Trail change process

Opportunity to Request Trail Changes in St Williams Conservation Reserve (The CR)

As part of The CR’s Operations Plan renewal process we are considering changes to the network of authorized trails for motorized, equestrian and mountain bike users. If your group would like to request changes to the authorized trail network, please fill out an application as follows.

How to Apply:

  1. Review this section about the Trail Change Process.
  2. Download the Trail change application form. Open it in a pdf reader and fill it in. Save the complete form. Here is the same application in Word form in case you’d prefer that.
  3. Download the map below on which you want to make a trail change. Print out this map and draw in your proposed trail change.
    Trail Map – St. Williams Nursery Tract
    Trail Map – Turkey Point Tract
  4. Send us the completed application form + marked-up map either by email to or through regular mail to:

    The Coordinator, St. Williams Conservation Reserve Community Council
    P.O. Box 472, Port Rowan, ON N0E 1M0

Trail Change Process

If you are a member of a group who uses the trails at The CR, and plan to request trail changes to MNRF, please read the following sections about Trail Change Request timing, the review process, and MNRF criteria for accepting or rejecting trail change requests.

While MNRF will review all trail change requests, they advise individuals who wish to request a trail change to submit their applications with established user groups, where possible. Please see below for list of user groups with a potential interest in The CR.

When Must We Submit a Trail Change Request?

You may submit a trail change request for MNRF review three times from now (2017) until 2028, as follows:

Trail Change Submission Dates MNRF Review Periods
By Dec 31 2017 Jan – March 31 2018
By Dec 31 2023 Jan – March 31 2024
By Dec 31 2027 Jan – March 31 2028

When Can We Expect A Response From MNRF About Our Request?

In the 2017- 2019 application period, you and MNRF will engage in the following review cycle.

Due Date Activity
31 December 2017 Submit your Trail Change Application by Dec 31, 2017
31 March 2018 MNRF responses:
i. MNRF will consider this request but requires more
information… (description)

ii. Your request is not being considered because…
2018 Field Season spring/summer/

early fall

If you receive a ‘requires more information’
response from MNRF, you will likely need to hire a consultant to complete the environmental assessment survey for MNRF review, which assesses the impact of the trail
change on The CR’s natural restoration objective
October 31 2018 Due date for submitting your environmental assessment
January 31 2019 MNRF will review the environmental assessment report and
provide their final response to your trail change request.
Spring 2019 If the environmental assessment meets MNRF criteria and you
receive a Yes, you can implement the trail change as
early as spring 2019.

What Are MNRF’s Review Criteria?

Restoration of The CR’s ecosystems is the prime reason for The CR’s existence. Recreational use and other objectives are secondary. With this in mind, MNRF will apply the following filters when reviewing trail change requests.

Filter Description
Filter 0

MNRF Discretion & Sensitive Areas

MNRF has the discretion to close trails, and/or revise the
trail network at any time. Trails in sensitive areas
(wetlands, ravines, sand barrens, stream crossings, etc.)
will not be considered.
Filter 1

Existing Trail Network

Demonstrate that the need for the trail changes cannot be
met through the existing trail network
Filter 2

Trail Density & Human Usage

Demonstrate that adding/changing the trail will not exceed
thresholds for trail density and human usage
Filter 3

Trail Connectivity

Indicate how the trail change may affect an entry point to
the reserve, to other trails, to an adjacent property or to
a parking area

Why are you Considering Trail Changes Now?

We (MNRF and St Williams Conservation Reserve Community Council) are heading into a new Operations Plan period where we define priorities and activities for achieving The CR’s goals and objectives. One priority is to set an established network of trails for the next 5 years in order to mitigate the impacts of trail density and human usage on restoring The CR’s natural heritage. This is why MNRF will consider trail change requests submitted by December 31, 2017, and subsequently by December 31, 2023 and 2028.

For the Purposes of Your Application, Start with Why the CR was Established

In making your application, it’s important for you to know Ontario’s goal for The CR and our 5 management objectives.

User Groups with a Potential Interest in The CR

Individuals who wish to request a trail change are encouraged to submit their applications with one of these established user groups:

Turkey Point Mountain Biking Club (TPMBC)

Norfolk Equestrian Trail Riders Association (NETRA)

Lynn Valley Dirt Riders

Norfolk ATV Club

Southern SnoRiders