What? No walking maps for tourists in Wakefield, Quebec?

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by admin on August 5, 2009

The Editor,

I recently visited your charming little town of Wakefield, Quebec and was pleased to see some footpath signs which meant that my companion and I could climb the hill and see a little more of the lovely Wakefield scenery. As I had come from England and walk many miles along our extensive network of public footpaths I was interested to see how Canadian paths would work out.

Firstly I asked at the Wakefield shops if there was a guide to the trails around the town but there didn’t seem to be one available. Then we followed the footpath sign up School Rd. We ignored the Private Property sign, crossed a newly dug ditch and found a sign marked “Black Sheep”. We continued across the school field and found another sign marked “Mouton Noir” which pointed the way we had come! We then could find no clear sign of the route and gave up!

After this, I happened to buy a copy of The Low Down and read the article about the “No Tresspassing” signs. It does seem sad that if there are some footpaths which have been put in place, that tourists can’t find where these trails are and that locals then try and obstruct them. In England, public footpaths are a legal right of way – in fact after 20 years usage the paths normally become a legal walking route. Somewhere as attractive as Wakefield deserves better.

Ken Ward

Derbyshire, England