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New Cabot Head Trail Project
New Cabot Head Trail Project Brought To Northern Bruce Peninsula Council
Some recent updates below.

Sadly, the combination of hostile Dyers Bay residents glad to be rid of the traffic through their little paradise, plus indifference & lack funding from either MNBP or DFO, means 1.3 M$ of our tax money has been wasted & Cabot Head is probably lost as a popular tourist attraction (& our ILLW site). 

I guess if one were really determined, one could go by boat to Wingfield Basin, then carry gear to the lighthouse & set up camp.  A boat trip from Southampton to Chantry Island would be much easier, if permission to camp overnight & operate from the lighthouse could be obtained.

Dave, VE3WI


June, 2021 statement from Friends of Cabot Head website:

At this time, the Friends of Cabot Head no longer has a lease for the lighthouse. Therefore, all programming has been terminated and the museum is closed indefinitely.
The road to the lighthouse is currently gated and locked, with no public car access.
A near-term future development will be the creation of a cycle trail to Cabot Head. This plan involves maintaining the former Cabot Head Road as a bike trail.
Another (possible) future development is a shuttle service from the parking lot in Dyers Bay to Cabot Head. 
Please see the following link for more information regarding the Cabot Head site.

Text of above link:

Dyers Bay Update: Paid Parking Begins May 21; Cabot Head Road Closed Indefinitely

May 19, 2021
By John Francis, Bruce Peninsula Press

The Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula is trying to reduce traffic and congestion in several overly popular locations. Last summer, on-street parking was banned on Moore St in Lion’s Head (which provides access to Lion’s Head Provincial Nature Reserve and the Lion’s Head lookout). This year additional parking restrictions have been discussed and will be in place at several locations, including Grant Watson Drive in Tobermory (access to Mermaids Cove/Burnt Point) and at Dyers Bay.

The problem at Dyers Bay isn’t the village itself, it is access to the Cabot Head lightstation, which lies 6 km beyond the village. As lighthouse visits gained popularity, the narrow, twisting road through the village of Dyers Bay saw more and more traffic. Residents complained that it was no longer pleasant or safe to walk in their village.

The lightstation has been closed since 2017 for mercury remediation and other improvements; this gave Dyers Bay residents a much-appreciated reprieve from heavy traffic. The reprieve continued when Cabot Head Road washed out in the winter of 2019-2020.

Cabot Head Road is a wheel track road — a travelled lane across private property without a municipal road allowance. Historically, the Municipality has maintained the road within the wheel tracks to a Municipal standard as their contribution to the site. The properties it leads to — a Provincial Nature Reserve and the federally owned lightstation (Department of Fisheries and Oceans) — are neither municipal properties nor municipal taxpayers, so the municipality feels limited responsibility for the repair of the washouts (observed in late 2019 and throughout 2020) without the other stakeholders in agreement on a clear direction forward.

What MNBP does have is a responsibility to the taxpayers of Dyers Bay: to solve the problem of heavy traffic through their village. Should proposals move forward to re-open Cabot Head Road as a trail, the municipality needs to find a way to facilitate access to Cabot Head without reintroducing heavy traffic through Dyers Bay. At this time, the Friends of Cabot Head (lightstation) FOCH no longer have a lease for the lighthouse. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Ontario Parks and the Bruce Peninsula Bird Observatory continue to have access to the sites that is satisfactory to their needs, either by ATV or truck.

There are three developments that will profoundly affect this story, one immediate and certain, two that are not yet written in stone.

On Friday, May 21, paid parking will go “live” at the large parking lot at the top of the hill on the east side of Dyers Bay. That lot will be the only public parking available in the Dyers Bay area. There will be no public parking at the Government Dock, no public parking in the village itself, and no public parking at the west end of the village where Cabot Head Road plunges past the “Road Closed” sign and down to the washed-out shoreline. In theory, the parking regulations will drastically reduce traffic through the village. Access to Cabot Head will only be on foot or by bicycle, over the closed roadway.

A near-term future development will be the creation of a cycle trail to Cabot Head. This plan — currently being negotiated among all the stakeholders — involves maintaining the former Cabot Head Road as a bike trail. A local cycling enthusiast told me it will be among “the most beautiful cycling paths in Canada”.
Volunteers concerned about long-term impact of Cabot Head Lighthouse closure  News 28 Sep 2023
Thanks for posting.  I was wondering if anything was going on.

Unfortunately there's a steep hill to climb if Cabot Head is ever to reopen:
- Feds spent 1.3 M$ of our tax money to make the place "safe", but won't spend a penny to make it usable or even accessible.
- Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula has washed their hands of it.
- Owner of shore land where the road used to be was reportedly not favorable to allowing repairs.
- Dyer's Bay residents don't want Cabot Head traffic through their village.
- There was a report that the electrical power feed needs work.
- There was a report that water leaks caused an interior ceiling to collapse.
- Now more reports of damage and vandalism.
- FOCH can't operate it to raise money for maintenance, & can't even access it.

The walking/cycling trail idea is a non-starter.  Few people will trek that far.  And how would access for operation & maintenance be provided?

Perhaps the most merciful future would be for the Feds to let a contract to remove it and remediate the site back to greenfield condition.  That would be better than watching it fall down.

too bad
Dave, VE3WI
6km may be a little too far to hike - especially carrying equipment. But cycling may still remain an option. Mark VA3FIN told me in the spring that he has traveled to the lighthouse by bicycle. Even without a groomed bicycle trail - as long as the route remains legally open - a mountain bike could be used to get there. Yes, it might be only for the intrepid hams among us, but I watched a YT video yesterday by 3 hams who hiked to the summit of Mount St Helens (still an active volcano) to do a SOTA activation. I had trouble watching the scenes where they walked along knife edge trails thousands of feet up the mountain. The video made a casual bicycle ride along the shore of Georgian Bay look like a walk in the park.

Re: Chantry Island instead of Cabot Head

Marvin and I had extensive discussions with the Chantry Island group last year. What started out as a deceptively generous offer to take us out to the island for ILLW ended up with "but you will have to make a $1200 donation to FOIL (Friends Of Chantry Island) plus pay your fare". No other boats are allowed to land on the island so it is effectively entirely controlled by FOIL. Marvin may have had further talks with FOIL but I haven't heard anything from him on the topic.

An alternative (but not for ILLW since another club goes there) is Point Clark Lighthouse. Point Clark is a POTA location so we could arrange a club outing - except I haven't seen much interest in POTA from GBARC.

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