If hiking Cape Split is on this summer’s wish list, leave the boots in the cupboard for a little while longer.
Harold Caroll, Nova Scotia’s director of parks, said the popular trail was so heavily damaged by post-tropical storm Arthur July 5, it wasn’t safe to use in the weeks after the storm.
“Cape Split trail is basically closed until we get the clean up done,” Caroll said July 21.
Work began at the site July 26. Burton's Towering Tree Services, of Aylesford, was awarded the contract for the work July 25 through a tender process. It’s hoped that the work could be completed around Aug. 1.
The public is being asked to stay away from Cape Split while work is underway. Canning firefighters expressed concern earlier this month that hikers were still entering the trail system, despite the warning signs.
“We have barricaded the site off, we’ve put signs up that it’s closed,” Caroll said of the safety risk. “We hope people will respect we’re asking people to stay away.”
He asked for trail users' and the Scott’s Bay community’s patience with the pace of the work.
“It’s not your traditional cleanup as we’re not going to use large harvesting machines,” Caroll said. “We want to protect the integrity of the trail.”
And the work needed is extensive, he said.
“There are trees down across the trail from one end to the other,” of the approximately seven-kilometre route, Caroll said. “Most of the damage and the safety issue is from trees overhanging the trails, branches that are off, trees blocking the trail.”
No material will be removed from the park, he added, and DNR does not consider the blow-downs a fire hazard.