Duff Roblin Parkway Trail
Official Opening Duff Roblin Parkway Trail
On Tuesday, July 3, Premier Greg Selinger Officially opened a new fifty-two kilometre trail network on the expanded Red River Floodway and announced that the new trail will be named Duff Roblin Parkway Trail, after the former Manitoba Premier Duff Roblin, the driving force behind the construction of the original Red River Floodway.
View the News Release.
Duff Roblin Parkway Trail
Duff Roblin Parkway Trail is a multi-year landscaping and recreational development strategy for the expanded floodway. The trail supports multi-use, non-motorized, four-season recreational opportunities along the floodway including walking, hiking, and biking in the summer and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in winter. The public can walk, run, bike, or ski as much or as little of the trail as they like. Along the way, users will follow the floodway channel and will have an opportunity to see wildlife and vegetation along with agricultural land.
The primary purpose of the trail is to act as a service access road to support the emergency and operational needs of the floodway. When not in use for floodway purposes, the public will be able to use the floodway service access as a recreational trail for pedestrian and non-motorized activities.
A key focus of the development was to provide linkages to the existing recreational opportunities such as the Trans-Canada Trail and Birds Hill Provincial Park. In the future, the new Duff Roblin Provincial Park, located near the south end of the floodway, will link directly into the Duff Roblin Parkway Trail.
The trail network includes the following components:
- A 46 km trail, located on the west side of the floodway, that begins near the St. Mary’s Road Bridge in the south and ends just south of Lockport. Approximately 5 kms of the trail between the Garven Road Staging Area and Dunning Road is paved.
- A 3.2 km trail on the east side of the floodway, known as the Kirkness Spur, that runs from near the new pedestrian overpass bridge to Kirkness Road.
- A 2.8 km paved trail leading from the pedestrian overpass bridge into Birds Hill Provincial Park called the Cedar Bog Spur.
The public can park their vehicles and begin their journey from one of a number of staging areas located along the floodway. The staging areas are located at:
- Prairie Grove – located at km 8 of the DRPT (north-west side of the PTH 59 South Highway Bridge)
- Gunn Road – located at km 24 of the DRPT (just off PTH #1 outside of Transcona)
- Garven Road – located at km 31 (just northeast of Birds Hill Town – follow Garven Road to where it meets the floodway)
- Donald Road – located at km 37 (just off PR 202 north of the Dunning Road turnoff)
- Lockport – located at km 44 (south of Lockport just off PR 202)
- Kirkness – located on the east side of floodway at the junction of PTH 59 and Kirkness Road
- Cedar Bog Trailhead – located in Birds Hill Provincial Park
In the future, the public will be able to access the trail from the new Duff Roblin Provincial Park at the south end of the floodway.
For more information:
Floodway Landscaping and Recreational Multi-Year Plan
Duff Roblin Parkway Trail Visitor’s Guide – 2013 (printable version)
The Duff Roblin Parkway Trail shares two section of trail with the Trans-Canada Trail. In the south near Duff Roblin Provincial Park, the Crow Wing Trail shares a section of trail with the parkway. In the north, from Garven Road Staging Area to Lockport, the Trans-Canada Trail follows the Duff Roblin Parkway Trail along the west bank of the floodway. As the interpretation plan for the parkway is developed, watch for the Trans-Canada Trail logo to appear on the Duff Roblin Parkway Trail markers where both trails share the same route.
PTH 59 Pedestrian Overpass Bridge – Open for the Season
To provide safe public access across PTH 59 Highway, a pedestrian overpass bridge has been constructed linking Duff Roblin Parkway Trail to Birds Hill Provincial Park.
Seasonal Low Flow Floating Bridge – Open
To cross the floodway channel the public can use a floating bridge located near the Donald Road Staging Area if the gates to the bridge are open. The bridge will be operational during periods of normal water levels. However, during periods of the high water the bridge will not be operational.
CAUTION: The floating bridge cannot be used during high water or after a heavy rain when the water might rise rapidly. Never use the bridge if the gates are closed.
- Six staging areas to support recreational activities at various intervals along Duff Roblin Parkway Trail (i.e. Prairie Grove, Gunn Road, Garven Road, Donald Road, Kirkness Road and Lockport).
- A Naturalization and Re-vegetation strategy for the floodway that will include two native and naturalized grass plots for viewing by the public.
- Manitoba Conservation’s Trees for Tomorrow program has planted over 70,000 trees, consisting of approximately 65,500 hybrid poplar rooted cuttings comprising of 9 different clones and 6,000 jack pine seedlings, at five different sites along the floodway and is also maintaining the plantations to enhance tree performance.
- A designated activity site/ toboggan hill located close to Kirkness Road.
- Trail linkages to other recreational opportunities including Birds Hill and Duff Roblin Provincial Parks, and the Trans-Canada Trail.
- Summer recreational use opportunities include walking, hiking, rollerblading, bicycling, and mountain biking.
- Winter recreational use opportunities such as cross-country skiing, tobogganing, snowshoeing, kiteboarding and dogsledding.
- Trail sections adjacent to all of the staging areas have been designed to universal design standards to provide access and a variety of trail experiences for both people with and without disabilities.
- The majority of the volume of the base of the trail/service access road, was constructed from recycled asphalt material from other Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation projects and recycled crushed concrete from floodway bridge projects.
- Hay lease opportunities for agricultural producers.
- A community garden pilot project has been established off St. Mary’s Road along the south end of the floodway.
- Discussions are underway with Sno-Man to allow the snowmobile organization to establish and groom a proposed future snowmobile trail along the east side of the floodway.
- Engage individuals and communities through activities such as tree planting, clean-up days, etc., to establish an overall ‘sense of community ownership’ for the project for the public.
- An interpretive program will be developed to educate the public on the floodway system which will include signage for features, trailhead, wayfinding (including mileage markers), interpretation, public safety and regulation.
Did You Know…
- That the floodway has been recognized as one of the world’s great engineering marvels by the International Association of Macro-Engineering Societies.
- That the floodway has been recognized as a National Civil Engineering Historical Site by the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering
- That Manitoba Conservation’s Trees for Tomorrow program has planted over 70,000 trees along the floodway
- That trail sections adjacent to the staging areas have been designed to universal design standards to provide access and a variety of trail experiences for both people with and without disabilities.
- That the Naturalization and Re-vegetation Strategy for the floodway includes two native and naturalized grass plots
- That the majority of the volume of the base of the trail/service access road, was constructed from recycled asphalt material from other Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation projects and recycled crushed concrete from floodway bridge projects.
May 2009: Opportunities Concept Plan – Executive Summary (1.76mb)
February 13, 2009: Public Invited to Attend Floodway Recreation Open House (40kb)
June 2, 2008: Recreational and Economic Development Planning for the Expanded Floodway Moves Forward (50.2kb)
December 7, 2007: Duff Roblin to be Honoured with New Park Reserve (71kb)
On March 18, 2004 - The Manitoba Floodway Authority (MFA) issued an Expression of Interest to solicit public input into potential recreational and economic opportunities related to the floodway. Subsequently, on January 13, 2005, the Manitoba Floodway Authority (MFA) released a "Recreation and Economic Development Opportunities Report" that identifies potential future opportunities and outlines next steps associated with the Red River Floodway expansion project.
The report reflects ideas received from a public call for expressions of interest last spring, as part of MFA's extensive public consultation process. MFA received over fifty written submissions from the public and additional suggestions through a series of public open houses and meetings with municipal governments and stakeholder groups.
As part of the expression of interest, MFA identified a number of working principles to guide future recreation activities including compatibility with the primary purpose of floodway expansion, minimal ongoing maintenance costs to taxpayers, stakeholder participation and environmental stewardship.
It recommends next steps and serves as a general framework for pursuing future opportunities and partnerships. To this end, MFA will:
- Establish a Floodway Recreation Working Group to examine issues of recreational use along the floodway including overall planning and design work process, liability issues, ongoing maintenance and financial support
- Consider a multi-use, four season greenway trail and designated snowmobile trails along the floodway within the project's pre-design
- Initiate a formal process that will allow Manitobans to access the excavated earth from the floodway channel
- Consider creating a virtual reality 3D floodway model to demonstrate the floodway's operation, recreate flood scenarios and potentially assist emergency preparedness efforts
- Initiate further consultation with local municipal governments and stakeholders before proceeding with any detailed design plans
Based on the working principles and further examination by the MFA staff, the following activities will not be pursued as part of the initiative:
- Proposals that require water in the floodway
- Acquisition of additional lands for the sole purpose of recreational development
- Development of a ski-hill
Other highlights of the floodway recreation and economic development:
- September, 2005 - Rivers West, a not-for-profit organization, which works to develop and promote the Red River Corridor as a destination for tourists, received $175,000 from the Governments of Canada and Manitoba under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) to undertake a preliminary study to identify current and potential future recreational opportunities along an expanded floodway. Rivers West contracted with a consortium of consultants consisting of RAS Consulting, TetrES Consultants and InterGroup consultants to conduct the preliminary study.
- December 7, 2007 – The Government of Canada and the Government of Manitoba announced $3.2 million in funding to establish Duff Roblin Provincial Park at the site of the Inlet Control Structure.
- In 2007, the MFA established an Opportunities Working Group, consisting of key stakeholders and government representatives to provide guidance and input to the MFA in the development of a recreational and economic development plan for the expanded floodway. The working group consisted of the Manitoba Recreational Trails Association, Rivers West, and Sport Manitoba along with various Manitoba Government Departments (Culture, Heritage & Tourism; Infrastructure & Transportation; Conservation; Water Stewardship; Aboriginal & Northern Affairs; Intergovernmental Affairs; Community & Economic Development Committee of Cabinet; Agriculture; Family Services and Housing; and Finance).
- June 2, 2008 – The MFA retained the landscape architect and planning firm of Hilderman Thomas Frank Cram, leading a consortium of local firms including McKay Finnigan and Associates, MMM Group, Prairie Habitats Inc., Fort Whyte Alive, Number Ten Architectural Group and various tourism and economic development specialists, to consult recreational users, non-governmental organizations, local municipalities, and other organizations and to develop an Opportunities Concept Plan (OCP).
- February 13, 2009 – The MFA announced Public Open Houses to provide information and to solicit input from the public regarding the proposed Opportunities Concept Plan.
- May 2009 – The proposed Opportunities Concept Plan was submitted to the MFA for review.
- 2009/10 – The Floodway Trail Pilot Project was undertaken and the Opportunities Concept Plan was finalized.
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