As creatures of habit and routine we love our regular walks on trails around the community.  Have you ever gone out for a hike or walk, only to find a favourite trail (or part of one) has been rerouted or removed?  It might be annoying, but it’s almost always for user safety or preservation of habitat.  


“Decommissioning” a trail -- to remove it from active status -- is usually accompanied by the development of safer or more accessible trails nearby to offer a better overall trail user experience.  


Safety first!  Unsafe trees, unstable footing, dangerous intersections (where hikers could meet mountain bikers or motorized vehicles), rockfalls, and watercourses are all reasons to reroute or close a trail.


After this summer’s fires, several Lake Country trails were closed -- most temporarily -- as trees and slopes were evaluated and wildfire debris removed.   A few trails may be closed until next year, especially where the impact of water runoff over burnt ground is unpredictable and where the full impact of fire on tree roots is not yet evident.  Habitat preservation, the reduction of impacts to wildlife, and the need to reduce erosion are also deciding factors when trails are decommissioned.  


Last year, several trails within Jack Seaton Park were decommissioned to improve the health of the forest and to direct users to upgraded trails with better drainage and safer footing.  


While the factors that cause a trail to be decommissioned may not be immediately evident to users, the local park authority can always be contacted for clarification.  Trail users are encouraged to alert the applicable trail and park managers, whether local, regional, provincial, or federal when they see concerns or hazards on trails. Any issues on Lake Country municipal parkland can be reported through the online Service Request/Report a Problem system at  


trail decommissioned for safety