Innovation, Trade and Rural Development
Tourism, Culture and Recreation
September 11, 2009
East Coast Trail to Expand its Network with Provincial Government Investment
With a $205,000 investment from the Provincial Government, hikers of the world-renowned East Coast Trail will be able to further enjoy the unique experience. The provincial investment will enable the East Coast Trail Association (ECTA) to complete the trailís 17.5 kilometre section between Logy Bay and Flatrock.
The announcement was made today at Doranís Lane in Outer Cove by the Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development. Minister Skinner was accompanied at the announcement by Randy Murphy, President, East Coast Trail Association and Kevin Parsons, MHA, Cape St. Francis.
"With the dedication, commitment, and energy of volunteers, the East Coast Trail continues to be a tremendous success and is enjoyed by thousands on an annual basis," said Minister Skinner. "This exciting new extension of the trail network will offer users new ocean views and unparalleled natural attractions to explore. As the network expands, opportunities to attract increased users to the area grow, along with demand for services and amenities."
The East Coast Trail is a 540-kilometre coastal experience that takes hikers to the outermost reaches of North America. In excess of 240 kilometres of the trail, extending from St. Johnís to Cappahayden, have been developed to a world-class hiking standard.
The Honourable Clyde Jackman, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, noted that in 2008, the Provincial Government announced a $500,000 commitment over five years to support ongoing structural improvements and maintenance of the trail system.
"Our research indicates hiking is an activity enjoyed by both residents and visitors alike," said Minister Jackman. "In fact, the East Coast Trail is among the top tourism generators for Newfoundland and Labrador, and draws hiking enthusiasts from around the world who are eager to take advantage of its exceptional offerings."
The organization is working to have the 100 kilometre section of the trail between St. Johnís and Topsail Beach fully constructed by 2016. Trail construction will include the design, clearing of trees, installation of signage, trail hardening, and construction of pedestrian bridges and existing parking areas.
"This project will generate the equivalent of 27 full time jobs, upgrade 17.5 kilometres of the trail to the East Coast Trail standard, and complete the planning and design of an additional seven kilometers from Pouch Cove to Cape St. Francis," said Mr. Murphy. "By the time we complete this project, more than 60 per cent of the coastal portion of the trail will be completed. Our partnership with the Provincial Government has been critical in moving the trail from a promising concept to major tourism and recreational attraction, and a national treasure in fifteen short years"
The East Coast Trail has garnered international recognition from those who have explored the trail network, along with industry trade publications and media outlets such as CNN, enroute Magazine, and the Ottawa Citizen.
"The East Coast Trail has emerged as an anchor for Newfoundland and Labradorís tourism industry," said Mr. Parsons. "Through development of the trail between the communities of Flatrock and Logy Bay I am confident that users will enjoy the spectacular scenery and will be enticed to further their stay in the area."
Formed in 1994, the ECTA is a volunteer, membership-based registered charity focused on developing, and maintaining the trail network. Its goal is to complete the trail network along the coastline from Topsail Beach to Trepassey, and inland across the Avalon Peninsula to Placentia.
For more information on the East Coast Trail, please visit www.eastcoasttrail.com.
This initiative was funded through the Regional/Sectoral Diversification Fund (RSDF), which through Budget 2009: Building on Our Strong Foundation was increased to an $8 million fund. Administered by the Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development, the RSDF provides non-repayable contributions to economic development agencies and community groups for initiatives that address regional and sectoral development and diversification.
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Taking part in the announcement of the Provincial Governmentís
investment in the East Coast Trail were (l-r): Kevin Parsons, MHA,
Cape St. Francis; Hon. Shawn Skinner, Minister of Innovation, Trade,
and Rural Development; and, Randy Murphy, President, East Coast
Trail Association. Photo was taken near the East Coast Trailís
construction site at Torbay Point.
Photo: Taking part in the announcement of the Provincial Governmentís investment in the East Coast Trail were (l-r): Kevin Parsons, MHA, Cape St. Francis; Hon. Shawn Skinner, Minister of Innovation, Trade, and Rural Development; and, Randy Murphy, President, East Coast Trail Association. Photo was taken near the East Coast Trailís construction site at Torbay Point.
2009 09 11 2:05 p.m.
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