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Trails near Loyalist left undiscovered by students

By Isaiah Mawhinney [1] and Katie Perry [2]

BELLEVILLE – Did you know that Loyalist is home to many scenic adventures [3] that often go unnoticed?

These treks include trails [4] such as the Orchard Trail and the Loyalist Loop.

In addition, nearby Potter’s Creek Conservation Area has six different trails to choose from. They range in length from less than a kilometre to over two kilometres. The trails are located just west of the college, and continue south toward Highway 2.

Belleville residents might be more familiar with trails downtown and near Zwick’s Park [5] than the trails in the Quinte Conservation [6] area.

QNet spoke to some students around campus to hear their thoughts on the outdoor areas. Many of them said they were unaware that there were trails so close to their temporary home.

Taylor Meeks, a 19-year-old in Police Foundations, says his fitness class sometimes requires him to run outside, but was unaware of Potter’s Creek.

“I don’t think so, no,” Meeks said when asked if he knew of them. But he said he would consider using them in the future. “Yeah I would if they are nice trails, I’d go jogging on them or walking. It would be nice to be able to go outside.”

There were other students who were frequent users of the wildlife facilities. River Barnwell-McCoy, an 18-year-old in construction renovation, says he’s an avid biker and uses the trails periodically.

“Yeah, I’ve been to them a couple of times,” Barnwell-McCoy said. When asked if he would use the trails in the winter, McCoy said, “Yeah I would, I love winter sports!”

According to the Quinte Conservation website, the trails are open in the winter. Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are some of the activities you can do, but the site says running or hiking are not recommended during the winter.

Jim Buck, a 57-year-old athletics director at Loyalist College, says he first discovered the trails nearly 25 years ago when he first began working for the college.

“Oh I thought it was really good, I was amazed that there was so much. And it was so close, because I consider the college still in the city. So really, to have that type of green space so close to home is very nice,” Buck said on his first impressions of the trails.

Buck says that all kinds of different wildlife are present when he walks through the windy paths. Rabbits, birds and even foxes are common in the area Buck said.

It’s also not uncommon for the train to pass every now and then on the overhead bridge on Orchard Trail.