Rossburn Sub-Division Trail Association
Like almost everywhere in Manitoba, the 2011 spring and summer season has been a wet one for the RSTA! Our 2011 Inspection Report showed eleven damaged areas on the 172 km stretch from Neepawa to Russell - some more severe than others - but all from either the high water table level or from flooding erosion. It is a challenge for our group to keep on top of these problems, but one we will face as time and funds allow. An extremely rare phenonomen occurred on the Trail west of Erickson, where 100 metres of the former rail bed, which is the RSTA, slid down and sideways in an extraordinary and hazardous position. Everyone who has seen the “slip” finds it extremely fascinating.
International Trails Day was commemorated on Sunday, June 5th with a Wiener Roast following the Sunday Hymn Sing by the Trail in Sandy Lake. Approximately 35 people braved the rather inclement weather to come out to share in the fun and learn more about the Trail.
The Birdtail Bridge project is awaiting Navigable Waters approval and then we can proceed to replace this previously burned wooden trestle bridge with a metal passage link for hikers and bikers to use. With thanks to MRTA for funding, this will be an exciting and long anticipated accomplishment for our members.
Our joint plans to build 4 connecting Trails from the RST to the Riding Mountain National Park are in full swing with work being done on our TCT Grant application for this very large project. It is an exhilarating time to be part of the RSTA and we are encouraged by the possibilities this future vision promises for our Communities.
As has become our tradition, we will invite our “significant others” to join us at our July meeting for a Barbeque. We have several new members on the RSTA Board since the Municipal election last fall, and we look forward to getting to know everyone better.
A year in review for the Rossburn Subdivision Trail Association
Now looking back at our start of the year (AGM) it feels as if we came out of a long sleep, stretched and are ready to conquer the world.
Our executive elected is Chris Radford, Town of Russell (Chair), Doreen Stapleton, RM of Harrison (Vice-Chair) and Ilse Ketelsen, RM of Rossburn (Secretary/Treasurer). Our regular board includes also members of the Town of Rossburn, RM of Shoal Lake, RM of Strathclair, Town of Erickson, RM of Clanwilliam, Town of Neepawa, but we sure have openings for new members (individuals or user groups) and other municipalities along the trail, as the trail is there to be used by all of us.
Lot of things have happened this year through great team work:
In the beginning of the year, we applied for grants to the MRTA to be able to install regulatory signage (stop and stop-ahead signs) along the 176 km of trail as well as to mark out our trail clearly with Trans Canada Trail signage.
Another major project started was the refurbishing the trail with screening fines from the rock crushing process. This material is known to give a packed smooth surface, which in return will make RST popular with cyclists.
Both projects were supported by the MRTA with a total of $20,535 for a total value of both projects together of about $27,940.
We can report proudly, that both projects were completed within the year. Besides completing our signage project, we were able to resurface more than double the miles than originally projected, to reach 14.2 miles (or close to 23 km). This covers the trail from the Town of Erickson to the Town of Sandy Lake. This area was strategically chosen for the higher tourist traffic on Highway 10.
A successful application to the South West Regional Development Corporation has insured a continuation of this project in 2009. It will provide up to $10,000, which have to be matched. Thank you to the RM of Harrison and the RM of Strathclair, who are supporting us financially already to help to match this grant. I would like to throw out the challenge to the other municipalities to do so as well.
Manitoba in Motion recognized us in the spring with a grant of $1,000 towards 2 walk-n-clean events. The Elementary School in Rossburn and in Elphinstone as well as the Rossburn Recreation Commission helped us organize these events. Lot of cleaning, lot of exercise and lots of fun for those who participated!
The RM of Rossburn helped us cleaning up the debris from the burnt Birdtail Bridge and to smoothen out the approach to the river. This has been the only broken link in the trail for 2008 and has now become, at least for the winter months, accessible again. We are looking at a seasonal solution for the summer months as well, as a replacement of the bridge itself is highly unlikely to be feasible.
We moved little steps closer to a transfer of properties still held by CN to MRTA and then to the respective towns, thanks to the endless efforts of Doreen. Bureaucracy is at its best, so this road seems to be filled with hurdles, go Doreen go!
Our relationship to the MRTA as well as to our neighboring Crocus Trail (Russell to SK border) has been strengthened in 2008. Proof of this is the jointly organized AGM of the MRTA, which will be held from April 17-19, 2009 in Russell, with the Crocus Trail Association.
Step by step we are coming closer to fulfilling the dream of a functional Trans Canada Trail, which will connect our towns with the rest of Canada in a way no Highway can. This is about bringing economic benefits to the rural areas, about personal contacts along the way and getting to know the nature Canada is famous for - within people and landscapes.
The Winnipeg Pathfinders (a hiking club) has already announced a visit of the Rossburn Subdivision Trail in the beginning of June 2009 and I am sure it will be one out of many groups discovering our trail.
Our work is far from done though. Over 100 km of our trails are passable, but still need work to be done. We hope to be able to set up our interpretive trailhead signs in 2009 and look at opportunities for funding for directional signs. Being able to do a ecological inventory will be on our wish list as well. Fundraising efforts have to be raised in order to achieve these goals one by one.
Regular upkeep of the trail will be our challenge, we are lucky to have so many communities supporting the trail group in different ways, keep up the good work!
Celebrating and promoting our success in 2008 and working towards more results in 2009 will be the goal of the RSTA Board of Directors.
The Rossburn Subdivision trail runs 172 km / 107 miles long, from Russell to Neepawa via Angusville, Rossburn, Oakburn, Elphinstone, Erickson, Clanwilliam and Bethany. This section follows the abandoned rail line from Russell to Neepawa, passing through Silverton, Angusville, Birdtail, Waywayseecappo, Rossburn, Vista, Oakburn, Menzie, Elphinstone, Sandy Lake, Rackham, Erickson, Clanwilliam, and Bethany.
There are several hot spots for bird watching, as well as wild life viewing areas. For example, beautiful Beaufort Lake, just west of the Town of Sandy Lake is a great place to watch for wildlife, especially birds. You can see great horned owls, great blue heron, cormorants and gulls, to name a few.
There are many stunning viewpoints to enjoy. Moving west to east, the first such viewpoint is located between Angusville and Rossburn, followed by the one at Dancing Bird Lake, then just past Erickson and finally the Windy Viewpoint that is located where the Desjarlais Trail intersects with the Trans Canada Trail.
The Rossburn Subdivision trail offers unlimited opportunities for nature lovers, artists, historians, photographers, cyclists and explorers. Our trails are as varied as the multicultural makeup of our region.
This section of the trial is suitable for hiking, biking, snowmobiling, horseback riding, cross country skiing, and horse drawn wagons adventures.
Experience a new adventure on the Rossburn Subdivision trail!
Whether you choose to spend an afternoon exploring nature and getting some exercise, or a cycling trip following the Trans Canada Trail, this site will serve to assist you in organizing your outing.
All of these Trail Adventures are guaranteed to give you a new appreciation of magnificent trails network of trails and pathways in our region.
Taken from the MRTA's website.
||RM of Harrison
Sandy Lake, R0J 1X0
||RM of Strathclair
Elphinstone, R0J 0N0
||RM of Rossburn
Rossburn, R0J 1V0
The Manitoba Recreational Trail Association (MRTA) is the official body overseeing the coordination of the building of the Trans Canada Trail in the province.
• Provides funding to recognized trail associations for trail development
• Provides trail building resources to trail associations
• Promotes the Trans Canada Trail in Manitoba
• Promotes other trails and trail use in Manitoba
More information on the MRTA: Manitoba Recreational Trail Association
Check out their newsletters:
The Trans Canada Trail is a 21,500-kilometre recreational trail winding its way through every province and territory, from the Atlantic to Pacific to Arctic Oceans. When completed, it will be world's longest recreational trail, linking close to 1000 communities and over 33 million Canadians. Today almost 70 percent (14,500 kilometres) is developed. Thousands of people are taking to the Trail to walk, hike, cycle, ski, horseback ride, canoe and snowmobile.
More information on the national trail: The Trans Canada Trail