Connecting People to Nature
Healthy Trails Campaign

About Us

The Wintergreen Fund for Conservation is a non-profit, registered charitable organization made up of volunteers who work closely with the Mattagami Region Conservation Authority.

Our Goal

To fundraise $200,000 to upgrade 55 km of recreational, non-motorized community trails

  • Increase trail quality to improve trail safety
  • Continue to allow free access to use of trails
  • Enable trail users to maintain and improve their physical and mental health

Why do we need trails?

Local trails are used regularly by:

  • school cross country teams
  • local running clubs
  • school educational walks
  • local cycling club
  • Timmins Public Library and CM Shields Library StoryWalks
  • dog walkers (Rainbow Loop off-leash trail)
  • Everyone!

Connectivity: Trails promote family unity as well as strengthen friendships and neighbour relations. They are places where entire families, friends and neighbours can gather and enjoy nature together safely.

Economics: Trails attract tourism and tourism can be an economic benefit for any community. Hiking and walking trails are a free form of recreation for all members of the community.

Education: Trails provide firsthand experiences that educate users of all ages about the importance of the natural environment and respect for nature by leading us into a natural classroom.

Environmental: Trails provide access to the natural wonders of our area, thereby instilling appreciation and respect for them from the people visiting.

Health: Walking improves your fitness, health and mental well-being. And it is FREE!

Recreation: Trails support a range of recreational outdoor activities: walking, running, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and geocaching. Trails also instill a commitment to responsible recreation outdoors that promotes a respect for nature and the green spaces in which we play.

Over 262,000 trail users in 2022

Data retrieved from 10 trail counters throughout the trail network

History of the Timmins Recreation Trail Network


Recreation trail system development was initiated in 1979 through a volunteer group of government and business representatives devoted to the creation of a community-wide non-motorized network of walking and cycling trails. The Timmins Recreation Trails Committee, a Committee of Council, developed and maintained the trails through provincial funding, charitable donations, employment initiatives and municipal support.


Substantial community commitment had allowed for the development of a number of nature trails. Provincial funding declined, student funding options were reduced, TRTC disbanded and the Conservation Authority adopted the maintenance, administration and financial responsibility for the trail system. Wintergreen Fund for Conservation became the primary fundraiser for the trail system.


A trail system with roadside connecting links is in place from Porcupine to the Mattagami River. Provincial funding for Conservation Authorities does not support recreational activities, municipal funding for trails has remained minimal and the cost of insurance, maintenance, equipment repairs and seasonal staffing continues to increase. Annual work includes managing the trails to ensure user safety, but updates and improvements depend on successful funding applications or community donations.

What is needed?

Major repairs: Improving the areas that cause annual weather related challenges will allow staff to work on regular maintenance.

Equipment improvements: Investing in the proper equipment to complete the tasks will reduce repair time.

Summer staff: Additional funds to develop an experienced seasonal trail crew.

The extensive four-season trail system bring us daily joy when walking our dog, riding our mountain bikes, or when running with friends. I’ve noticed a significant user increase in the last few years riding/walking/enjoying all of the extensive conservation area. Further the dedicated year round maintenance of the trails ensures safe use for all users. I can’t thank the MRCA enough for all the work done in the past, present and future. The conservation area in part of our daily life and brings much happiness regardless of the weather.  
Hersey Lake Trail User
Un des grands bienfaits de notre communauté ont toujours été les sentiers de nature. Ces sentiers font partie du quotidien de plein de gens à chaque saison. Que dire des avantages d’avoir ces sentiers à proximité et gratuits? Tout d’abord, vivre dans le Nord nous donne le grand avantage de ne pas avoir à conduire pendant des kilomètres pour nous retrouver dans ces magnifiques forêts que nous tenons souvent pour acquis. Nous savons tous que le grand air fait partie de la recette idéale pour notre santé physique et mentale. Que nous voulions prendre une marche seul(e) avec des amie(e)s, en famille ou encore s’entraîner pour des compétitions sportives quelconques, quel cadeau de tout avoir si près et bien entretenus. Que ce soit l’été à la marche ou à la course ou l’hiver en raquettes, nous pouvons toujours en profiter. Un autre avantage de nos sentiers est que les plus jeunes enfants peuvent y explorer la forêt; nous le faisons souvent avec nos petits enfants. En somme, les sentiers de nature de notre communauté sont un atout incroyable et il ne faudrait jamais les tenir pour acquis.
Recreation Trail User

What can you do to help?

Donate to the Healthy Trails Campaign.

Are you interested in assisting with the fundraising and promotion campaign? Contact [email protected] to find out about volunteer opportunities.