Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dauphin's Monkey Trails

Growing up in Dauphin, Manitoba, we had a beautiful hidden gem located behind Vermillion Park. A sizeable chunk of barely tamed woods, on the east side of the snaking Vermillion river, full of overgrown trees and barely navigable walking paths. As kids, my friends and I spent hours in there.

Often, we were the only people in the woods. It was this fantastic, hidden world, right in behind the houses on Wellington Crescent. I'm not sure how or why, but it was known as the "Monkey Trails". We didn't come up with the name. It was passed down to us from who knows where. Some of my best childhood memories happened on that wonderful patch of nature, just outside our back doors.

No matter the season, it is a place of beauty.
A few years ago, the City of Dauphin ran a bulldozer through the middle of it, and put a huge, gravel walking path in. There's still a few of the side trails that look relatively close to when they did when I was young. Narrow trails. Underbrush. Trees on every side. Sort of like this...
Compare that to this photo of the recently installed main, paved trail.
To make matters worse, the formerly dark woods is now dotted with street lights.
Now let me make it clear. I LOVE my hometown. I want it to have attractions for everyone. And it's clear that I LOVE the Monkey Trails.

But for me, a giant lit and paved path sort of took a vacuum to the Monkey Trails and sucked out the magic that made it special for me.

Now, it just seems like an extension of Vermillion park, which coincidentally enough also has wide gravel paths and street lights.

The woods where I used to escape is now fully lit at night, impossible to get lost in, and is dotted with benches sponsored by Dauphin Countryfest, complete with beer bottles littering the ground just feet away from trash cans.

Maybe I'm just being old enough to yell at kids to get off of my lawn. I suppose in the end, I'm happy that the people of Dauphin have this. I'm just saddened that the Monkey Trails as I knew them don't exist anymore.

Was there really a need to replace it with Vermillion Park The Sequel?

Here's a few photos from the parts of the Monkey Trails that haven't been paved over yet. It really is a beautiful place for Dauphin to have.

Currently playing: Glass Tiger - My Town
Currently colouring: Spacepig Hamadeus versus the Spectre General
Proudly in my seventh Cola free year!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

R.I.P. monkey trails