By Mark Squibb/May 26, 2022
Trail enthusiasts and hikers will be excited to hear the East Coast Trail Association (ECTA) has officially opened 52 kilometres of new trail connecting Topsail Beach in CBS to Cape St. Francis.
The association held a ribbon cutting at Topsail Beach last Thursday to celebrate the opening of the stretch, which was attended by representatives from the towns of Paradise, Conception Bay South, Portugal Cove-St. Phillips, Bauline, and Pouch Cove – all towns through which the new trail passes – along with other special guests.
The trail is comprised of three paths: The Long Shore Path, stretching about 18 kilometres from Topsail Beach to Portugal Cove; the Piccos Ridge Path, 15 kilometres of trail which runs from Portugal Cove South to Bauline; and, finally, the White Horse Path, an almost 19-kilometre stretch from Bauline to Cape St. Francis that has been called perhaps the most challenging path along the East Cost Trial.
The opening of the trail signifies the completion of the full 336-kilometre length of the East Coast Trail, connecting Conception Bay South to Cappahayden.
“The Trail has become a provincial treasure of which we can all be proud,” said ECTA President Randy Murphy. “What seemed to be an impossible dream in 1994, the creation of a world-class hiking trail along the eastern edge of the Avalon, has been realized. Thank you all for helping to make this dream a reality.”
Following several short speeches and the official ribbon cutting, members of the association and the towns took a quick hike along a portion of the newly minted trail.
The next event on the ECTA’s calendar is the annual ‘Trail Raiser Community Hike’ fundraiser to be held on June 4 at the Town of Portugal Cove-St. Phillips. Folks who are interested can register at the ECTA’s website.