Maritimers celebrate completion of Trans Canada Trail
To celebrate the completion of the Trans Canada Trail, more than 200 locations in Canada with dozens of locations in the Maritimes, held events on Saturday.
The idea for the project first began in 1992, but it took 25 years to link the entire country by trail from coast-to-coast.
The trail spans more than 22-thousand kilometres, connecting all 13 provinces and territories.
People gathered on Cape Breton's Eskasoni First Nation to celebrate the project’s end on Saturday.
"Today we celebrate the completion of many months of hard work by volunteers,” said Norma MacLeod of the Nova Scotia Trails Federation. “There are 200 events across Canada, fifteen of which are happening on Cape Breton Island."
The Eskasoni leg of the trail first takes visitors to Goat Island, where the Eskasoni Cultural tour – with costumed dancers, traditional games and fire cooked food – has been growing in popularity.
Eskasoni Economic Development Director, Tracy Menge says the trail is great addition to the community on its own, but it’s also an opportunity for more people to visit and be part of it as well.
"We have so many different businesses and artists that will benefit from that. Our local community stores, our supermarket. Just having people come and be part of the community,” Menge said.
The Eskasoni First Nation is just one of several Cape Breton communities accessible via the water portion of the Trans Canada trail.
"We’ve come a long way and this is a great boost for our economy, especially in tourism,” said Chief Leroy Denny.
A new berth for kayaks and canoes will be completed on Goat Island next month.
On the east coast, the trail links Halifax to New Brunswick while Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland & Labrador are accessible by ferry.
Communities around the Bras D'or Lake, are already enjoying a record tourism numbers and expect to get another bump from visiting canoers and kayakers.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Ryan MacDonald.