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ATV club trims off multi-use trails along Smith’s Cove rail bed

These two cements posts, there to limit the size of vehicle that can travel across Joggins Bridge, were completely grown over with brush before Digby County ATV Club members cleared the trail.
These two cements posts, there to limit the size of vehicle that can travel across Joggins Bridge, were completely grown over with brush before Digby County ATV Club members cleared the trail.

DIGBY, NS – The old rail bed multi-use trail in Smith’s Cove is now a little clearer after some tending by a Digby ATV club.

Several members of the Digby County ATV Club hit the trail July 22 to clear some of the overgrown shrubs and plants along the trail’s edges.

A close up of a speed sign showing the amount of low hanging branches that were hiding it from view, creating a hazard.

The right amount of people and the right equipment made the job easier than expected, said Jimmy Gates, one of the club members present.
“We used only two bush saws and the rest of us followed along with machetes to trim the higher reaching plants,” he said.
The club started clearing around 9:30 a.m. and finished 90 per cent of the trail by 1 p.m.

“We cleared thorny bushes, low branches and grassy brush. We even cleared a man’s driveway for him, so he could see the road properly,” said Gates.

Brush taking over the trail was cleared away for easier access, but also for visibility concerns, since brush nearly completely covered speed limit and stop signs.

“It was a nice little run and you can definitely notice the difference and also not have to worry about your machine getting scratched,” said Gates.

A newly-cleared section of the old rail bed trail in Smith's Cove.
The speed limit sign completely covered and not visible before branches were cleared away.

Along the way, the club members encountered a few pedestrians with a stroller, who complimented them on their initiative – a compliment the club welcomed.
“Sometimes pedestrians aren’t always such fans of sharing these trails with ATVs, so it was really positive to hear them say that,” said Gates.
“We aren’t all reckless drivers.”

Club president Keith Comeau echoes that thought.

The speed limit sign after branches were cleared away.

While he wasn’t able to join the clearing party Saturday, he has made his club’s position clear on trail maintenance, stating publicly it’s a main goal of theirs to maintain actively used trails as they ride them with their vehicles, most recently at a Digby Town Council meeting in June.
“The purpose of us clearing this trail and other multi-use trails is for easier access for joggers, walkers, bikers and ATV-users,” he said.

“So it was definitely nice to hear those positive remarks from the folks the boys ran into.”

Club members have started actively maintaining even more trails since the start of this season.

The club’s website also has an online submission form for trails needing clearing that can be completed anonymously.

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