The Snell Loop Side Trail is named after Cam Snell, an extremely supportive Ministry of Natural Resources employee, in appreciation for his ongoing help and cooperation for new trail building. In the late 1980s, Cam was the superintendent of Earl Rowe Provincial Park and of the Nature Reserves of Hockley Valley and Mono Cliffs. As superintendent he had to ensure that any trails that were built met the Ministry’s standards. Previously before the Caledon Hills Club could begin to construct any trail on Ministry lands, the Club had had to submit the plans in writing in triplicate (these were the days of the typewriter).
When Cam became superintendent, the Club’s Trail director remembered the first inspection of the proposed new trail: “Cam would stop frequently for the first kilometre, asking us direct questions as to how we were going to address any trail issues. Then after that first kilometre, he relaxed; we had proven that we had a respect for the land and would treat it with care and, also, that we had good knowledge of trail design.” Over the next few years, Caledon Hills Club built a number of new side trails. Cam always inspected each as his job required, but there was always a feeling of trust. With Cam’s help, the Club received quick approval for new trails. Our trail director also remembered Cam’s suggestion for scheduling the inspection hikes after work hours in the extended light of June and the inspections took on a social aspect. On one occasion the wives of both Cam and the trail director came. The inspections became a renewing of a valued friendship. The trail director also remembered asking Cam if he wished the plans in triplicate and he laughed. “Just send me one”, he said. He had the art of simplifying bureaucracy.
The Ministry also recognized Cam’s value and, shortly after this Side Trail was opened, promoted him to Superintendent of Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. After many years of working with Cam in northwestern Ontario, the Thunder Bay Field Naturalists were pleased, but not surprised, to learn of Cam Snell’s earlier support – helping people to experience nature along the Niagara Escarpment. Cam continues to enjoy life in the Thunder Bay area.