2021 Strategic Planning sessions saw Victoria County Council choose Trails Development as one of the key strategic priorities of Council. Recognizing the potential economic, health, and community infra-structure development benefits that come with a well developed multi-use trail system, a multi-year trail planning and development plan has been created.
For many years, Victoria County has had a number of active organizations committed to trails development in the area. Snowmobile clubs have developed and maintained over 350 km of trails in the County, ATV groups have constructed a number of formal and informal trails throughout the County, and hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing & biking, and community groups have been active in trail promotion and physical activity projects within the county.
With communities and municipal governments throughout Nova Scotia recognizing the value of a coordinated strategy to develop trails for community use and as an economic development tool, the Victoria County Trails Federation was formed in 2018. It includes volunteer representatives from a number of trail user groups including snowmobilers, hikers, ATVers, skiers, snowshoers, and bikers.
The objectives of the federation are:
• To develop, build, and maintain sustainable multi-use trails in Victoria County
• To bring together trail users and community representatives in planning and developing a multi-use trails system
Currently the Victoria County Trails Federation is in a restructuring phase. The current Board of Directors have formed an arrangement with the Municipality to oversee and execute the multi-year planning and development of the Baddeck to Highlands section of the Victoria County Multi-Use trail. The Municipality of Victoria County has formed a Trails Development team and are continuing on with the valuable early planning and coordination done by the Board of the Victoria County Trails Federation.
Over the next 2 years while the trail development is ongoing, various trail user groups from all communities in Victoria County will be engaged to participate in the future of trails management. A new board of Directors will be established allowing county wide and user group based representation. This group will then be responsible for assessing and supporting the maintenance of current trails as well as development of new community based trails. Along with this new board of directors, trail development standards and rules will be developed and executed through partnerships with existing user groups, clubs and organizations. The Municipality of Victoria County has recently established a Trails Development Support program and if all goes as planned, this program will eventually become an annual budget for Victoria County Trails Federation to assist in New Development, Repairs and Maintenance as well as Marketing and Mapping.