A message from Valerie Pringle, Co-Chair, Trans Canada Trail Foundation, National Champion
Not to be hyperbolic, but it is a miraculous achievement. The Great Trail is over 24,000 kilometres long and includes paved pathways, old railways, a few rivers, sections on a Great Lake and an ocean, rural roads and rustic routes from the Atlantic to the Pacific and the Arctic oceans. It is connected in this year of Canada 150 just 25 years after Pierre Camu and the late Bill Pratt dreamed of it. We can travel the length and breadth of this massive country at human speed. By foot, bicycle, skis and, in some places, horseback, canoe and snowmobile.
It is connected but not complete. My grandchildren will be working on this Trail making it better.
I think we have built something that is greater than we know. It connects Canadians (15,000 communities along the Trail), and we need that. It connects us to nature and our history and geography, and we need that. It offers the perfect place to get exercise and fresh air, and our bodies and our brains need that.
Many thousands of Canadians have their fingerprints on this amazing Trail. They have helped build and maintain it. They have donated money in amounts from $5 to $5 million to make it happen. It has been an enormous volunteer effort inspired by a big, iconic vision.
Thank you to everyone who has been part of this achievement.
I have been working hard on the Trans Canada Trail for 16 years. To be honest, there were some difficult times and I wondered if we could do it. To celebrate 100 per cent connection this year was euphoric. My heart leaps every time I see a Great Trail marker, and they are everywhere.
Of all the things I have done in my life, with the exception of my family, nothing makes me prouder than helping to build this Great Trail across Canada.
You should feel the same.
Discover it and use it. It is a treasure.