Snow Trek Gem Blast!

Hello! Hope everyone is staying warm this winter. This new year we have many exciting things planned. One is our first Winter Gem Blast! This event is in partnership with Snow Trek, an event that allows families of all incomes to participate in free winter activities. There will be snowshoeing, skiing, sledding, skating, snowman building, crafts, face painting, and of course, new gems to be launched on the event day. The poster for the event is below, but here is a run down:

When: Sunday, February 5
Where: Harbour View Recreation Complex
At: 12-4pm

This is a great opportunity to try out winter activities you haven’t had the chance to before while collecting gems and points on our leader board. These gems will only be available for the event so this is a good chance to add to your score. Lets not forget about the prize. For every person who stops by our table at Harbour View with the Winnipeg Trails App downloaded on their phone, an entry for the prize draw will be rewarded. At 4pm the winner will be announced and the prize awarded!

We hope to see you there!

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Written by: Samantha Worden (Sam)

Sam is a Trails Analyst with The Winnipeg Trails Association. She is working towards a degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Manitoba. Her hobbies include reading, bike riding, camping, watching and posting on YouTube, and various forms of paper-crafting and planning.

Photo credit: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/our-communities/herald/Join-in-on-annual-Snow-Trek-365464181.html

GABRIELLE ROY ROUTE

This route in the east quarter of old St Boniface is half on sidewalks and half on the Seine River Greenway. It is named in honour of famed author Gabrielle Roy who was born and raised in timg_2808he rambling frame house at 375 Rue Deschambault. You can see the cute yellow house pictured to the right. Today, the house is a museum and visitors center.

To be completely honest this trail is a bit unnecessary because the good parts of the trail are just along the river, which I think is the Seine River Greenway (already a nice trail). The Gabrielle Roy Route was made to encompass the famous house and really does not feel like a trail at all. I started at the house and then walked down the street towarimg_2811ds an industrial area and then into a tiny swath of trees that lead me down to the river. This was a little odd for me because it felt mildly tresspass-y and the beginning of the trail had lots of broken bottles and empty cans near the benches. I think this trail is used more as a party spot. The view I had to begin the trail is to the left.

The best part of the trail was walking along the river. I went under the tracks and along the gravel path. There was some pretty cool graffiti there (seen right). I went around 7:30pm and the sun was starting to go down which gave me a creepy vibe. I also heard a lot of industrial noise and sirens, so this wasn’t the most tranquil walk. I am a nervous Nelly.  The river itself was pretty and I loved all the birds you can see when you’re walking. They come pretty close and I think they aren’t used to many people walking down that way. img_2813

Once you finish the river part of the trail it leads you out onto Provencher blvd. The route can take you across and through the Historic Park but I decided to go down Provencher and then back to Des Meurons (which is the last part of the route). This again, did not feel like a trail because it is a very common street in Winnipeg and was not anything spectacular other than a lit way for me to walk back to the museum. I would go back to the museum for a tour, but other than that I would not go out of my way to walk this trail again.

Written by: Samantha Worden (Sam)

Sam is a Trails Analyst summer student with The Winnipeg Trails Association. She is working towards a degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Manitoba with a focus in Natural Resource Management. Her hobbies include reading, bike riding, camping, watching and posting on YouTube, and various forms of paper-crafting and planning.

LITTLE MOUNTAIN TRAIL

This evening I went to Little Mountain Park to walk the various trails and to place gems. It is a nice little park and I would recommend taking a trip there with your pet and maybe having a bonfire.img_2791

To start the first thing you need to look out for is dog poop. It’s everywhere despite the copious signs telling people to pick up after their pet and the numerous garbage cans for them to deposit your waste bags in. There is no reason for someone to leave their dog poop on the path. Aside from that, the paths are well maintained and pretty to walk down. I can confidently say this is a walking path only, as most of it is grass (some is wood chips). It is not accessible for wheelchairs or any other active transportation. Great to bring a fuzzy friend though, as there are many dogs running around.

Speaking of dogs running around, make sure your dog is on a leash and in control if it is not friendly. Our dog was spooked when a little terror of a dog ran up to us barking and snarling with it’s leash dragging behind him. Accidents happen but it took the guy a solid 2 min to come get his crazy dog. On the bright side we said hi to many other nice dogs. The park is noteworthy for their off leash and on leash areas for people to let their dogs socialise and have fun.

One of the areas of interest on the Winnipeg trails map is the limestone quarry area. The old pit is turned into a pond. Its kinda icky looking but it provided a lovely sunset img_2797picture moment.

This park had some pretty cute picnic areas which would make great evening bonfires. If you live closer to here than birds hill park then I think Little Mountain Park is a great substitute. A side note about transportation though, its pretty hard to find on a in car GPS system because Farmer Road is called something else on the satellite map and its not listed as a “park” on our GPS.

Written by: Samantha Worden (Sam)

Sam is a Trails Analyst summer student with The Winnipeg Trails Association. She is working towards a degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Manitoba with a focus in Natural Resource Management. Her hobbies include reading, bike riding, camping, watching and posting on YouTube, and various forms of paper-crafting and planning.

BUNN’S CREEK TRAIL (ft. my dog)

This evening I walked the Bunn’s Creek trail with my dad and my dog Sophie. I wanted to try this trail out because it was close to my area of town (transcona) and I had yet to p
lot some Gems there. (Hint Hint new gems on Bunn’s Creek).  We started at the Malcana Park parking lot and went North on the trail heading towards the Red River. The trail is a combination of pavement and packed gravel, so only parts of the trail are accessible by wheelchair or skateboard etc. The path follows Bunn’s creek through parks and slopes with many trees. I would compare this trail to some of the birds hill park trails, only with a few backyards and residential street crossings. img_2763

What I liked about this trail is the abundant vegetation and various wildlife. There are many different floweringimg_2765 plants, more than one beaver dam, and of course, squirrels. Sophie took interest in the squirrels. I also appreciate when a trail has points of interest like interpretative signs or cool bridges. It is a peaceful walk, yet you feel like part of the community with people passing by every so often.

The trail is very connected and thought out. There are ample trail signs for points of confusion, large overhead crosswalk lights for crossing busy streets, and nothing blocking the path or obstructing it. Very well thought out and maintained.

The best part is the view of the Red River at sunset. You never know what you will find when you walk down a Winnipeg Trail.

Written by: Samantha Worden (Sam)

Sam is a Trails Analyst summer student with The Winnipeg Trails Association. She is working towards a degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Manitoba with a focus in Natural Resource Management. Her hobbies include reading, bike riding, camping, watching and posting on YouTube, and various forms of paper-crafting and planning.

 

 

Manyfest Success

Yesterday, Sunday September 11, 2016, the Winnipeg Trails staff tabled at Manyfest on broadway and we had our last big giveaway of the summer. Thank you to all who have downloaded the app and have given it a try! We want to shout out fenyx13 for her continued support for our app, she has dominated first place on our leaderboard for quite some time and was one of the grand prize winners of the cool laser cut longboard. There she is to the right with our trails analyst Dan presenting the cool board. We also want to thank the second place and third place leaderboa14322347_1077624422321103_1408035649036597653_nrd users: jkryschuk and jacrispy! They came out to our events over the summer and have been active on their own hunting down gems throughout the city and on trails. If you haven’t downloaded our app yet, DO IT! You never know what cool prizes we will be giving away for events and leaderboard scores.

Make sure to like us on Facebook on our Winnipeg Trails page to hear about cool updates and what we are doing at the Winnipeg Trails Association.  Link: https://www.facebook.com/WinnipegTrails

We are also on Instagram and Twitter as @WinnipegTrails

Written by: Samantha Worden (Sam)

Sam is a Trails Analyst summer student with The Winnipeg Trails Association. She is working towards a degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Manitoba with a focus in Natural Resource Management. Her hobbies include reading, bike riding, camping, watching and posting on YouTube, and various forms of paper-crafting and planning.

APP LEADERBOARD GIVEAWAY AT MANYFEST

If you see this poster around town it’s because we are having our final giveaway this summer. You will be able to run around Winnipeg and collect
gems all day before meeting on Broadway at 3pm to try and win prizes based on your leader board score. Just joined our app family? Don’t worry,
we will have 2 random draws for anyone registered on the leader board.  So if you are in 4th place or 16th, you have a chance to win! Want to come
down early and find out more information? Winnipeg Trails staff will be at Manyfest from 10-3 that day.

Prizes to be won:

2 LONGBOARDS,

2 PASSES FOR FESTIVAL DU VOYAGER,

RECYCLE EVERYWHERE CAP AND BAG,

COUPONS TO THE DALNAVERT MUSEUM AND MORE!

ciclovia event

HEADINGLEY GRAND TRUNK TRAIL

I started out by driving to the trail head near Beaudry park. There is some parking available, which is always nice for me. The trail sign is pictured to the right, as you can see there is some graffiti on it. This damage blocks the sign information and map which is unfortunate. The trail itself is on an abandoned CN railway bed that traverses the municipalities of HeadingIMG_2663ley and Cartier and covers approximately 10 km from the Perimeter Highway west into Beaudry Park. Bordering the trail there are small patches of trees which are home to many birds, bugs, and below, flowers. Along the trail you’ll experience three of the major ecosystems of the Prairie region – prairie, wetlands and forest. Aside from the trees, all I could see are farms. This is nice in some areas because it gives you a feeling of solitude, but not so well in others because I almost felt I was trespassing or a weirdo walking in between peoples farms. This path seems to be used for farmers to get to other parts of their lot because there were a couple trucks I had to pass on the trail. There are also lots of quad tracks. Quads are not allowed on the trail but honestly who is going to stop them? IMG_2671I would probably quad there too honestly. The path is mostly gravel, which is nice because grass paths can be uneven. What the path looks like for most of the way is to the left.

Honestly, I would not come back to this trail. Its just not worth the drive and the trail itself is pretty boring. I walked for an hour down the path and did not even reach Headingley. However, I would come back to Beaudry park. I looked at some of the trails that were inside the park and they looked like something I would want to walk. I recommend checking those out if you want to come to this area, not the Grand Trunk Trail.

Written by: Samantha Worden (Sam)

Sam is a Trails Analyst summer student with The Winnipeg Trails Association. She is working towards a degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Manitoba with a focus in Natural Resource Management. Her hobbies include reading, bike riding, camping, watching and posting on YouTube, and various forms of paper-crafting and planning.

FROM TRANSCONA TO DOWNTOWN AND BACK

I decided to make the trip on bike from my home in Transcona to downtown Winnipeg. I am taking two different routes there and back to try two different travel optiontrip to DT wpgs. Here is a small map of my route to the right. The red is the trip to downtown and the orange is the trip from downtown. I took Dugald road to mission on my way there and I went from downtown to London and grey to the Transcona Trail on the way back. I am going to note here that this took me a VERY LONG TIME. It took me just an hour to get from my house to mission (11.5 km). This was a long adventure for me and I am going to tell you about it through the lens of a very un-experienced recreational cyclist who has low stamina.

My adventure started with me biking down Dugald road. The traffic speed limit is 80 km an hour. I biked on the shoulder and it seemed fine. Most cars gave me space and I wasn’t bothered. After passing the big grain elevator I jumped onto the bike trail that is adjacent to Dugald and enjoyed the wild grasses and nice pavement. This is where I rolled up behind a fellow lady on a bike and decided to be a creep and see if she was heading the same way I was. We went up the over pass (I had to stop and walk my bike a little cause I was dying) and then crossed Lag. as a pedestrian on the sidewalk. Yes I followed her like a creeper but I wanted to know if she knew any bike secrets. She did in fact lead me down a few roads off Dugald and onto mission. This is where I bid her farewell and did a quick 30 min traffic count to catch my breath and eat a granola bar.

After the traffic count I used the bike lane on mission and crossed Provencher  and made my way through Provencher park. I enjoyed going through the park because it was quiet and the pavement was nice. I joined Provencher around Des Meurons and crossed the Provencher bridge on the right where there is a section for walking. I used the sidewalk to ride past Shaw Park and then awkwardly rolled over the curb and joined traffic to make my way through the exchange district. I would suggest making the crossing on bridge to the street a little easier for bikes by making a little bike lane to join the sidewalk to the street. I know I could have taken the little walking path that is separate from the bridge but I was on the opposite side of the street.

Biking through downtown was not as big of a challenge as I thought it would be. I used less busy streets for the most part, and only got honked at once (which was kinda my fault). I took Ellice Ave for most of my trip and I found people biked on the sidewalk a lot. I am not sure why this was but maybe people just felt it was safer or easier? After a bit I got tired and went on the sidewalk so I would feel no pressure to keep up with traffic. Then I made my way back.

The main change in my route back happened at Provencher. I took Provencher to Watt and then turned on what I think was London. I went down a few small back lanes and streets as well to make my way over to the Kildonan area. I found it really easy to bike down these streets because there was not much traffic and there are some bike route signs. My greatest excitement was finding the bike lane on Molson. They recently re-did this street and I was surprised to see they added a bike lane. It was cool. I took the shoulder of Concordia to get to Peguis. I did not realize until halfway down Peguis that there was a paved multi-use pathway I could have used. The only bummer with that is it ends where the new development ends and I had to ride on grass or go back onto the street to turn onto Transcona Blvd. I have a serious qualm with the Transcona Blvd right now. There is no room for a bike to ride on the road safely. The sidewalk would be an option for me, however with all the construction it was covered in gravel and mud and I am not even sure if it was finished or not. This was a struggle. (I was also dead tired so this could have affected my attitude). When I saw the transcona trail I was SO EXCITED. After biking on roads and sidewalks for most of my journey I was so glad to have a nice path where I knew I could relax and not worry about traffic at all.

Written by: Samantha Worden (Sam)

Sam is a Trails Analyst summer student with The Winnipeg Trails Association. She is working towards a degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Manitoba with a focus in Natural Resource Management. Her hobbies include reading, bike riding, camping, watching and posting on YouTube, and various forms of paper-crafting and planning.

 

PRAIRIE PATHFINDERS WALK IN RIVERVIEW

This morning I had the pleasure of joining the Prairie Pathfinders Walking Club (website: http://prairiepathfinders.mb.ca/) on a 7.25 km walk through the riverview neighbourhood. We mIMG_2567et at 10 am at the Riverview Community Center and followed the Churchill parkway and residential streets throughout the neighbourhood. The parkway was the only marked path, the rest of the course was created by the prairie pathfinders to include some interesting features of Winnipeg.

We started the walk with a stop at the Riverview Community Gardens (pictured right). I enjoyed the information they provided about the project and some history of the area. IMG_2572The adjacent street acts as a barrier for floods as at one point a flood covered the area. Today the land is dedicated to fruit trees and other vegetable plants. Most of the harvest is shared in a feast during the fall or donated.  Most of the walk was on a gravel trail through the Churchill parkway. I enjoyed the view of the river and seeing all the different wildflowers in bloom. It is always nice to spend some time outside. The residential streets were lovely to stroll through because the houses were beautiful and the trees were mature. It was fun to talk with the ladies along the way and eye up the architecture.  We walked along these streets to the Bridge Drive In ice cream shop and across the old bridge. I always enjoy this view. (left)IMG_2571

I wouldn’t say this was one of the best/exciting trails I have walked but I also think this experience is too different to compare. The walking club is great for those who struggle to get out and walk by themselves, because you have many people to talk with and share in the sweaty exercise. I also think joining on a walk is great to discover things you may not have learned about before. Not only does the walk have a couple interactive stops along the way but I learned a lot just from talking with the people who have been on many other adventures. I quite enjoyed myself. Make sure you are in decent enough shape because they go at a brisk walking pace and do not take many breaks. I myself was pretty tired at the end, these ladies could walk laps around me if they wanted. In fact, many decided to extend their walk once we made it back to the community center. I went home for water and food.

If you want to join them on a walk visit: http://www.meetup.com/Prairie-Pathfinders-Walking-Club-Meetup-Group/ and either sign up for a membership or pay $2.00 per walk.

 

Written by: Samantha Worden (Sam)

Sam is a Trails Analyst summer student with The Winnipeg Trails Association. She is working towards a degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Manitoba with a focus in Natural Resource Management. Her hobbies include reading, bike riding, camping, watching and posting on YouTube, and various forms of paper-crafting and planning.

 

 

NEW YORK CITI BIKE VS WINNIPEG’S NOTHING

This past week me and my boyfriend (now fiancé) took a trip to New York City. I thought this was a great opportunity to compare one cycling transit system to another. Because cabbing everywhere would be insanely expensive and less efficient, we decided to bike and subway instead. Subway trips were for longer distances and we used the bikes to get around in the neighbourhood we were staying in (The Village) and to explore Central Park. For those who have never been to NYC they have a city wide bike service in place called Citi Bike. Here is their website if you are keen on learning more : https://www.citibikenyc.com/ . Basically, the system requires you to pay for a membership that includes a little key to unlock bikes from stations around the city. We paid for one day of unlimitedIMG_2532 trips, but residents would use the annual membership. You use the key to unlock a bike and ride it to another station where you return the bike. I was amazed at the ease of renting the bikes and zooming around town. We used one trip to get from central pack to the restaurant we ate at in the village, then back to our hotel. (Left is a picture I took while riding the Citi Bike in central park.)

Pros and Cons of Citi Bike: I am very small and the large sturdy frame was a lot for me to handle. Even with the seat all the way down my feet did not rest on the pavement comfortably. The bike stations were copious in the Village but around other places they were fewer which made biking directly to a destination difficult. (They do have more stations in construction/planned.) The app they have which marks where the stations were was very helpful. I loved the little basket for my purse. There are automatic blinking lights for nighttime riding. Lastly, depending on the time of day you could walk to a bike station and have all the bikes be gone and have to find a new station, or have the opposite problem which is trying to drop off a bike at a station with no empty spots. (full of bikes)

The Citi Bike program would not be as successful if it were not for the glorious infrastructure NYC has made for bikes. On all large busy streets (eg. Fifth Ave.) there was a bike lane. Many smaller adjacent streets had one too. The only streets that did not have one were small one block length and I found cars respected the cyclists. Central park had AMAZING bike traffic lanes. There were bi-directional lanes and some parts were even restricted to just bikes and horse carriages (no cars). There were so many bikes they had to put bike speed limit signs for the downhill slopes. I was first nervous to bike in NYC because I do not bike much on streets. However, I was totally comfortable after half a day of riding around. The only issue I had were taxis pulling into bike lanes to let people out or pick up people and cutting me off in the process. However if the light was green and I started to go a pedestrian would respect me like I was a vehicle. I also had a bell to warn other pedestrians or people on bikes that I was a force to be reckoned with. What was also nice is if a light turned red or if an intersection was very pedestrian heavy, we could jump off (me slowly struggling off) our bikes and walk across the street as a pedestrian. This was not a problem at all.

Comparing this to Winnipeg is laughable. There are very few bike lanes and they are not in the busiest areas of town. Cars do not respect bike travel and are aggressive to people on bikes. Parks usually do not have bike lanes and many paths are a free for all. Paths and trails that do have separated traffic flow are just for direction, not mode of travel. There is no bike rental service that compares to Citi Bike unless you count renting double bikes around The Forks. For the most part, Winnipeg is build for cars and cars only. I think if Winnipeg got a program like Citi Bike and made more connected bike lanes it would force better traffic flow and safer speeds. My fiance who is from a small town in Manitoba and loves cars said he would bike when he came to Winnipeg if there was a bike service like this. I was so surprised when he said that and I think that shows that if biking was fast, safe, and affordable people of all walks of life would use it. I for one would definitely park and bike when downtown/at university if I was not afraid for my life.

Lastly, I want to talk about the stigma around biking in Winnipeg. People hate people on bikes. Only a very small percentage of people are happy to see people on bikes, most drivers loath bikes on the road. So, when riding a bike I automatically feel like a huge nuisance to everyone.  In NYC I felt like a part of a cool bike club.

Overall, Citi Bike 10/10 would bike again. Winnipeg, take note.

Written by: Samantha Worden (Sam)

Sam is a Trails Analyst summer student with The Winnipeg Trails Association. She is working towards a degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Manitoba with a focus in Natural Resource Management. Her hobbies include reading, bike riding, camping, watching and posting on YouTube, and various forms of paper-crafting and planning.