Trails to Hike Economy in Inverness County

Economic Development (to Jan 09)

November 9, 1999 4:50 PM

Resident and visiting nature lovers will soon have new places to
enjoy the great outdoors as community groups from Cheticamp to
Canso are receiving provincial and federal funds to develop
hiking trails.

Like many trails projects across the province, trails in
Inverness County have received financial assistance through the
Nova Scotia Trails Destination Project, which is funded by the
Canada/Nova Scotia COOPERATION Agreement on Economic
Diversification. The agreement is managed federally by Enterprise
Cape Breton Corp. and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
(ACOA) and provincially by Nova Scotia Economic Development.

"Communities around this province know that Nova Scotia's natural
beauty is one of our greatest strengths and they're taking full
advantage of it by developing these hiking trails," said Senator
Bernie Boudreau, Leader of the Government in the Senate and
Minister responsible for Nova Scotia, on behalf of George Baker,
Secretary of State for ACOA. "We're pleased to support these
trails projects and we look forward to the economic spinoffs
they'll generate."

Gordon Balser, Nova Scotia's Minister of Economic Development,
emphasized the importance of using the province's natural
resources for new, sustainable economic growth.

"Nature tourism is one of the fastest growing segments of our
tourism industry," said Mr. Balser. "Our investment in trails
across the province will ensure that Nova Scotia is an even more
attractive destination for those outdoor enthusiasts who will
bring their tourism dollars to our communities."

Overlooking the Cabot Trail and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the
Skyline Trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park treats
hikers to breath-taking vistas and the chance to observe wildlife
in their natural environment. In addition to its own
contribution, Les Amis du Plein Air of Cheticamp has received
$160,000 through the Nova Scotia Trails Destination Project to
reconstruct this existing, deteriorated trail for safer hiking
and protection of the environment. The park has also contributed
$23,000.

An abandoned stretch of railroad between the Canso Causeway and
Long Point is being transformed as a section of the Trans Canada
Trail. The Ceilidh Coastal Trail Association has received $50,000
through the trails project to repair and replace culverts and to
bring the trail up to multiuse standards. The trail association
has also received $1,706 from Human Resources Development Canada,
$50,000 from Enterprise Cape Breton Corp. and support from the
Nova Scotia Youth Conservation Corps.

Another new trail is being planned by the West Mabou Beach
Committee. The community group has received $5,000 through the
trails project to hire a designer who will plan a trail taking
full advantage of the natural beauty and heritage of the West
Mabou Beach area.

"The tourism industry is active in every corner of this
province," said Doug Fawthrop, chair of the Nova Scotia Tourism
Partnership Council. "Developing trails that are popular
attractions for visitors is another way our communities are
contributing to the growth of this billion dollar industry."

The $3-million Nova Scotia Trails Destination Project, which was
announced last summer, will help make Nova Scotia one of the
world's premier trails destinations and attract 36,000 new
visitors to the province each year. The destination project
received a total of $2 million in funding under the Economic
Diversification Agreement.

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Contact: Adèle Poirier
         Nova Scotia Economic Development
         902-424-5836

         Sandra le Fort
         Les Amis de Plein Air
         902-224-23814

         Dave Algar
         Cape Breton Highlands National Park
         902-285-3008

         Allan MacDonald
         Ceilidh Coastal Trail Association
         902-625-0865

         Nadine Hunt
         West Mabou Beach Committee
         902-945-2408

         Marcie Stanley
         Enterprise Cape Breton Corp.
         902-564-7876

         Kathy Moggridge
         Human Resources Development Canada
         902-426-5383

         Vera Stone
         Trans Canada Trails Foundation
         902-424-2772


AUX RÉDACTEURS EN CHEF: Ce communiqué est également disponible en
français; appeler 902-424-4492 ou c. élec. Release@gov.ns.ca .



kjd                      November 9, 1999 4:53 p.m.