OSCC member, Brian Low has maintained communication with the County of Grey – Natalie Mechalko, Trails and Forestry Coordinator, and the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority – Morgan Barrie, Operations Manager, regarding the conditions and status of the Grey County CP Rail Trail.
The CP Rail Trail offers 12-month multi-use trail access for both motorized (ATV and snowmobile) and non-motorized users from Dundalk to Owen Sound, with certain restrictions for the motorized uses. Currently, the CP Rail Trail from Grey Road 18 to Owen Sound does not permit ATV use and is designated as a non-motorized multi-use trail during the spring, summer, and fall. The trail can only accommodate ATVs up to 54 inches wide.
Links providing further information on the trail are found here:
Over the past few years, the trail has been graded and resurfaced in sections. Natalie Mechalko, provided an update on the trail this spring:
“In terms of the resurfacing, in 2022 the trail was resurfaced north of Thistlewood Road at the south side of Bridge 42 – approximately 200 metres south of Sideroad 80. The remainder of the work (Sideroad 180 to Dundalk, approximately 12 kilometres remaining) is anticipated to be completed summer of 2023. In terms of trail maintenance, the County and Grey Sauble have been having discussions with the ATV club and determining what requirements are needed for the club to be able to do this maintenance. Additionally, we are working on an Adopt-a-trail program that would allow individuals, groups or clubs to participate in trail stewardship.”
More recently on May 24th, Ms. Mechalko provided the following in response to our inquiries:
“The gates have been left open as part of a pilot project to see if the open gates reduce the instances of vehicles traveling around the gates and causing trail erosion. We have notified police contacts and clubs of this project and requested that they note in their trail reports instances of vehicles over 54” accessing the trail. Thank you for providing the feedback on the increase in larger side-by-sides – if you have additional details around the approximate section of trail and date, I can include that in a trail report.
The ATV club coordinates with police to patrol the trail and check for compliance with membership and trail rules. The club submits monthly trail reports to the County noting trail maintenance and safety concerns.
County forest and trail properties are closed to all users from sunset to sunrise. I will look into whether there would be any circumstances that would grant users permission to use the trail between sunset and sunrise.”
The Grey County CP Rail Trail is a popular recreational ride for OSCC members and visitors to the area. If you become aware of trail deterioration, unsafe practices, or have information that can assist this to be the tremendous cycling asset to the County it has the potential to be, please share with Brian Low, at firstname.lastname@example.org. He will share information with the County and Conservation Authority as appropriate.
When cycling on the trail, please observe proper etiquette. Slow down and notify walkers on the trail as you approach. Slow down for oncoming ATVs and encourage oncoming ATVs to slow to walking speed when passing. When ATVs are overtaking, slow or stop when able to safely do so and allow ATVs to pass. Encourage overtaking ATVs to slow to walking pace when passing.