The City of Moose Jaw will be adopting its first-ever long-term Trails and Pathways Master Plan. 

The final version of the plan was approved during city council’s executive committee meeting on Monday night. 

The plan outlines the priorities for the city’s pathways and trails for the next 10 years. 

The plan includes 17 high-level recommendations within the city’s pathway and trail systems. These recommendations include: 

  1. Address gaps in the trail and pathway network. 

  1. Provide improved connections for cyclists. 

  1. Create a long-distance continuous asphalt loop within the trail system. 

  1. Improve crossings within the trail network. 

  1. Install curb ramps on sidewalks that are part of the trail network. 

  1. Establish and apply a trail classification system and trail standards. 

  1. Optimize priority routes for snow clearing. 

  1. Collaborate with Engineering and Planning departments to develop a cohesive transportation network. 

  1. Work towards providing trail amenities consistently throughout the network based on the trail standards. 

  1. Install labeled distances on select loops and routes to facilitate training and races. 

  1. Encourage winter activities within the trail system. 

  1. Update print and web-based trail maps and information. 

  1. Add interpretive signage in key trail locations that celebrate local heritage, ecology, and environment. 

  1. Establish a consistent trail wayfinding signage strategy. 

  1. Establish a “trail code of conduct” that provides etiquette and safety information for trail users. 

  1. Establish a monitoring and reporting program for the trails and pathways system. 

  1. Monitor the use of electric micro-mobility devices and assess the need for adjustments to current bylaws, trail information and materials regarding their use on trails. 

Some of the key areas that were emphasized in the plan that needed enhanced connectivity and improved access were in the downtown core, Dr. F.H. Wigmore Regional Hospital, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, local high schools, the Yara Centre as well as links to surrounding areas like 15 Wing Moose Jaw. 

Meanwhile, there was very little focus in the plan when it came to expanding the current trail and pathway network. 

“I do really appreciate how the maps are actually connecting our city and we’re not necessarily creating brand new trails, but we’re just connecting the existing ones that we have, which I think is really good. I really appreciate all the details in this,” said Coun. Crystal Froese. 

The recommendations are phased from short-term (zero to five years), medium-term (five to 10 years) and long-term (over 10 years). When the actions are taken would then be based on funding opportunities. 

Director of parks and recreation Derek Blais said he was happy with how the plan turned out. 

“We do get a number of inquiries throughout the year on different connection gaps and some of the struggles that people have within our existing pathway network and a lot of the ones that we hear a lot about throughout this process came up as top priorities,” Blaise explained. 

The process to establish the Trails and Pathways Master Plan began in 2022 when the Department of Parks and Recreation applied and received $45,000 in funding from Infrastructure Canada’s Active Transportation Fund. 

On Dec. 14, 2022, the project officially started with a project background review and inventory. 

After public and stakeholder engagement, a draft of the master plan and a second public and stakeholder engagement, the master plan was finalized. 

The City of Moose Jaw has over 70 km of pathways and trails within its municipal boundaries. The master plan will officially be adopted on Sept. 11, when city council meets to ratify the executive committee minutes. 

You can view the Trails and Pathways Master Plan in its entirety here

In response to Canada's Online News Act and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) removing access to local news from their platforms, Discover Moose Jaw encourages you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this page and downloading the Discover Moose Jaw app HERE.