The Cup and Saucer trail on Manitoulin Island will get a new entrance in a couple of weeks.
Yesterday, CBC reported that Cass Eadie, the owner of the parking lot and main entrance to the popular trail, closed it for financial reasons.
Now, there are new developments from the non-profit group that owns the rest of the scenic trail. The Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy has partnered with the town of Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands.
Mayor Al MacNevin says they have agreed to create a parking lot and a separate access point at the north part of the trail, off Highway 540.
"The island, as a whole, really recognizes the value of the Cup and Saucer and the impact on tourism," he told CBC News.
"And our local citizens as well that enjoy going there when they have visitors. So losing [access to the trail] would be handicap to the island, I think, economically and socially. We're pretty happy we have an option."
Because the lot will be off the highway, MacNevin says they were able to get a temporary construction permit from the Ministry of Transportation.
He notes that about 20 per cent of the trail will be lost because it is owned by Eadie.
The conservancy owns two properties on the trail, which amounts to about 350 acres, and includes its highest point.
Manitoulin Island's Cup and Saucer trail has long been a favourite destination for hikers. At least 10,000 people hike the trail every year.
The highest point rests along the top of the Niagara Escarpment and the view is described by many as breath-taking.
Access to that iconic trail was shut down by Eadie on the Victoria Day weekend.
Eadie told CBC News he intends to log the property because his quarry business is in financial difficulty.
Conservancy spokesperson Bob Barnett spoke with CBC's Up North radio program yesterday. He said creating a parking lot off Highway 540 could be a challenge.
"It's going to take a lot of work to make a parking lot," he said. "[I'm] not sure what the cost will be but it's not $20. It's going to be $50,000 or some huge — relatively, for us, huge — amount of money to make a parking lot with capacity for enough cars."