What is the Cataraqui Trail?
The Cataraqui Trail is a year-round, shared-use recreation trail running 104 kilometers from Smith Falls in the east to Strathcona in the west. The trail runs across three counties, Leeds and Grenville, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington all in eastern Ontario, Canada.
Who maintains the Cataraqui Trail?
The trail is overseen by a volunteer board, the Cataraqui Trail Management Board (CTMB). Volunteers maintain the trail with occasional assistance from the municipalities it crosses and private contractors when more major work must be done.
Who owns the Cataraqui Trail?
The majority of the trail is owned by the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority who also provide administrative services to the CTMB.
Who funds the Cataraqui Trail?
The maintenance of the trail is entirely funded by memberships and donations. Major work such as resurfacing and drainage is dependent upon the availability of grants from various government levels, the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs, and the National Trails Coalition. As these grants usually require matching funding some funding from memberships and donations is also required. Therefore it is really important that trail users purchase memberships ($25 annually) and, even better, consider adding a donation for which a tax receipt will be issued.
What is the surface material on the trail?
The surface of the trail varies along its length from a stone dust smooth surface to areas that have had little upgrading since the removal of the tracks. The first five kilometers of the trail have been brought up to standard in 2015. There is a good surface from Portland Station Road to Harlem Road. The trail from Camden Portland Boundary Road to Strathcona is complete. There are other areas which have had some upgrading but there is still about half of the Trail which requires complete resurfacing. At a cost of about $11,000 per kilometer this continues to be a slow process. Donations will help speed this up!
Can I camp on the trail?
No camping is allowed on the trail. However there are places to camp within a reasonable distance of the trail in many places. Use Google maps to find what is available and where. Just pan and zoom to the area of the trail you will be using and search for “camping”.
Are dogs allowed on the trail?
Yes dogs are allowed but must be on a leash (maximum 2 metres in length) so as not to disturb wild animals or farm animals along the trail. Please clean up after your pet.
Why can’t I use my ATV (or other motorized vehicle) on the trail?
There are a number of reasons why motorized vehicles other than snowmobiles are banned from the trail.
- When the trail was created agreements were reached with adjacent land-owners to only allow snowmobiles as the sole motorized vehicles in winter on the trail. This is particularly critical as the trail crosses privately-owned sections where owner agreement is essential.
- The trail is constructed to support people, bicycles and horses but is not engineered to support other wheeled equipment other than maintenance vehicles. The cost of building and maintaining a trail to support motorized vehicles is far beyond what is feasible. Snowmobiles are permitted as they are much easier on the trails and, most importantly, the snowmobile clubs strongly support the trail both financially and their maintenance efforts.
- Safety is a key concern when mixing a variety of users on one trail. The speed and size of ATV’s and similar is a major safety risk.
- Most trail users are out to enjoy the peace and serenity of nature. The inevitable noise from motorized vehicles is highly detrimental to their enjoyment of the trail.