The Merrickville District Trails Society (MDTS) is getting ready for their Fall Trails Talk featuring a presentation about hiking the Choquequirao Trail in Peru.
This Fall’s speaker is Merrickville resident Harry de Roo, an elementary school vice-principal in the Ottawa area. He has been a keen cyclist, runner and walker for many years and has travelled much of the world by these means. He has made Merrickville his home for the past 10 years and continues to travel, including a trip to the lesser known Choquequirao Trail in the high Peruvian Andes. Along the trail is the Choquequirao archeological site which you can only reach on foot.
The MDTS facilitates these bi-yearly Trail Talks as part of their effort to bring people together and stimulate interest in walking trails as a means of enjoying life. It also provides the opportunity for newcomers to join in, as well as for old friends to renew and build connections. Topics usually have something to do with walking and are chosen to be interesting to the armchair traveller as well as avid walkers. Past talks have been on hiking/travelling in the Yukon, Patagonia, the Cotswolds UK, the St. James Way in France, London UK and the Pacific Crest Trail. They have also had one introducing the pastime of geocaching. After Harry’s talk about hiking in Peru, they have presentations lined up on the Antarctic and Ireland.
MDTS President Tim Alllen says attendance for their Trails Talks have been steadily increasing, and they have outgrown their usual space in the Merrickville District Community Health Centre. Upcoming talks will be held at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church hall in Merrickville, who Tim says graciously makes their facilities available for community activities. “There is ample space and seating for everyone,” he says.
Tim says the goal of the MDTS is to promote walking and using the trails in Merrickville-Wolford as a healthy activity in the Municipality. The MDTS also facilitates two group walks a year (May and October), and works to maintain and improve Merrickville’s trails for the use of residents and visitors alike. They also work on special projects like the creation of the Story Trail and a preliminary geocaching activity along the trails. “Walking is a social and physical activity that all can do without costly equipment or infrastructure, and ideally is a part of our daily lives,” Tim says. “Having accessible and easy to walk trails close by to our homes makes it easier to use them regularly or on a daily basis.”
Harry’s Fall Trail Talk on hiking in Peru will be held on Saturday, November 9 starting at 10 am. Doors open at the Holy Trinity Church Hall at 9:30 and admission is free.