To the Editor,
A couple of weeks ago we read of the excellent volunteer work done by the Rotary Club to enhance the rough and frequently muddy section of the Head Lake Trail where walkers have to make their way between Harmony Road and Pine Avenue.
Unfortunately, and especially for those visitors who do not have intimate knowledge of our village’s streets and avenues, the signage is both misleading and inadequate.
Misleading in the fact that the two signposts, one on a domestic driveway and the other on Pine Avenue, are not visible from each other. Second, the signpost standing on Pine Avenue is misleading by being improperly rotated by 90 degrees so that its arrows point the wrong way. The inadequacy stems from the fact that the next signpost is as far as 1 km further along the trail, at Rotary Beach. There is nothing to indicate that walkers need to follow Pine Avenue for about 750 m to Park Street, where they turn right and follow the sidewalk to Rotary Beach, crossing the heavier traffic on Maple Avenue.
At Rotary Beach there are even more problems due to improperly planned drainage adding to the Head Lake Trail signpost which points, again, in the wrong direction. There used to be two painted white lines close to the north side of the parking lot, which could be taken to be showing a sidewalk, this spring only one was repainted. Let alone the fact that the misplaced signpost does not point to this sidewalk, there is no indication whatever to show that the Head Lake Trail follows this sidewalk along Park Street.
This is where the power of positive signage can really show its strength. At the entrance to Granite Cove only negative signs emphasizing “no,” “don’t”, etc., can be erected, as trespassers crossing the property along the shoreline face the real risks of climbing over the barrier at Sunnyside Street which carries Hwy. 118 traffic.
Positive signs, such as signposts, signs carried on arms attached to Hydro poles, the name “Head Lake Trail” and painted footprints will, either singly or in combination, make it very clear where the Head Lake Trail goes from the beach.
In 2013 following the construction of Granite Cove apartments, the dusty gravel parking lot was paved with asphalt. This parking lot serves many groups from tennis players, Lakeside Church goers, families enjoying the beach and the newly erected exercise equipment to attendees at Head Lake events, including the ever popular Tuesday markets.
This summer, Algonquin Outfitters is operating a boat rental facility from the beach. But the change to asphalt has meant much more water from rainstorms flowing onto the beach resulting in washouts of beach sand and the degrading of the asphalted track used for park maintenance.
The cost of changing the drainage so that water will flow into Head Lake through the channel beside the culvert at Granite Cove entrance is not going to be small. But both this job and a commitment by council to fully adopt the Head Lake Trail with the objective of enhancing its attractiveness and public use are matters of considerable concern.
I would hope that candidates for election or re-election to council this fall will take note and declare enthusiasm for these projects.
For a final note which dates back to the conversion from the railway station into what is now Rails End Gallery and the creation of Head Lake Park, there is an enamelled steel sign beside the Head Lake Trail which has large rust patches. This was created by an agency of the federal government which might now be Parks Canada or the Trent-Severn Waterway and shows the watersheds, lakes and rivers in and around Haliburton County. It would be appropriate to get this updated to remove the association of “old rusty patches” with Haliburton.