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Happy trails for Sandbanks

Sandbanks-on-the-beachGrants totalling $23,100 will go toward making happy trails for those who love recreation at Sandbanks Provincial Park.

Sandbanks-trails-1“Along with the extensive time and money that both the park and the Friends of Sandbanks have already invested in the development and on going maintenance of the trails system at Sandbanks, the Friends have been awarded grant funds totaling $23,100 for three different trail upgrades projects in 2015,” said Mark Despault, chair of the Friends of Sandbanks.

Through the federally-funded National Trails Coalition, the Friends are to receive $10,500 in two installments, to continue work on upgrades to the existing trails network.

Despault says work will involve resurfacing of some sections of the Woodlands Trail, as well as improving signage throughout the trails network at the park.

sandbanks-trails-2The Friends have also received a $10,000 grant from the federally funded “Enabling Accessibility Fund” to be used to improve beach access from the Outlet Beach road across from the Park Store through the fore-dune to the beach.

“Included in the project will be the purchase and installation of additional specially designed ground mats to extend existing access lane for wheelchair accessibility,” said Despault. “The mats are installed on top of the sand making it possible for wheelchairs to access areas otherwise prohibitive due to the loose sand.”

As well, the Friends have received a $2,600 grant from TD Bank for the design and installation of two interpretive trail signs across from the Park Store, advising the public of the need to protect vegetation on the sand dunes adjacent to the access corridor to the beach.

Summer photos courtesy Friends of Sandbanks
Cedar Sands Nature Trail – 2 km loop
Walk along the shores of the Outlet River and stop at the two lookouts providing scenic views of the marsh. This is an interpretive trail with 12 stops. Trail guides are available at the trail head or the Nature Shoppe.

Woodlands Trail – 3.5 km, linear, easy
Starting at the Main Gate parking lot, this trail takes cyclists and hikers through the Woodland Campground, across old farm pastures and hardwood lots until it reaches County Road 12 and the entrance to the Dunes Day-Use area.

Sandbanks Dunes Trail – 2.5 km loop, easy to moderate
This trail loops through a unique and fragile dune habitat and travels along the edge of several pannes. The dune system is the largest of its kind in the world and the pannes are a rare wetland habitat that supports wildlife and unusual flora.

In addition to the main trail, there is also a one kilometre loop at the beginning of the trail that is barrier-free. Please stay on the trail to minimize your impact and to avoid Poison Ivy, which is common throughout the area.


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  1. Hello from AccessRec,

    At AccessRec we manufacture roll out AccessMats here in the United States for those with disabilities. We take pride in helping those with disability enjoy our Beaches, Lakes and even Special Events on grass . The mats are ADA/ABA compliant 5’ & 6’ wide come in blue & brown colors with a 1 year warranty. All our mats come packaged with the Carrying straps, stakes, and access signs. For more information don’t hesitate to give me a call.

    Have a Great week!

    Best regards,

    Scott Jenkins, Sales Manager
    55 Park slope
    Clifton, NJ 07011
    PH: 973 955 0514 – F: 973 340 9109
    Cell: 954 661 7692

  2. Monique says:

    This is wonderful news. Happy to hear we are putting money into the sandbanks and the dunes. It’s a wonderful asset to our community. I often utilize the trails, and the dunes to enjoy the beautiful scenery, and get some excercise, swimming and hiking. I was there this past weekend and was hoping to hike, but wasn’t able to access the parking lots. I parked on the road. My grandchildren, my son and i enjoyed a wonderful walk, along with skiers, but realized on our way back, there were signs posted saying walkers keep off the trails. The snow was over a foot deep off the trails and would have made it impossible to hike. In the dead of winter when there is an opportunity to get out and enjoy the amazing scenery of the dunes and the trails we are truly blessed.
    thank you for all you are doing and may do, to help make that possible for everyone, hikers and skiers:)

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