Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks prohibits Trout Lake skate trail on park property

Olivia Joerges
Staff Reporter

This past week saw uproar in Barry’s Bay regarding the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP)’s prohibition of the Trout Lake skate trail organized by Rick Droppo, Steve Bradley, and a small team of volunteers.

The skate trail, which won Madawaska Valley Township’s March 2022 Above and Beyond Achiever award, spanned four kilometers on frozen Trout Lake. But as of last week, organizers Droppo and Bradley announced the closure of the ice trail due to pressure from the MECP.

Droppo and Bradley were first approached by the MECP in October 2022 with concerns about liability for the skate trail, which crosses the Carson Lake Provincial Park boundary by water.

“I’d like to advise that any work done in the park such as maintaining a skate trail, plowing, setting benches, etc. requires appropriate authorizations and risk and liability considerations,” Jason Mask, Bonnechere Park Superintendent said in an email to Bernadette and Steve Bradley in October. The email came after Droppo and Bradley met with Tim Courtney, a Park representative, to discuss the MECP’s concerns.

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