Week-long Waterfront Adventure kicked off from Point Pelee

Filed under: Headline,In Our Community |

BikeAdventure2 by Sylene Argent

Early Monday morning, over 150 cyclists began a seven-day tour of 24 Ontario Great Lakes communities as part of the 10th annual Great Waterfront Trail Adventure (GWTA). They launched off from Point Pelee National Park and will end at Rouge National Urban Park on Lake Ontario next week, having traveled around 550KMs.

The festivities began on Sunday evening with a reception and dinner hosted along the shoreline at Point Pelee’s Northwest Beach. Essex County Warden Tom Bain attended the welcome reception.

With a dinner prepared by a local chef, which was coupled with acoustic entertainment along the shoreline, Marlaine Koehler, Executive Director of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust and GWTA, said, “I don’t know if we will ever be able to match it.”

Koehler explained the cyclists came from all over Canada and the U.S. to participate in the event, which she said is hosted annually to build awareness of the trail and capitalize on tourism potential.

“It is a real opportunity to bring tourism into small towns,” Koehler said, adding the event also creates an opportunity to, “Support small businesses of communities that support the trail.”

On Sunday, before the welcome dinner, cyclists were able to take a self-guided tour of Kingsville and area wineries.

BikeAdventure1The following morning, the cyclists geared up and tackled the first day of adventure, a 106km ride to Rondeau Provincial Park, which was coupled with opportunities to enjoy communities along the way. Before the launch, Koehler said John Scott, the Chairman of Share the Road, gave a brief speech about cycle safety.

The Waterfront Regeneration Trust (WRT), with community partners, hosts The Great Waterfront Trail Adventure. The annual event promotes cycle tourism along with healthy and active living in Ontario.

Participants are provided with luggage transportation and mechanical assistance.

The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail is recognized as an Inaugural Trail of Distinction by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport, Koehler noted.

“We are in our tenth year, what a success this has been,” Koehler said, noting there is a waiting list to get involved. She has been contacted by others who ask for past itineraries so they can enjoy the trail on an individual tour.

For more information, visit www.waterfronttrail.org.