South Huron Trail Mobile
South Huron Trail Mobile
The South Huron Trail Mobile has been developed and maintained, thanks to donations, to make the South Huron Trail accessible to individuals and groups who would not otherwise be able to enjoy the beauty of the trail.
Who can use the Trail Mobile?
The Trail Mobile is for people with physical mobility challenges. Trail rides are possible thanks to volunteer drivers. Rides depend on driver availability and weather.
How to book the Trail Mobile:
Eligible individuals can book a time for a ride on the trail by calling Ausable Bayfield Conservation during normal working hours, Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The South Huron Trail Mobile: Bringing an accessible nature trail to more people ...
The South Huron Trail Mobile was made possible by a donation from the family of the late Gordon Strang and is maintained thanks to the volunteer drivers of Friends of the South Huron Trail and donations from the community.
The Friends of the South Huron Trail were pleased to announce, in 2013, that a new volunteer driver had joined longtime volunteer driver Jerry Mathers:
New volunteer driver Norm Eckel joins Jerry Mathers to give nature experience to more people on South Huron Trail Mobile
2013 - The South Huron Trail Mobile is now entering its eighth year of giving people with limited mobility the chance to experience nature.
There is a new face on the South Huron Trail Mobile. Last year, Norm Eckel, of the Zurich area, began serving as a volunteer driver of the five-passenger electric cart. He joins fellow volunteer driver Jerry Mathers, of Exeter. Jerry Mathers, and former volunteer driver Herman Steffens, were recognized earlier this year with Ontario Volunteer Service Awards for their more than five years of devoted service.
The three drivers have generously given hundreds of hours of their time over the years but they say the satisfaction of making people happy has been worth the effort. Hundreds of people, who could not otherwise walk the accessible South Huron Trail, have been able to enjoy nature since the South Huron Trail Mobile was created in 2006. The Trail Mobile was donated by the Strang family in the memory of the late Gordon Strang, who had a vision of the trail for the betterment of the entire community.
One summer, there were 300 people who enjoyed nature rides on the Trail Mobile. Residents of nursing and retirement homes are among people who have enjoyed the trail, thanks to this service and the volunteers and donors who make it possible. Some people enjoy the experience so much they come back as repeat travellers.
“We enjoy the trail, why not let others enjoy the trail too,” Norm said of being a volunteer driver. “Just to see the smile on their faces means a lot.”
When Jerry first asked Norm to be a volunteer driver, the Zurich-area man had never walked the South Huron Trail. He was so impressed with the community’s creation and upkeep of the trail he has since started walking the trail regularly. “You can come here spring, summer, fall, or winter and there’s always something new to see,” he said.
The South Huron Trail Mobile is an electric cart with seat belts and a hazard light. It seats five passengers and is driven by volunteer drivers from Friends of the South Huron Trail. Eligible individuals can book a time for a ride on the trail by calling Ausable Bayfield Conservation’s office at the Administration Centre from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday. Contact will then be made with a volunteer driver to see if they are available. If you, or someone you know, is a potential passenger call Ausable Bayfield Conservation at 519-235-2610 or 1-888-286-2610 to book a ride and experience nature along the South Huron Trail. Rides are dependent on volunteer availability and suitable weather (dry and not too hot and not too cold). The South Huron Trail Mobile is active from May to September, depending on weather.
“It’s set up so people, who normally wouldn’t be able to, can enjoy the trail,” Jerry said.
The volunteers expressed special thanks to the Municipality of South Huron for providing temporary summer-season storage space for the Trail Mobile, which has greatly reduced the amount of time the volunteer drivers require to pick up the cart and put it back into storage.
The Trail Mobile’s newest volunteer driver said he likes being at the wheel. “I enjoy every bit of it,” he said. “I look forward to it.”