South Frontenac Rides is a two year old initiative dedicated to promoting cycling in South Frontenac. Without a lot of fan fair or funding it has been promoting safe cycling, the trails system as a cycling venue. Although cars and trucks and ATV’s are the common vehicles of rural life in Ontario, South Frontenac Cycles has been able to make cycling to work a viable option for a segment of the population. And thanks to promotional efforts and the bike stand project recently completed by Sydeham High School students, the face of the township as a cycle friendly place will dovetail nicely with efforts to promote the trails system now that there are three trails (Cataraqui, Rideau, and K&P) running through the township.
In each of the last two summers South Frontenac Rides held Tour du South Frontenac events in July. This year, in the early spring volunteers began meeting with a group that has been promoting sports on the Sydenham Lake for decades, the Sydenham Canoe Club.
Since then other groups and individuals have come on board and as a result the first edition of the Sydenham Lakes and Trails is upon us.
The Point Park is the ideal location for the event, which takes place shis Saturday (July 15 ) from 10am-2pm. The Park is conveniently located in downtown Sydenham on the lake, within metres of the Cat Trail. It has been the home to large regatta’s in the past (and again this ugust) and hosts the Sydenham Triathlon each summer.
Lakes and Trails is a great opportunity for experienced and inexperienced canoeists and kayakers to get out on the lake. A 5km guided canoe trip sets out at 11:00 am, but the route is open at other times as well, the Kingston Dragon Boat Club is hosting instruction and paddling at 10:30, 11:30 and 12:30.
Thanks to the efforts of the Sydenham Canoe Club and Frontenac Outfitters, boats and instruction will be available at the Point for those who can’t bring their own.
Members of the Cataraqui Canoe Club will be leaving the boat launch at Wilmer and paddling to the Point for a paddle by late in the morning.
For cyclists, there are 3 routes set out for a morning cycle, starting at 10:30am. They are 21, 32, and 44km rides and will be guided as well. Also there is a cycle skills course being set up, and bike repair and helmet fitting clinics throughout the 4 hour event.
For those who prefer to stroll through history to more athletic, cardio raising events, a historic tour of Sydenham is also on the agenda. 4 local historians (Ginny Trousdale, Peer Hamilton, Christine Kennedy and Joanne Ankers will be located at strategic points in the village to talk about crucial events and industries from Sydenham’s past. Maps will be available at the registration table in the Park.
The Kingston Frontenac Public Library is also contributing oversized jenga, chess, checkers, snakes and ladders, dominoes and tic tac toe for kids to play with on the lawn between the ball diamond and The Point.
From 11:30 to 1:45 a free BBQ will be available, capping this entirely cost free event for local residents and visitors alike.
For further information, go to lakesandtrailsfestival.org