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A message from the new President & CEO of The Great Trail – Eleanor McMahon

The Great Trail is made up of over 500 individual trails that go through communities, parks and conservation areas. Although most of The Great Trail remains open for walking during the Covid 19 pandemic while practicing physical distancing some municipalities, parks and conservation areas that the trail goes through have closed sections. Before you go out make sure you are allowed to in the particular area/section.

A message from the new President & CEO of The Trans Canada Trail “The Great Trail” Eleanor McMahon

First of all, I would like to thank you for being part of a community that loves and supports The Great Trail of Canada. It is truly an honour for me to speak to you directly as I take on the role of President & CEO of Trans Canada Trail. I am thrilled to join this amazing group of volunteers, donors, trail builders and supporters who have made the Trail what it is today, and to build on the wonderful legacy that Deborah Apps has left.

Of course, this moment is bittersweet for me, as it coincides with one of the biggest challenges Canada has faced in living memory. The Covid-19 pandemic has – and will continue to have – huge repercussions on how we live. It will test our willpower and resilience. At times, we will feel alone, scared or helpless.

But there is hope. In these difficult times, we are reminded of the importance of connecting – via FaceTime, WhatsApp, e-mail or just with an old-fashioned phone call. We are reminded to look after one another, especially those who are most vulnerable. And we are reminded that there is still solace to be found in the outdoors – in nature, in our parks and on our trails.

Rest assured that our work has not been halted. Your gift has not stopped giving, and is still being used to ensure The Great Trail is enhanced and maintained for generations to come. In these difficult times, we will not lose sight of our mission and we remain grateful for any gift we have received and will receive.

When Canadians talk about what makes them proud about our country, they often mention several things. One of those things would certainly be this country’s landscapes and natural wonders. Another might be our courage, kindness and composure in times of crisis.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve had the good fortune to hear the stories of many in our Trail community as they share their tips for managing mood, enjoying the outdoors responsibly and helping neighbours. We are sharing some of those stories today, and would love to hear many more. If you would like to share your stories with us, feel free to share them by responding to this email.

In short, I encourage all of you to find a section of the Trail near you and to enjoy it, while maintaining physical distancing and following the advice of our public health authorities and governments. No one knows how long this situation will last. But it’s times like these that remind us why the great outdoors are so important for all of us and how they are such a tremendous gift.


Eleanor McMahon
President & CEO
Trans Canada Trail

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