WELLINGTON COUNTY – The Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) is opening some of its properties this long weekend.
The GRCA will reopen sections of the Cambridge to Paris Rail Trail and the Brantford to Hamilton Rail Trail for biking and hiking. The remaining closed section of the Elora Cataract Trailway will also open.
The GRCA will be reopening Laurel Creek and Shade’s Mills conservation areas in Waterloo and Cambridge respectively. They are open for walking and birdwatching but fishing and boating are not permitted at this time.
These areas will be open between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. to those with a GRCA membership pass or paying with credit card at the automatic gate. Standard entrance fees will apply.
GRCA board chair Helen Jowett said in a press release that they recognize the importance for accessing nature for health and wellbeing.
“Our board has been hearing from many watershed residents and we know they are eager to be in nature,” Jowett said in a press release. “GRCA staff are taking a responsible approach to reopening properties, doing so in stages, while maintaining critical services.”
All buildings and on-site facilities will be closed including washrooms, picnic areas, playgrounds and beaches. There are no garbage cans available, all garbage and pet waste must be taken with visitors.
Visitors must abide by physical distancing protocols such as staying six feet apart and not to congregate in groups. The GRCA is asking the public to plan short visits to ensure the space can be properly shared.
All other properties owned and managed by the GRCA remain closed and camping is not permitted at this time. There is no set time line for when camping will be offered.
The GRCA will provide an update on seasonal camping and when other properties will reopen on May 20.