Tourism Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada

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A Greener Kind of Highway - The Hub Trail

By Jody Rebek-DiCerbo

There is a popular new type of highway being built these days, and unlike the norm, it is “green” and helps people to stay healthy while reducing pollution and dependency on fossil fuels. Sault Ste. Marie’s new Hub Trail is one of these new highways, offering outdoors enthusiasts a healthy option for traversing the city.

The Hub Trail is a 20-kilometre multi-use non-motorized trail system that circles around Sault Ste. Marie, connecting locations and fostering human-powered transportation. The natural charm of the trail is due to the endless mix of urban areas, rivers, amenities, wildflowers, meadows, attractions, waterfalls, hills, and scenic vistas.

The Hub Trail serves many purposes: a short walk in the evening before sunset (south west portions of the trail are best), a commute to do business, or a long trek to the escarpment or lake. Almost anywhere you want to go, the trail will guide you there.

Those using the trail will discover an abundance of scenery and adventure along the route as it links historical, cultural, and natural areas in the community. In addition to providing cyclists, joggers, and those just out for a walk with access to many points of interest within the city, the trail also provides access to the Northern wilderness.

   


It connects many of the city’s attractions, such as the waterfront boardwalk and Roberta Bondar Pavilion, Bellevue Park, Finn Hill, and Fort Creek Conservation Area. The Hub Trail is appropriately named, as it is the nucleus of several networks in the community, including cycling routes and recreational paths, such as the Voyageur Trail. It truly is a one-stop destination for all your recreational needs and outdoor pleasures that many cross-Canada bikers and travelers will appreciate.

Even better, the scenery on the Hub Trail is never the same twice, as this path is in constant renewal with each season creating new views. Sites along the trail continue to change from snow crystals, to hills painted with bright colour bursts, to lush green forests and wildflowers... and the cycle continues.

With many possible directions to take throughout this cross-section of city and wilderness, users can choose to travel on the path at high speeds or at a leisurely pace, stopping along the way to socialize, snack in picnic areas or rest on park benches.

One local champion in establishing the Hub has been local cycling enthusiast Andre Riopel who believes that Sault Ste. Marie is a green Mecca “that has a great network of roads that are very good for cycling along with an abundance of great destinations”.

“Our world is facing two of the most urgent crises of our time: peak oil and climate change,” continues Riopel. “To solve and deal with these monumental issues, we need to take a good look at how we live and transport ourselves. Even though Sault Ste. Marie has an excellent network of cycling roads, a segregated trail system feels safer for the average person and has been shown to increase participation”.

The health of the city can be seen in this culture of outdoor activity, along with the friendly, kind-hearted people who have an unprecedented care for others, including the earth they walk on.

The Hub Trail has helped to create a unique culture in Sault Ste. Marie with enthusiasm for the outdoors at its heart. The outdoors brings relaxation and enjoyment to life, and is a good reason for living in or visiting Sault Ste. Marie with its wealth of recreational entertainment. It is a city that celebrates the outdoors with endless activities renewed with each season.

In the spring, Sault Ste. Marie truly comes alive as people re-emerge once the snow melts and begin walking, biking, running, skateboarding and rollerblading. During the winter months, many people cluster around specific locations to skate, snowshoe, downhill, or cross-country ski; and in the summer, the city is literally crawling with activity.

Regardless of where you are in the city, the Hub Trail will connect you to historical and cultural outdoor attractions. Whether you want to cycle through the largest passive park, rollerblade along historical St. Marys River or escape into thick forests along marshlands or streams, the Hub Trail will take you there.

Outdoor activity inspires adventure and refreshes the soul. What better way to discover Sault Ste. Marie than by exploring the Hub Trail? It provides a safe, relaxing, and affordable way to travel, explore, and exercise; while at the same time you can socialize, decrease your carbon footprint and have some fun!

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