Work to link two major trail systems in Canada and the United States is progressing but not as fast as both sides are hoping.
The groups involved in linking the Trans Canada Trail and the East Coast Greenway met in Calais, Maine to continue the discussions with hopes it can officially happen in time for Canada’s 150th birthday.
The East Coast Greenway stretches from Key West, Florida to Calais an spans 5,000 kilometres.
East Coast Greenway’s executive director Dennis Markatos-Soriano is hoping to link it to the 2,000 kilometres of trails in New Brunswick and from there the 24,000 kilometre trail system across Canada.
“That’s the best way to see North America to go through the communities, connect with the cultures, connect rivers, and so we’re really excited about supplying that. There is demand,” said Markatos-Soriano.
But to link the two trail systems, a suspension bridge needs to be built over the Digdeguash River.
Permission, money needed
Paul Jorgensen, executive director of New Brunswick Trails Council said permission is also needed to build a boardwalk through the Musquash Estuary.
“We did mention it to Ducks Unlimited for the Musquash Marsh and they are interested,” said Jorgensen.
The cost of both projects is close to $2.5 million and a commitment is needed from the provincial government.
“I’m sure there’s a return on investment, but that needs to be analyzed and those discussions need to be had,” said John Ames, Minister of Tourism, Heritage, and Culture.
Both Markatos-Soriano and Jorgensen and the trail groups want to meet back at the border in 2017 to announce the official linkage, which would create the world’s longest trail system in time for Canada’s 150th birthday.
Article Source: CBC