville Forest from December 1 of one year to April 30 of the following year.

In order for all users to have a good experience, violations pursuant to the municipality’s By-Laws governing use of the corridor can be reported to the Municipal Law Enforcement and Licensing office at 705-324-9411 ext. 1212. Violations can also be reported to the Ontario Provincial Police at 1-888-310-1122 or Kawartha Lakes Police Service at 705-324-5252.


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