If you would have asked Leslie Woo of Toronto what she knew about Sarnia-Lambton a month ago, the answer would be predictable. “My image of Sarnia was always refineries.”
But Woo, and 150 other cyclists, had their eyes opened to a whole different side of Sarnia-Lambton as they cruised along the waterfront in St. Clair Township, Sarnia and Plympton-Wyoming as part of the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure from Pelee to Grand Bend.
When Woo and the other cyclists stopped at the Camlachie Community Centre, she was clearly amazed by what she had seen. “I always go through Sarnia on the highway… this is completely different… It’s a whole different twist.”
Ajax Mayor, Steve Parrish, agreed. He’d been in Lambton County to go to the Pineries but admits if one said Sarnia-Lambton he used to “think Petrolia, the oil and gas industry.
“I’ve never gone up the St. Clair River… it’s very different countryside. It’s beautiful cycling along the river.”
These are words Lambton County Warden Bev MacDougall, who joined the tour for the full six days, heard over and over again. And she says people in this community should take notice.
“This could become a cycling mecca because of its beauty and almost constant access to the water,” MacDougall told The Independent during the morning break in Camlachie.
She says gaining permission to cycle over the Bluewater Bridge and make a loop through Michigan and Lambton would be enough to put the area “on the global cycling map.”
That could bring a whole new group of tourist – people like Jeffery Chown of Toronto – to the area.
“There are the nicest people on the planet here,” he says, zipping by MacDougall. “And it is so beautiful.”