Sometimes, all it takes is an introduction to open up a world of possibilities. That's what Friends of Lake Laurentian has been for eight-year-old Matteo.
Armed with his fishing rod and tackle box, he's one of the first riders on Sudbury Transit's newly extended route, which offers access to the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area. Having been introduced to outdoor activities more than two years ago, through programs such as Camp Bitobig, Matteo has embraced outdoor activity in the North in a big way.
Mark Signoretti, chair of Friends of Lake Laurentian, said it's easy to forget that an area with such natural beauty exists in the heart of Greater Sudbury.
"And nowadays, we're looking to encourage more active lifestyles, and we've got something like this right here that you can use," Signoretti said.
Sudbury Transit is offering the extended routes Mondays to Fridays now until Aug. 22. Launched as a pilot project, the service aims to provide easier access to the conservation area, while encouraging a more active and environmentally aware community.
"It's just great if you want to get away and get connected with nature,” said Signoretti. “You're escaping the city within the city -- not many communities have that. It's really a jewel we'd like to preserve."
Riders should board Route 500 University, which departs weekdays from the Downtown Sudbury Transit terminal every two hours beginning at 7:45 a.m. The bus carries two "rack and roll" bicycle racks, so cyclists can enjoy the 65-kilometre trail system. Regular transit fares apply. A full transit schedule is available at www.greatersudbury.ca/transit.
For more information, about the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area, please visit www.nickeldistrict.ca.