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Friday March 18th, 2011

Posted at 3:45pm

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As signs of spring begin, one of Windsor’s longest running attractions is about to get some traffic.

The eight kilometer Ganatchio Trail has been a community exercise destination for years. Starting near Tecumseh’s Lesperance Rd., the original path runs alongside Riverside Dr., extends  5.2 km to Lauzon rd. and features something for everyone along the way.

“I love the scenery, there are so many beautiful things to see,” said 28-year-old Erica Laporte. “ the gorgeous homes, the trees, flowers, the river view, the beach. There’s always something nice to look at.”

With urban, suburban and naturalized sections, Ganatchio Trail is named after what First Nations called Lake St. Clair. Created in 1971, the pathway followed Clairview Ave’s closure and other roads were sealed off to increase safety. Clairview’s second carriageway was also turned into a bike path, funded by the Windsor-St. Clair Rotary Club and Riverside Sportsmens Club.

Continuing for 3.25 km, the Rotary-Ganatchio Little River extension connects through the Little River corridor and into Forest Glade. With a naturalized park area, wildflower medow, ponds and even 20 kmph cycling speed limit signs, the scenic route makes exercising a lot more enjoyable and safe.

“I live right on riverside drive and use the trail as a form of exercise,” said 27-year-old Paulina Robbins. “Jogging, rollerblading and power-walking are all much more enjoyable than being stuck inside a gym. It’s safe because there are always people around and the scenery is very calming and enjoyable.”

Splintering off into many sections, people can also treat themselves at a restaurant, convenience store or Sandpoint Beach along the way. One long-time Windsor staple is particularly popular for a post-exercise cool down however, showing that as much as things change, they always stay the same.

“Definitely the best part of the trail is that after walking, running, blading or biking you get to have a BIG ice cream cone at Slinky’s and not even feel guilty,” said 35-year-old Nicole Smith. “Especially if you have to turn around and do it all again to get back to your car.”

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