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City Pilots Ontario Trails Activity Project

October 2, 2012 - In a collaborative effort with the Ontario Trails Council, the City of Thunder Bay Parks Division has initiated an innovative trail use survey system on four of its trails. Centennial Park, Boulevard Lake, Chapples Park, and Parkway (Neebing River) trails are part of a province-wide pilot project which was designed and developed in Thunder Bay.

The project allows trail users to answer questions about their experience on the trail by using their smartphone to complete a survey. Designed to be easy to use on any smartphone, the application simply directs you through a Quick Response Code (QR code), or web address to an on-line survey. The survey asks a few simple questions about the trail, your experience on it, how far you travelled to use the trail and improvements you’d like to see.  Information gathered will assist planners in developing trails that better meet the needs of the users. 

“This is a great opportunity to use available technology in a very low cost way to assess the use of the trails,” said David Shepherd, Kinghorn Trail Project Coordinator. “This entire project was designed and developed in Thunder Bay and is being piloted in Northern and Southern Ontario. Collecting data this way is more affordable than using traditional laser trail counters and gives the trail users a chance to provide feedback at the same time.”

“Ontario Trails Council is pleased to support the desire of the City of Thunder Bay to know more about how it’s trails are used so that it can strategically improve trails for use; by local residents, cycling tourists or other groups,” affirmed Patrick Connor, Executive Director, Ontario Trails Council.

Look for the following decal along one of the four City of Thunder Bay trails. Decals are located near trail entry points on posts, sign boards and litter containers. Completing the survey enters the user in a prize draw.

The survey can also be accessed from the following web links:



Werner Schwar, Coordinator – Park Planning, 625-2806,
Patrick Connor – Executive Director, Ontario Trails Council, 1-877-668-7245,