LANARK HIGHLANDS - The Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) is in talks with the Lanark County Trails Corporation about taking over a portion of the K & P Trail.
Paul Lehman, general manager of the MVCA, told the Township of Lanark Highlands committee-of-the-whole meeting on Tuesday, March 5 that the trail is not "beyond the authority's core mandate. But it does hold them in the public trust."
About 20 km of the trail is within the Highlands while about 10 km is within North Frontenac County.
"The hope is that, if we can become engaged with those groups with a mandate for conservation and recreation," they may be able to access government grants.
Lehman noted that one possible hiccup in the talks is the "dispute about ownership of a portion of the trail. We have sought legal counsel. We are waiting to hear back from them."
The former rail line, which went out of service in the 1950s, was leased from the province in 1972, until 1988. The authority acquired the trail for recreational use in the early 1990s, with conservation and year-round recreation in mind. By 1997 however, provincial grants were cut and the authority had to reevaluate its priorities.
"Fortunately, the local snowmobile clubs stepped forwards the upkeep of the trail," Lehman said.
The decision to dispose of the trail to a public body or divest management to a similar entity was made in 2007.