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Newmarket Trailhead Park and Trail System

Building a gateway to nature with an eye on history and the environment

  • 300

    Acre Site Area

  • Newmarket, Ontario

    Newmarket, Ontario

Opening a new front door to nature

When the Town of Newmarket wanted a series of walking trails and a public park, they brought us in to design. To properly capture the site’s natural and cultural heritage, we let the spirit of place guide our work.

Trailhead Park sits adjacent to residential development, and it forms the southern head of a trail that extends north. This trail winds through a 300-acre (120-hectare) wooded valley, traverses a number of distinctive habitats, and links neighborhoods and town amenities. The park acts as a transitional landscape and gateway between the built residential environment and the natural forest.

The tranquil public space we designed encourages reflection and respect for the environment; it highlights the natural landscape and frames views to the nearby forest. One feature, the layout of the trees, depicts the process of forest succession. We arranged linear rows of similar tree species in a specific order. Another feature references geological formations (drumlins) found in the region—the four large berms we designed mimic that recognizable shape. Our design also included sculptural elements and visual markers to commemorate the spot where Native Americans traded furs with the Town founders.

By magnifying the beauty and importance of nature, the completed work achieves the Town’s goals to provide an open space for educational, recreational, and community interaction.

At a Glance

  • Town of Newmarket

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