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The Pines

Our Team

Discovery Routes is a charitable organization governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The Board is representative of a broad range of trail interests from across the region that include local trail user groups, trail development groups, community service organizations and citizens interested in furthering the purposes of Discovery Routes.

Meet our ACTIVE Board of Directors for 2023-24:

women with dog on forest hike   Susan Christian – Co-Chair

Susan has been involved with Discovery Routes since its early days when the organization was first established with support from the Conservation Authority. As environmental educator before retiring in 2004, Susan has a close connection to nature and the outdoors in all four seasons and spends many hours hiking, kayaking, cross-country-skiing and playing with her dogs outside.

Story Walk on Kate Pace Way   Paula Loranger, Co-Chair

Paula has been a board member of Discovery Routes for many years. Her day-job is with the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority. In this capacity, she has coordinated the Mattawa River Canoe Race, installed a number of Story Walks on area trails and coordinates trail signs and interpretive programs within the Conservation Areas.

  Jeffery Miller, Vice Chair

Jeff started The Voyageur 200 in 2023 as a charity gravel bike race in support of the North Bay Regional Health Centre. Jeff has an infectious enthusiasm for cycling and spends hours exploring trails and gravel roads often bringing others along for the ride! Jeff is also a paddler and has competed in the Mattawa River Canoe Race.

2022 ReCycle Bikes Program   Lance Belanger, Past Chair

Lance got involved with Discovery Routes as an opportunity to advance cycling in the area and specifically access to cycling for everyone. It was through Lance’s vision that the Recycle Bikes program has evolved over the years providing 100s of bikes to those in need in our community.


  Peter Rooney, Treasurer

Peter is the long-time treasurer for Discovery Routes. He is community-minded volunteering over the years on a number of local boards including Laurentian Ski Hill, North Bay Chamber of Commerce and Near North Crime Stoppers. Recently retired, Peter will be spending more time at his camp on the upper French River enjoying the outdoors.

    Melanie Alkins, Secretary

Melanie loves being outside and active. She plays in all four seasons and loves gliding across the landscape whether it be on skates, skis, snowshoes, snowboard, road bike, kayak or canoe!  She has worked for the provincial government and is knowledgeable in environmental legislation and policy and is passionate about community economic development.

Photo of rod on a bike with a surprised expression   Rod Bilz, Fund Development Committee Chair

Rod is another long-time board member of Discovery Routes and Chair of the Fund Development Committee. Rod is an avid cyclist in all seasons and has travelled the world to cycle always bringing back great ideas for how to support the local economy through cycling and trails.

  Paul Waqué, Member-at-Large

Paul spends lots of time on the trails, biking, canoeing and hiking in summer, and Nordic and backcountry skiing in winter. His favourite part of the work day is the commute by pedal power on the Kate Pace Way. Paul is a talented bike mechanic and volunteers his skills with the ReCycle Bikes program.

  Ken Prescott, Represents Near North Trails Association

Ken represents the Near North Trails Association on the board and is an active director and hands-on volunteer for the Bonfield Snowmobile Club. Ken had a long career with the Ministry of Transportation and has a wealth of knowledge for the transportation corridors that have become many of our recreational trails.


  Tim Clayton, Member-at-Large

As a student in the ‘90s, Tim had a summer job with Discovery Routes researching the natural and human history of the trail corridors that later became the spine trails to the Discovery Routes network. Tim volunteers as a bike mechanic for ReCycle Bikes, and is and avid cyclist and explorer of the region’s backroads.


  Ruth van Vierzen, Member-at-Large

Ruth is an outdoors enthusiast who loves to hit the trails in Northeastern Ontario to ski, snowshoe, bike and hike. Ruth is also an avid birdwatcher. She welcomes the opportunity to contribute to promoting trail use in the region.

  Dan Dorval, Member-at-Large

Dan can often be spotted on the roads and fat bike trails in and around the Corbeil area. He has been known to throw in the odd gravel race and will encourage anyone who listens to do the same. Dan also enjoys his hobby of collecting and restoring vintage steel racing bicycles. In short, Dan loves bicycles!

Fund Development Committee:

Rod Bilz, Chair
Bill Hagborg
Shelly Morrison

Our Staff:

Jennifer McCourt, Executive Director

Connie Hergott, Can-Bike Instructor

Bicycle Programs

Where to Find Us:

205 Main Street East
North Bay, Ontario, P1B 1B2
Telephone: (705) 472-8480 ext. 223

General Email:

Please note that we are a small charity with limited full-time staff able to keep regular office hours. Generally, staff are available Tues-Wed-Thurs 9:30am – 4:30pm. Call ahead to see if we are around outside of these hours.

The vast network of trails we celebrate exist on the traditional lands and waterways of the Anishinaabe people within the territory protected by the Robinson Huron Treaty of 1850 and Williams Treaties of 1923.