A pilot project for developing and promoting ATV tourism includes plans to provide the framework for developing future all-terrain vehicle (ATV) trails in communities across Ontario.
The announcement was made on Sept. 12 during the launch of the first test site, a 300-kilometre ATV trail network in Elliot Lake. No other trail of this size exists in Ontario. Setting the standard, the entire Elliot Lake trail network is insured and mapped, and the planning team's emphasis has been on safe and responsible riding, shared use trails, and environmental consideration.
In the first phase of the ATV pilot project, a community-based model for developing and promoting shared-use trails for tourism was developed and tested. Plans are underway to promote the development of similar trail systems in communities across Ontario. Best practices will be developed and modelled in Elliot Lake and shared with interested communities through a printed manual.
A partnership was forged between the Elliot Lake ATV Club, the City of Elliot Lake, and Discovery North Centre for Business. The Elliot Lake Snowmobile Club contributed trail expertise, while the provincial and federal governments represented by FedNor, Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp., and the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership provided financial assistance.
So far, a number of Ontario communities have expressed an interest in developing similar trails based on the Elliot Lake model. Plans are to work with these communities, sharing information and experiences learned in Elliot Lake with them to advance trail-based tourism across Ontario.