WATERLOO -- The City of Waterloo is helping connect the community with local musicians and poets while encouraging people to get their steps in.

The initiative, called Trail Mix, pairs playlists with trails.

"We have so many beautiful trails in the city and in the region, and so we wanted to start animating this trails with different arts and culture aspects," said Lakyn Barton with the City of Waterloo. "Music was obviously the easiest connection."

There are QR codes posted along the Forwell Trail, the Walter Bean Grand River Trail and the Spur Line and Laurel Trail. People can scan the code on their phone's camera, select the link and hit play.

The initiative started in the spring of 2020 and has grown over the past year. Cecelia Johnson owns CE Food Experience along the Spur Line and said she's seen people noticing her business when they stop to scan the nearby code.

"We're finding that it definitely allows people to observe the surroundings a bit more," she said. "We keep saying 'Come in, try a treat, listen to some beats and then on your way.'"

Songs and poems are selected from the city's artist roster, which is available to everyone and updated regularly.

"Without initiatives like this, I don't think I'd have as much motivation to share my art with the community," featured artist Kurtis Rideout said.

"I'm really happy to be part of it, because it seems like these types of initiatives are really sort of out-of-the-box thinking," artist JP Sunga said. "They're ways to get local artists exposure while engaging the community."

The city plans to continue expanding Trail Mix locations, giving people an even greater soundtrack to their everyday life.