Saugeen Rail Trail – Hurricane Hazel Memorial Site

Saugeen Rail Trail – Hurricane Hazel Memorial Site


In 1954 Hurricane Hazel left a trail of destruction including a train derailment at the south end of Southampton ON. officially opened the Hurricane Hazel Derailment site in July 2, 2008. It was made of huge timber, which lasted for 7 years and deteriorated to the point of having to be removed for safety reasons. The town of Saugeen Shores and the Saugeen Rail Trail Association installed a memorial plaque and tree plantings in honour of the 2 individuals who lost their lives in this tragic event. With the proximity to the creek and poor mud management, and drainage in the area the memorial plaque and bench were consistently surrounded in pooling water and mud.


To prepare for the Ecoraster permeable grid installation, the site was cleared, and the ground was excavated to a level subbase. A ¼” limestone chip was then installed at a depth of 2-4″, leveled and packed.


The Ecoraster E40 paver grid system was selected for this project. Ecoraster E40 was installed directly on the limestone base. The grid installation was quick and easily by Saugeen Rail Trail Association volunteers with the support of Mike and Kaylin from Purus NA Ecoraster. The grid was then tamped and filled with the same ¼” limestone chip. An additional ½” of overfill was added for aesthetic purposes.


Ecoraster has created a level, safe, well-drained, completely accessible space to honour the tragic event and its effect on the community. With the proximity to Lake Huron in mind, Ecoraster also offers the alternative to traditional sealed surfaces this community was looking for. The space can now be used by all members of the community who take advantage of this high traffic trail to stop for a rest, remember Hurricane Hazel, or just take in the scenery.

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