Summerstown Forest getting new parking lot

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

SUMMERSTOWN – A cross-country ski and snowshoe trail network will be getting a new meeting area, starting this weekend.

Construction will start on clearing an area, visible from County Road 27, for a new larger parking lot for the Summerstown Forest.

The lot will be on the north side of the existing entrance and have space for 44 vehicles.

The Friends of the Summerstown Trails is financing the first phase of the new parking lot project. The volunteer organization is partnering with the United Counties, which owns the forest.

The work is also being supported by the local conservation authorities and the Ministry of Natural Resources with their technical and environmental know-how.

Moving the parking lot location to a spot closer to the road is also meant to deter illegal activities: dumping, trail damage by ATVs, illegal hunting, and cutting and removal of trees.

“The parking lot, in its current location, is an open invitation to those who want to conduct unlawful activities away from the public eye. The new parking lot will provide a safer environment for visitors, and is seen by the FOTST as the next step in improving the Summerstown Forest experience,” said Vic Leroux, vice president of FOTST.

The work should be completed by summer next year.