05 Sep Our Incredible 119 Km Trail
Right now, a trail stretches 119km from Joseph Howe Drive to Lunenburg. This route, the Rum Runner’s Trail, is one of our most exciting opportunities for quality of life in our region.
Check out how we can make it even better.
A Magnet for Funding
The Rum Runner’s Trail is actually seven trails that together constitute a “destination trail”: the kind of place tourists would come to Nova Scotia to see. That status means all three levels of government are willing to provide funds to make it a success. Already, this support has helped build a beautiful website. By cooperating fully with the Rum Runner’s Trail, I believe this destination can continue to attract much-needed provincial and federal funds for years to come.
Connection from the West End to Nature
I love living on Quinpool but the biggest thing that would improve the quality of life here is the ability to bike safely with my family to somewhere to hike and swim. Right now, Halifax is actively working with Bicycle Nova Scotia on establishing a bike lane from the MacDonald Bridge, right through our core, to the beginning of the Chain of Lakes Trail, where the Rum Runner’s begins.
Another project, the Halifax Urban Greenway, will connect Point Pleasant Park to the Rum Runner’s Trail.
Without these two projects, trying to get to nature means biking through dangerous traffic in places like the rotary. Once these are built, our door to the breathtaking wilderness in our backyard will be opened. I’m committed to making both of these projects a reality.
Connecting Long Lake to the Peninsula
And there are few destinations more beautiful than Long Lake. This year, developers Polycorp and Atlantic Developments have built a multi-use trail through the park. Halifax is actively working on building a trail connection from the Rum Runner’s Trail to this new trail, so residents can safely get to places like this. The connection will also mean residents of Spryfield could bike safely to Bayers Lake or right into the peninsula. What an opportunity!
Since completion, many have expressed concern that the Long Lake Trail is covered in rocks that are too large and sharp. My wife found the rocks are too pointy for our dog to walk there. I will work with the province to ensure the trail gets properly surfaced with crusher dust. This is a priority.
Maintaining the Chain of Lakes’ Value as a Local Trail
Some in the local community around the Chain of Lakes trail have legitimately expressed concern that as the connection grows in regional prominence, its value as a local trail could be undermined.
This trail will be a key connection point for commuters, tourists and residents wanting to escape the city. Will it still be a nice place to walk the dog with so many cyclists, runners and hikers passing through?
Vancouver’s Stanley Park shows that so many users can coexist happily, but they need sufficient room. As the Chain of Lakes becomes a destination, there may come a time when it is necessary to widen the trail to have a section devoted to people walking, so that no one will have to worry about a collision.
So often, happy, healthy co-existence is the product of good infrastructure. I look forward to working with local residents to make sure the trail they love remains safe and valuable to them.
Beautiful City on the Ocean, Connected to Nature
The Rum Runner’s Trail is more than a nice project. It is a step towards making Halifax the kind of city people from around the world want to live in. This kind of easy access to beautiful places is our competitive advantage, something that could attract companies and investors to make Halifax not only a wonderful place to live, but a city full of opportunity.
As Fusion points out, this trail will actually become part of a 185km trail from shore to shore through our city. We live in a wonderful time.
Long Lake in Winter.
Headline photo of Long Lake by Morgan.