On Thursday, October 26, 2017 the Haldimand County held its second public meeting exploring the possibility to convert the existing Mud Road into a walking trail.
The existing Mud Road runs from Indian Line (Hald Rd. 20), east of Hagersville, along the Hydro Corridor to Fifth Line and is at present a ‘not-public’ road that is not maintained. It is being used by Hydro and Pipeline service crews and by farmers to access their farms lands beyond the Mud Road.
The trail starts at McKenzie Rd. in Caledonia, which was already widened and will be the road and bicycle connector from Caledonia to Fifth Line. Then the path will turn onto Fifth Line to meet with Mud Road. This stretch will have to be widened to make it save for cyclists. It is suggested that you drive or cycle from Caledonia to the beginning of Mud Road.
At the entrance of Mud Road, the County plans to establish a parking lot for about six vehicles or more if demand calls for it. The existing Mud Road will be made into a about three-metre-wide gravel path on firm underlayment. The path will reach from Fifth Line to Indian Line (R.R.20) east of Hagersville.
Each road crossing will likely be secured with some kind of blocking to prevent motorized vehicles on this walking trail. This will be very much like the Lynn Valley trail that has a parking lot at the entrance and crosses some roads on its length of the path.
A future expansion to the lake is being considered as Phase II.
One big concern for the abutting farm neighbors is that they need access to Mud Road or need to be able to cross Mud road to access their lands beyond Mud Road. They need to be able to drive tractors with equipment attachments and combines across and along Mud Road to seed and harvest their crops. It seems that in some cases they would be land-locked. This cannot happen of course.
As people in attendance confirmed, there is Jeep clubs currently using this Mud Road as a mudding track at the present. Also, many ATVs are using it for their outings. People stated that this a real problem and complained that Mud Road is not policed enough to catch and fine the respective abusers.
Another current problem is the dumping. Some people seem to think that it is OK to dump their garbage on Mud Road. This situation needs to be brought under control and establishing a walking path might help to alleviate this problem.
There were also people in attendance that thought the walking trail is a great idea and voiced their support.
The County has this trail in its budget for 2025 with a very rough estimate of $2.2 million. Considering other walking path projects Sheila Wilson mentioned that the cost could be $200 per metre, but will go up in cost for any water crossings and other problem areas.
Other counties like Brant and Cambridge who have a walking and cycling trail system proof that they are highly regarded and widely used. A trail system will make Haldimand more attractive to tourists and people who are looking for a good place to live.
Sheila Wilson from Haldimand County, who held this meeting, stated that this was only a meeting to explore what resonance this idea would provide.
She is inviting everyone to comment and to let her know what you think of this idea; she invited all to e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.