The birds were singing, and the sun was warm as my wife and step-son walked along the Brockville bike path this evening, just after dinner. As the
effects of what was a reasonably mild winter wears into memory, people are beginning to get more active, working on their yards, or getting out and about
in the warmer temperatures. There are many ways to enjoy our early spring, and one of my favourites is the bike path, which winds along beside Butler's
Creek, creating a quiet and green walkway throughout the city. Resident waterfowl can usually be seen along the way, and the sound of the gurgling creek
is nearby most of the way...
The path also ties in nicely with Brockville's history, and what is today used by cyclists, dog-walkers, and children began in some areas as the Brockville
and Westport Railway. Started in 1888, and making its final run in 1952, the old roadbed of this rail line is now part of the bike path. Jones' Mill, which still
stands, is at the very south end of the path, and its ponds were removed to put in the rail line around 1884. I spotted very old railway ties near Church St.
along side the path, left over evidence from the past, now overgrown with mosses.
Further north along the bicycle path, in some areas especially in the summer months, the city seems to disappear, as you walk through areas with hanging
wild vines and thick undergrowth, even though you are really walking almost right behind homes and businesses. Bridges ocassionally cross the creek, and
the city parks staff have done a fabulous job with cement planters and park benches along the way. Planted trees serve as memorials, all decorated with a
small plaques to immortalize the beloved departed, and tablets with various interesting historical facts line the way in spots.
So if you are feeling the urge to do something to become a little more active, enjoy the early spring, or get some exercise, the community bicycle path is
sure to make you take a deep breath of the fresh air. If your partner rolls their eyes a bit or groans when you mention it, tell them to get off their email, and let
them in on another little secret about the path... Yes, grab your blackberry, your ipod, or netbook... you can even find Net access at some spots along your walk,
if you need it!