Prior to amalgamation, trail building in Chatham and Kent County occurred at the community level. Some trails were developed by towns and villages, while many more were the result of grass-roots initiatives. Local trail advocates were responsible for the construction of some of Chatham-Kent’s best known trails, from the Trillium Trail in Dresden to the water trails in Wallaceburg.
In 2003 it was decided to form a centralized committee to coordinate the efforts of trail advocates scattered throughout Chatham-Kent. Two years later this committee was incorporated as the Chatham-Kent Trails Council, a not-for-profit organisation. Since then the Municipality has worked closely with the Trails Council, whose members provide guidance on trail development and assist with identifying future trail building priorities and required trail upgrades. The Chatham-Kent Trails Council is also a member of the Ontario Trails Council, a non-profit organization that promotes the creation, development, preservation, management and use of recreational trails province-wide.
Through trail development, and working in cooperation with other community partners, the Chatham-Kent Trails Council will promote healthy, active and safe lifestyles and contribute to building sustainable rural and urban communities throughout Chatham-Kent.
The Chatham-Kent Trails Council maintains an online presence through http://chathamkenttrails.ca/.