Multi-use trail going ahead

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Development to start west of Lawrencetown

Seen from the south side, the new bridge on the trail between Lawrencetown and Paradise was a big gap to span. The bridge was completed in 2012. Work on the trail west of Lawrencetown will proceed over the next several years and could cost $700,000.

By Stephen Hawboldt

The Spectator


Danny Phinney, President of the Annapolis County Trails Society (ACTS), told the April session of the Annapolis County Council that a multi use trail will be built on the former Dominion Atlantic Railway corridor from west Lawrencetown to Tupperville.

The councillors were told that earlier this month ACTS received the letter of authority from the Department of Natural Resources. Phinney said that the 17.5 km section will take three years to build at an estimated cost of $700,000. 

In 2014, the trail from west Lawrencetown to the Balcom Road will be developed to the more rigorous destination trail standards that creates easy passage for bicycles. Phinney said that almost none of the trail developed so far by ACTS meets the standard that is now required to support active living tourism in the province.

This section includes the village of Paradise where citizens have strongly opposed  motorized traffic on the former rail line as it passes very close to many homes. In some locations, the trail is within a few meters of private homes. That  group of citizens was unsuccessful in their court action to have this section of trail designated as non motorized.

Phinney told the council that this trail will be carefully managed and be suited for bicycle travel as well as motorized vehicles. The District 7 councillor, Timothy Habinski, reminded the ACTS’ president that, “strong policing needs to be a priority.”

Phinney said that any opposition maybe due, “to an element of one or two people who have stirred the pot.”  Habinski disagreed, telling Phinney that during the municipal election in 2012, most people he talked to in the Paradise area were very concerned about motorized traffic so close to their homes. If issues arise, Phinney invited citizens could call him or John Stacey at the Department of Natural Resources in Lawrencetown.

According to Phinney, the section from Tupperville to Annapolis Royal will be developed following completion of the current section. The Annapolis Royal to Bear River section will take even longer and will be non-motorized due to the loss of major bridges and Crown land purchases.

Phinney thanked the councillors for their annual support of $5,000 for trail maintenance. He asked them to consider increasing the $25,000 capital grant.

Organizations: Annapolis County Trails Society, Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis County Council Dominion Atlantic Railway Annapolis Royal

Geographic location: Lawrencetown, Paradise, Balcom Road Bear River

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Recent comments

  • ryan anderson
    September 01, 2014 - 16:33

    Its sad to have so many compaints, ive always cleaned up sticks, and waved to people regardless of the old people giving dirty looks. Not everyone drinks beer while driving atvs and ruin others property. Obviously they were provoked to do property damage. Keep it up though im sure soon there wont be anything left for any youth to do with there spair time but set fires and party all the time.

  • carl solomon
    April 27, 2014 - 19:48

    a huge waste of money to create an unpatrolled roadway for illegal activities as a homeowner beside old rail bed where I have lived for 24 years I have had drunks at my door in middle of night harassed by teens on very expensive machines doing donuts ect.I say ban motorized vehicles on the trail.

  • Barbara Bishop
    April 25, 2014 - 12:46

    It is time for a full investigation of the way in which a legitimate and thorough Rails to Trails consultation and a Ministerial decision were unethically overturned in Paradise, and the wishes of a community, including nearly 80% of adjacent landowners were and are ignored. Peoples' homes and lives have been damaged. The disrespect is astonishing. We have machines riding everywhere- sidewalks, Paradise Lane, through properties, day and night, so they can get to the trail. It's a rutted mess. As Phinney noted, the "Multi-use" trail in Annapolis Co. they built in 2006-2008 is now unfit for cycling, barely possible for walking, ( $300, 000+ later) and the "Destination Trail" at $700,000 will eventually also be the same-no use for anyone but ATV's. Can you say "cash grab"? Shame! ACTS, Council and the Rec. Dept. know very well what Paradise wants. Council voted in 2011 to support a non-motorized rail bed because of the overwhelming stats at the County's own consultations. Paradise is a proud community and we have been misused.

  • Lynn Moar
    April 25, 2014 - 11:15

    It is too bad that Mr. Phinney was obviously misled by someone. The Paradise Active Healthy Living Society has over 50 members, all of whom are residents of Paradise, and all of whom are extremely strong on their wish for a totally NON MOTORIZED trail. To see $700,000 in tax revenue in this province to toward a trail for a few people who wish to ride ATVs is an abomination. Multi use trails do not work. We need a continuous greenways for people to pursue active transportation and encourage healthy lifestyles, not an alternative road that the police cannot patrol and which sees speeding vehicles at all hours of the night and discarded beer cans and garbage in abundance.