Update December 17, 2021
Please maintain safe social distancing on our trails over the holiday season . With the highly transmissible Omicron virus sure to appear in our area, distancing will be even more crucial to public health.
Best wishes for Happy Holidays from the Bluewater Trails Committee.
Update November 16, 2021:
All trail sections are now open since work on the Rapids Forcemain project has finished for this year. Further trail closures will be needed in 2022 as the project to extend the Rapids Parkway under the 402 overpass continues.
Rapids Forcemain Project Update for September 10/21
Next report: Sept 24/2021.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions or concerns.
Andrew Epp, P.Eng, PMPProject ManagerCity of Sarnia
Phone: 519-332-0527 Ext. 3200
NOTE: We are seeing increasing instances of folks leaving plastic bags containing pet waste deposited along or near the trails. Please don’t do that. The city has no program to clean this up. It’s your pet, so clean-up is your responsibility. Please have consideration for the many other people who use our trails.
Read all about the Rapids Parkway Extension, including the work involved, timelines, rationale, impacts on the Howard Watson Trail, and images depicting the final result:A full public input process was conducted (regarding the Rapids Pkwy Extension) in 2019. Read about it at https://www.bluewatertrails.com/rapids-parkway-extension/
The trails, especially Howard Watson, are experiencing a high number of daily users. Peak hours are 10am-4pm. Avoid crowds by going in off-peak hours.Also, keep your pet on a leash. There is a $300 fine for unleashed pets and if your pet injures another trail user, you could be subject to legal action and liable for larger financial costs. And leave NOTHING BEHIND on the trail, including trash and dog waste.
There is limited parking at the trail gateways at Modeland Rd., Suncor Nature Way on Modeland Rd., Michigan Ave (across from Goodwill), and Cathcart Park. The Howard Watson Trail can also be accessed from the Lambton College parking lot, which connects directly with the new College Extension of the trail. The trail can also be accessed at the Swiss Chalet/Starbucks parking lot on London Road. The plaza there has ample parking and the trail runs directly adjacent to the lot on the eat side.
Recent Trail Improvements
The Bluewater Trails Committee for the term 2021-2023 has been selected by City Council and the members’ names and contact information are available here at https://www.bluewatertrails.com/committee-members/
The Howard Watson Trail, part of the Bluewater Trails network of trails, runs 16 km. from Sarnia to Camlachie (at Mandaumin). No motorized vehicles are allowed.
Until 1967, the Howard Watson trail was a rail line owned by CN Rail. From 1967 to 1982 it lay unused until a forward thinking Councillor by the name of Howard Watson approached Lambton Wildlife Inc (LWI) querying whether there would be interest in the land as a potential hiking trail. After extraordinary effort by many individuals, we now enjoy the current day natural trail known as The Howard Watson Trail.
The Bluewater Trails Committee, the caretakers of the trail, was formed in 1999. Its job is to oversee trails throughout Sarnia including The Howard Watson Trail. The committee is run by volunteers and chaired currently by Mike Kelch, with Vice Chair Ati Powell, and with one city council representative and two city staff.
Mission Statement: Bluewater Trails, a committee of Sarnia (City) Council, is an organization dedicated to the development of a first class trail system which will promote the health and safety of residents and visitors alike.