Group of Seven Trails Sees Visitor Increase this Hiking Season

by Justyce Regular

The Group of Seven Trail located in Marathon, Ontario has seen an increase in tourism to the area this season. In their offices, they saw a major increase in trail users seeking information with visitors from Hamilton, the Greater Toronto Area, across Northern Ontario from Thunder Bay to Muskoka, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Texas, Chicago, Alberta, Barrie, Orillia, Dryden and even France. The local museum, Marathon and District Historical Society, a partner of the Group of Seven Trail, saw over 460 visitors internationally including visitors from Canada, the US, France and Ireland.

Although these visitors did not directly visit our offices, many sought out Group of Seven and trail information from the museum directly. The Interpretive Assistant stated that “more than half of the museum visitors had mentioned visiting the Group of Seven Trail while in the area”. In previous years, the office saw a maximum of ten visitors, despite trail traffic being high, the need for more information and the desire to stay for longer periods of time has greatly increased. Many of these groups booked several days to a full week’s vacation with plans to hike and explore the Marathon area. In addition to hikers and Group of Seven enthusiasts, the trail saw a great number of artists this year. Many artists came specifically to Marathon to stand where the Group of Seven stood and paint where they painted. Approximately five artists came and painted while hiking the Group of Seven Trail this summer. Many artists found the Group of Seven Trail through social media and accessing the website. Many of the visitors and artists are making plans to return in the future. The Group of Seven Trail staff and Board of Directors look forward to seeing more visitors next year.

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