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Meetings held to discuss Digby County railbed trail project

A railbed trail.
A railbed trail. - Jonathan Riley

The Municipality of the District of Digby is in the process of applying for a letter of authority (LOA) from the Department of Natural Resources to manage 41.5km of railbed trails throughout Digby County.
The plan is to manage the trails, so the public can use them as multiuse trails for activities like ATV’ing, walking, cycling, horse riding, skiing and snowmobiling.

The trails connect Smith’s Cove to Digby and from Digby to Weymouth.

Two information sessions were recently held to inform the public of the plan and hear concerns about it.

“We want to make sure we have an open conversation with our neighbors,” said Jonathan Riley, trail and open space coordinator for the Municipality.

Some of the concerns raised by the public between both meetings were about traffic in residential areas like Smith’s Cove, as well as off road vehicles speeding and driving around residential properties late at night.

The plan is still in the works and details like this are still in the coordinating process, but all feedback and concerns about the plan are encouraged.

Once the municipality gets the LOA they can start applying for grants in order to fund the project. They will be looking for local partners to assist with the project.

Right now, the municipality is looking for public engagement. Next, they will have to submit the plan to DNR for approval. After that process they will start working out most details like repairs, signage, gates, etc.

“It’ll be a constant process of planning, consulting, getting approval and doing the work,” Riley said.

The municipality would like the public to fill out an online survey about the idea. They would like all surveys to be submitted by July 7.

Readers can check out the full plan and fill out a survey at http://www.digbytrails.ca/railbed.html

All questions and feedback be discussed with Jonathan Riley at jriley@municipality.digby.ns.ca or (902)245-2861

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